Addison Agen talks 'The Voice': I want to prove it's possible to do big things and follow dreams at a young age
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/11/2017
Addison Agen is currently a contestant on The Voice's thirteenth season.
Addison, a 16-year-old from Fort Wayne, IN, performed "Jolene" for her Blind Audition, and both Adam Levine and Miley Cyrus turned their chairs around and fought for her.
Adam called Addison one of his favorite singers on the show this season because, despite being young, she's so full of life and emotion.
Adam said the artist is the most talented person at her age to appear on The Voice since Season 4 winner Danielle Bradberry, who was also 16-years-old at the time. But Addison opted to join Miley's team since they have similar voices and Miley can relate to her as a young woman.
During a conference call with reporters after her audition aired on NBC, Addison talked about her experience on The Voice so far. Below is what she had to say.
Could you talk about your musical influences? You seem to be such an old soul.
Addison Agen: Yes, some of my biggest musical influences are mainly just songwriters, not necessarily like great vocalists. A lot of them are, but my definite biggest one is Brandi Carlile just because of her songwriting, and that's like how I started realizing that this could be something I could be doing for a living.
But I was raised completely surrounded by music at all times. My mom would play guitar when she was pregnant with me all the time and I would follow her around the nursing home, and I got a good sense of every single different age of people because my mom worked with every single different age.
So, I would have, like, the same conversation with an eight-year-old as I would with like an 80-year-old because I believe like no one should be treated differently because of their age.
And that's why I think it's really important that I'm on the show, showing other people that are my age or younger than me, that it's possible to do it at such a young age and get like a kick start and that it's important to follow your dream from the beginning.
You come from a smaller town like Fort Wayne and now you're on the national stage. I mean, you crushed your Blind Audition. Tell us all your thoughts and feelings about the experience.
Addison Agen: Coming from a smaller town that not many people have heard of is I think an advantage because everyone's so proud that finally someone from their hometown is doing something so big.
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And I think it's really making other people proud for me to represent such an awesome place I have always called home, and we have a great music scene here. So it's inspiring other people here to go after their dreams.
And I have a bunch of connections here, which has been awesome to be raised in such an awesome community. So yes, I'm just really proud of where I'm from and I hope everyone here is proud of me too.
How did you feel when you chose to join Miley's team?
Addison Agen: Well, that was a really, really difficult choice. I was going into it thinking that I was going to go with Miley, but Adam put up a really, really good fight, and I kind of forgot what he said after I got off of the stage. I think I kind of just like blacked out. I think a lot of us experienced that.
So, I just had to go with my gut and just remember that she's been in the same position as me, working at a young age, the same thing so she would know what to do with my genre and my age.
So you're obviously feeling on top of the world right now, right?
Addison Agen: Yes. It's crazy. Everyone wants to get to know Miley Cyrus, so it's a dream come true to get to know her and hopefully be working with her a lot more. And yes, just she's an awesome person and I'm really, really happy with my choice, and that she decided to turn around for me.
One of the things that Adam said was that you picked the song "Jolene," which is a song about a person who's been through a lot. So being only 16, how did you hear that song and get to know it? Have you ever performed locally or performed it before? Tell me about that song choice.
Addison Agen: Yes. "Jolene" by Ray LaMontagne has been one of my favorite songs for a really, really long time, and it's such a sad song. So really, really getting to know the song more and like preparing for my audition was pretty much just me getting really, really deep into the lyrics and understanding where he's coming from when writing them.
And so, it's about a man who is so down because of all the drugs that he's been using and alcohol and all these addictions that he can't take his eyes away from it to go with the love of his life and stuff like that. So he just like passes by the love of his life.
And I think everyone knows someone who struggles with addictions and all these problems. Everyone has problems, but like, it's just, I have so much hope for people that can get over bad things and your life can turn around.
So that's where I was trying to sing from, in a hopeful way, but also tell the story of how sad it is to be right in the middle of it. I have never done drugs or anything like that, but I think looking at the perspective of other people that are really, really close to me and family friends, it's easy to understand.
Tell me more about your history performing with Agen Family Band.
Addison Agen: It was just our family playing at church events and like farmers' markets, and then my mom was the lead singer of it and I just did backup and played piano. And then we switched, and then from there, I kind of took on solo stuff. And my brother plays bass for me when I have full-band stuff.
And my dad did build a stage [in his record store], not intentionally for me, but knowing that I would be playing on it a lot. So I was the first one to play on it, which was awesome, and the vibe of his store is really awesome and the people there are like some of my favorite people to play for.
So it's awesome and I play mainly at smaller stuff. I've never done anything even close to as big as this. So I'm not as experienced as these other people, but I've been doing it for as long as I can remember.
To read more interviews with The Voice's Season 13 contestants who survived their Blind Auditions, click here for Reality TV World's show page.