In the two several years since winning Year 15 of NBC’s The Voice, Chevel Shepherd has labored tough on her new music career, even in the midst of a pandemic. The younger singer, coached by Kelly Clarkson all over the exhibit, surprised audiences with her powerful vocals and a type evidently motivated by her adore of classic nation songs. She was only 16 a long time aged at the time.
Shepherd quickly commenced touring, opening shows for Clarkson, Tiny Major City, Brothers Osborne, and other folks. She was invited to sing “God Bless America” at the 2019 Indianapolis 500. She also recorded an EP in Nashville and this yr, because the pandemic hit, has been releasing some of the singles. Then, a couple of months in the past, she resolved to report a Christmas album.
“I’ve wished to do a Xmas album and felt this was the excellent 12 months. Absolutely everyone has been away from their family members, and vacations haven’t been the same,” she suggests. “But people today continue to listen to Christmas music even if they are not with each other. They pay attention to it in the car, they listen to it in their dwelling. I suggest, we have it participating in in my living area right now. I just thought, Christmas provides a large amount of joy and light and which is particularly what we have to have this year.”
The album, A Fantastic Ol Nation Christmas, characteristics 12 tracks ranging from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to “Have Oneself A Merry Minor Christmas” to “Mary, Did You Know?” and extra.
“I labored hard to decide tunes people today like, but do not hear any more “like ‘Christmas Time’s A Comin,’” Shepherd suggests, “and also new songs they have not heard like ‘Country Christmas’ by Loretta Lynn.”
She recorded the album in Durango, Colorado with customers of her band, and visitor musicians, Gary Cook dinner (mandolin and acoustic guitar) and Matt Palmer (fiddle/twin fiddles). She not only sings, she co-generated it with Scott “Scooter” Smith. (She also credits the overall group of musicians with obtaining a great deal of input.) She loved supporting with the arrangement of some of the tracks she felt wanted a exclusive strategy, like “Mary, Did You Know?”
“I required to make an affect with the music, so I believed, I’ll do 50 % of the to start with verse a cappella, then have the metal guitar occur in and little by little create, so people genuinely realize the story and the power of the lyrics.”
She options the steel guitar prominently through a lot of her tunes. It displays an appreciation for an more mature design of nation tunes that dates back again to her early days expanding up in Farmington, New Mexico.
“I grew up in a musical relatives. My mother sings and plays the piano, my sister sings, and my father performs the guitar,” she explains. “My mom listened to a ton of common nation tunes, and I fell in love with it and started out doing the job on it at a really youthful age. I have been singing due to the fact I was two, and had my first functionality in front of an viewers at 4.”
She sang at rodeos, started out undertaking expertise reveals, and when she was eight several years aged, decided she desired to sing on the radio. Her dad began contacting radio stations and scheduling appearances.
“I’d understand a new tune every single Friday just before college and they’d acquire me in and I’d sing on air,” she recalls.
After turning out to be regarded for her tunes locally, she sooner or later auditioned for “The Voice,” the to start with time for Time 13. She didn’t make it, but afterwards got a phone inviting her to a private audition for Period 15. She accepted.
“I went back again and a person right after the other I just stored progressing through the rounds. And I finished up winning the total thing which is crazy! I by no means imagined I’d earn.”
Shepherd became close good friends and “pretty much family” with her fellow contestants and coaches on the display. She has a lot of fond recollections of the expertise and functioning with Staff Kelly (Clarkson).
“Kelly would acquire us on group outings and on a person we did an Escape Room together. We all experienced to do the job as a team and it was a mess,” she remembers with a chuckle. “We finished up getting out with like 10 minutes to commit, but it was so considerably enjoyable.”
The finest part of “The Voice” for her, nevertheless, was the positive, nurturing natural environment.
“I just liked remaining all-around individuals who experienced the identical enthusiasm as me,” she states. “People who enjoy songs.”
Her passion continues to drive her. She has launched three singles from her EP this yr, including her most current known as, “Just Like the Circus,” published by Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves, and Ashley Arrison. The song was also accompanied by a music video clip and showcases one more a single of Shepherd’s skills: performing. (In reality, she’s now completed some performing function in a few of movies established for launch in 2021.)
She experienced a superior time performing on the video clip and suggests the track displays a tone and design she hopes to enable bring back again as she moves ahead with her job.
“I love the previous traditional region seem and which is not genuinely staying performed on the radio proper now. It’s not seriously trending with my generation, so what I want to do is provide back again that sound. I want to distribute it not only to my technology, but to folks like my moms and dads who have to uncover it on Spotify. I want people today to know there are still individuals out there who adore that type of audio and I’m heading to do the job my most effective to provide it back again.”
And for someone who, at 18, has expertise, drive, and a clear aim on who she is and wherever she’s going, she just might just make that materialize.
“I get advised a good deal that I’m an previous soul,” she states with a chuckle, “which I agree with. I just enjoy to do the job hard. I know the form of tunes I want to pursue, I know what I want as a job, and I know what I want as a individual. And I just want to see all of those goals be successful.”