Lucas Holliday talks 'The Voice': I feed off shocking people and want to be revered and unconventional!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/06/2017
Lucas Holliday has been one of The Voice's biggest surprises and most memorable auditions so far on Season 13.
Lucas is a 26-year-old convenient-store cashier from Lansing, MI, who sang "This Woman's Work" for his Blind Audition.
The Caucasian man with light brown, shoulder-length hair and glasses sang with such soul and depth that coaches Miley Cyrus, Blake Shelton, Jennifer Hudson, and Adam Levine were shocked to see what he looked like when it became time to give him feedback on his performance.
However, only Jennifer turned her chair around for the talented artist -- whom Blake repeatedly called "Frasier" -- saying that Lucas "is everything that a show like The Voice represents."
After his audition aired on NBC, Lucas talked to Reality TV World about teaming up with Jennifer on The Voice. Below is what he had to say.
Reality TV World: Which coach were you hoping would turn around for you heading into your Blind Audition, and although Jennifer was the only person who pressed his or her button for you, you two seem like a pretty perfect fit. What are your thoughts on that?
Lucas Holliday: Yes, definitely. Jennifer Hudson, that was in my mind actually from the beginning when I, you know, was getting into this process and knew who the coaches were and so forth. I was kind of, in my head, I was like, "I really am hoping that Jennifer turns because I feel like she's somebody that understands, not just R&B, but you know, what I love."
I mean, I'm definitely an R&B hound, but I think it's more, you know, she understands -- like I think she would get [me]. And I still definitely do think she understands what my voice is capable of, you know what I mean? Because she has the range and also the ability to emote as much as possible.
I've always been a fan of R&B divas. You know, I had a high voice as a kid and I always wanted to try to sing whatever I could sing that sounded good, so I tried to follow [Whitney Houston]. I tried to follow, you know, even like obviously [Aretha Franklin] and people like this, Patti LaBelle, you know what I mean?
I grew up listening to a lot of that, trying to emulate that and do, like I said, the unconventional. And Jennifer definitely is another person that I've looked at and I'm like, "Wow, yes. That's a great feat." I mean obviously I want to do, you know, what I want to do.
I want to be somebody that's -- you know, there's other artists. I look at the male artists that I've grown up listening to, and there's a bit of me that wants to become, you know, to an extent, wants to become somebody as revered as maybe like Prince or somebody like this.
But, you know, this is the same kind of thing. Prince was somebody who loved, you know, Chaka Khan and artists like that -- ladies that are just really powerhouses, you know what I mean? And that's my same kind of trajectory.
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That's my same goal, and I'm just really, once again, I'm just really, really blessed, really fortunate she turned around. And I'm just happy that we got a chance to sing a little together. You know, if there's never going to be another shot at that, you know, I couldn't be more happy.
Also during the conference call, Lucas talked to reporters about singing a Whitney Houston song with Jennifer after his audition and what he thinks about the fact the coaches were shocked by his appearance given the sound of his voice.
I just wanted to ask you how surprised you might have been when Jennifer not only turned her chair for you, but wanted to sing with you.
Lucas Holliday: Definitely. When Jennifer finally turned for me, you know, there was definitely the sense of trying out for this and getting the shot in the first place was a beautiful thing. I had a private audition call. You know, I was invited to do this after this viral video that I was seen for... And I just wanted to give this a shot.
This is not my thing usually, the, you know, reality singing and so forth. I was always kind of like -- people have been telling me for years to do it, and I just have been like, "Well, maybe. We'll see."
Then I finally gave it a shot and I went up there, and I mean, this is a woman who -- I watched her during [American Idol]. I watched her, you know, play Effie. I've seen her do so many great things, and then it's like, I'm up there and I get to sing this song that I've known for a very long time and I love very well.
And it's by an artist that I've already kind of been, you know, I guess seen with and appeared on stage with and so forth. And I'm talking about Maxwell of course. And I just did my thing.
And there was a point where I was kind of, you know, the nerves kicked in pretty quickly, actually to be honest with you. I was actually surprised that they [didn't notice]. I was shaking a little bit. And so, you know, standing there, yes, I had this moment of just elation and just everything kind of blew up.
