ST. GEORGE – “The Voice” artists Ryan Innes, Amy Whitcomb and Midas Whale, along with backing band Fictionist, will blend their talents in a unique one-night-only performance at Dixie State University Friday night.
The concert will be held at the Cox Auditorium on the DSU campus at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for premium seats, $15 for regular seats and can be purchased online or by calling 435-652-7800.
“This concert offers an eclectic change in genres and amazing music,” tour producer and manager Sammy Schultz said. “We brought these artists to St. George because they have a lot of fans reaching out from here.”
Innes, Whitcomb and Midas Whale all participated in season four of NBC‘s “The Voice” reality talent competition and were eliminated in the knockout rounds, while Fictionist is signed to Atlantic Records. Though their time on the show was not as long as they would have liked, they gained massive exposure that has catapulted their careers to a new level, earning them devoted fans and the respect of fellow artists along the way.
“Fat and sassy” soul man Innes tried out for “The Voice” three times until his unique and passionate artistry, influenced by Boyz II Men, John Mayer, Ray LaMontagne, Marc Broussard and Ray Charles, caught the attention of the show’s coaches. His persistence was fueled by his love for what he does.
“Life showed me music was my true passion and I’d regret never giving it a shot,” Innes said. “To be a successful artist, music needs to be your passion and obsession in a very real way, with no room for Plan B.”
Innes said that he enjoyed getting to know the production staff, artists and coaches during his time on the show, though performing the soul classic “Ain’t No Sunshine” with R&B singer Orlando Dixon in the battle rounds was definitely the highlight.
“It’s a great platform for exposure for independent artists,” Innes said.
Currently, Innes is working with a management company based in New York City to develop his sound and record tracks that will eventually result in his debut album.
For Whitcomb, a self-described “rocker chick with a scream” who credits Aerosmith, Pink, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and Kelly Clarkson as her main influences, it was actually another TV show that drove her to pursue a career in music. Watching the first season of “American Idol” as a teen, the overnight success of little-known artists on the reality competition inspired her to believe that she could realize her own dreams.
“I’ve always loved singing, but (it was then) I knew I wanted to be on stage as a career,” Whitcomb said.
While attending Brigham Young University, Whitcomb joined Noteworthy, an all-female a cappella group that appeared on NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” After three years with them, she joined the a cappella group Delilah. She decided to branch out on her own and audition for “The Voice” in 2012, landing a spot on Team Adam.
“I wanted a boost for my solo career and ‘The Voice’ really got me headed in the right direction,” Whitcomb said. “I definitely grew as a person, facing new challenges at new stages. I also met a ton of amazing people. I don’t think I would repeat the experience, but those things I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
Performing alongside other talented contestants and the “amazing” Paul Mirkovich and The Voice Band has made her a better musician, she said.
“They’re all incredible,” she said. “They made me step up my game.”
Whitcomb plans to continue touring and record an EP – extended play single – in the near future. Many years down the road, her true ambition is to mentor talented youth on their voice, performance and strategy for breaking into the music business.
Folk-rock duo Midas Whale are Jon Peter Lewis and Ryan Hayes, who met in 2010 in their native Rexburg, Idaho. Lewis, a lifelong musician who was previously a contestant on season three of “American Idol” and Hayes, a geologist and hobbyist singer-songwriter, formed a nearly instant friendship that blossomed into a musical collaboration and eventual appearance on “The Voice.”
Midas Whale participated in an exclusive interview with St. George News | STGnews.com last week, during which they performed an original song and shared details of their experience on the show.
They describe their style as Simon and Garfunkel and Beatles-esque with a modern twist and unique melodies that set them apart from anything music fans can hear on radio today. The duo will soon begin working on recording and releasing a debut album in this vein.
“By being on ‘The Voice,’ however short our (stay) was, we got what we came for,” Lewis said.
These four artists are wanderers, influenced by a wide range of genres and locations, but all have roots in Utah. Innes and Whitcomb are graduates of BYU and well-known faces in the emerging Provo music scene, responsible for the launch of current chart-topping bands Neon Trees and Imagine Dragons. All are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have performed at Sammy’s, Schultz’s restaurant, recording studio and musician haven in Salt Lake City.
Schultz also serves as vice president of artist management for Refinement Records, a new Draper-based artist development company that is sponsoring the tour. The artists performed in Arizona, Idaho and northern Utah earlier this month and are eager to close out their trip with an unforgettable appearance in St. George.
“The show is going to be crazy good,” Hayes said. “It’s really high-energy. Plus we’re all songwriters, so you’re going to hear a lot of original material. You will want to be here.”
“You get the best of all music worlds here: Rock, folk, pop and soul,” Whitcomb said. “This concert is unique. (The artists) bring such a cool vibe and energy to the shows and it’s pretty exciting!”
Event details and contact information
Date: June 28
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Cox Auditorium, DSU campus
Admission: $20 premium seats, $15 regular seats
Contact: Dixie State University – 435-652-7994
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