And then the moment after was really the main [moment]... Her gospel background, you know, I was just very happy and pleased to be able to sing a little bit of a song that I loved and from an artist that I love and so forth. And then she kind of played with me and went along with it. I mean, I couldn't be more grateful for that moment honestly. There's nothing like it, I will say that.
So what was going through your mind when your audition was over and all four coaches were stunned looking at you, saying they thought you were going to be someone entirely different?
Lucas Holliday: I will say I was definitely excited, you know, watching everyone's reactions and hearing, "Oh, this guy is not [who just sang]. This isn't the guy," like, "Who's behind you?!" Like, "Who really was singing? Tell me who, because I don't think this guy's got it."
Because that's kind of my [MO], you know, I kind of feed off of that sense of being the guy who you just don't expect, you know, "the whitest dude ever." But it's like, I'm not here just to shock. I'm here to, you know, I'm an artist.
I love and am very passionate about the music that I do and the music that I've admired and listened to for a long time. And it's something that is just a blessing, to be able to be on that stage and to watch these people kind of try to figure this out, you know what I mean? Like, "This guy is kind of a freak."
It's like, "I'm cool with that." You know what I mean? Like I said, I live off of it. I feed off it because it's something that -- I don't want to be conventional. I don't want to be just a regular [guy]. I don't want to be like the metal guy or whatever, or the rap guy, or the country guy that kind of comes from my city.
I mean, Lansing is very much more based in that kind of style than it is R&B and stuff, but we're 80, whatever, 90 miles away from Detroit. I mean this is Motown, you know, right next door, and I'm trying to show you guys that Lansing is also that too. We're also soulful. We're also funky.
And I mean, it's the same thing. We come from the Rust Belt. We come from industry. We come from hard work. We come from the nine to five, you know what I mean? And I'm trying to give you some of that soul, some of those blues.
So are you used to getting that type of reaction when you sing? That surprised reaction?
Lucas Holliday: I will say that is kind of my life story. It's something that, you know, you don't really expect to come out of me. The style that I do, the voice that I have and so forth, it's something that -- I'm a real kind of a quiet, sometimes shy, dude. You know, I'm kind of soft spoken and so forth.
But then -- I mean, unless I know you really well and then of course I'm kind of like the opposite -- I start to get a little more bombastic. But my voice is not quiet at all, and it's just something that, yes, I've always dealt with. I've always kind of been the guy that has the big voice that just kind of just shocks you immediately.
So it's kind of like, you know, I've kind of been waiting for a moment like this though. I always figured it was going to be something like this that was going to lead me... to a potential blow up I guess, something that really could give me some real exposure.
But I really didn't, like once again, I really didn't think I was going to be trying out for a reality TV show or that I was going to be doing a singing competition. You know, I never really had that mindset. But once again, I'm just very blessed and fortunate to have been given the shot to shock people.
At the time your introductory package was filmed, you were still working the cashier job and you're still doing that, right? Also, can you update us on the status of your band? I think it's called Tell Yo Mama?
Lucas Holliday: That's right. Tell Yo Mama is very alive and well. We're still working. We're still, you know, planning on gigging and pushing forward as much as possible right now. I mean, of course I'll be going on to Battle rounds and that's amazing for me, but my plan is to keep the work of my collaborations as vital and alive as possible.
Also, when it comes to the store, I am technically still employed with Dollar General, yes. But I honestly have been so wrapped up and busy with, you know, trying to push forward with my music and with my passion that I haven't actually been back yet.
Actually, my plan is to probably move on from the store soon here and just really start pursuing music. I've really found a sense of enlightenment I guess in my life, you know, since I've auditioned. And my goal -- I mean, obviously I'll be focusing very hard on the work ahead with the show -- but just in general, my trajectory is now like, "Let's not settle."
You know what I mean? "Let's keep moving forward and let's keep traveling. Let's keep seeing the world." If I have to struggle to sing on the street, I'll do it, because [performing] is what I want to do. You know, that's all I want to do!
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.