Bryce Leatherwood Talks ‘Full-Circle’ Return To The Voice, Finding A Fan In Reba, And Teases New Music
Leatherwood, a Country Now Artist to Watch in 2024, revealed he wrote 78 songs for his forthcoming debut project.
Bryce Leatherwood; Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC
The Voice Season 22 winner, Bryce Leatherwood returned to the singing competition show on Monday, December 18 for night one of the two-part Season 24 finale. The emerging artist experienced a full-circle moment as he stepped back on the stage in front of this year’s panel of coaches and eager finalists to sing his major label debut single, “The Finger.”
Sitting down to chat with Country Now the day after his return to the NBC show, Leatherwood reflected on this “full-circle moment,” saying he feels “so blessed” for the life-changing opportunities The Voice has provided for him.
“I just felt so lucky to be able to return to The Voice because the reality is, that show just gave me such a platform to show who I am and let people fall in love with the music I sing. Getting to sing my first original song back on the show, I think it was a full-circle moment for me. It was so cool,” he shared.
Offering Advice To This Season’s Finalists
In addition to his performance, the up-and-comer shared insight into the conversations he had backstage with the current Top 5 contestants who are in the midst of experiencing the same nerves, excitement, and hopefulness that he was feeling not long ago. The artists who are vying for the top prize in Season 24 include Huntley (Team Niall), Jacquie Roar (Team Reba), Lila Forde (Team Legend), Mara Justine (Team Niall), and Ruby Leigh (Team Reba).
“I got to see pretty much everybody, and they walked up to me and were excited to see me. You could see how excited and nervous they were,” Leatherwood explained before sharing the advice he offered to the aspiring artists. “I just remember being in their shoes and I was just like, ‘Hey, you already made it. You’ve gotten to this point and now it’s just fun. Just always have fun because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.’ It’s something I’ll never get to do again and I’m lucky to be able to come back again. The competition side of it, it’s very nerve-wracking, but I told them just be calm, have fun, and enjoy the moment.”
The Voice finale kicked off on Monday, December 18 and the second episode broadcasted live on Tuesday night. At the conclusion of the show, it was revealed that Team Niall’s Huntley was crowned the winner.
This isn’t the first time Leatherwood has returned to The Voice since his time as a contestant. He also got the chance to take part in the Season 23 finale when he, along with many other The Voice alums, came together to bid farewell to coach Blake Shelton, who announced his retirement after 23 seasons.
“It’s pretty crazy to be on The Voice three seasons in a row,” Leatherwood proudly noted.
Gaining A Fan In Reba McEntire
Once Shelton stepped down, Reba McEntire filled his chair and currently sits alongside fellow coaches Gwen Stefani, Niall Horan, and John Legend.
“If there’s anyone who could fill the boots of Blake, it’s Reba McEntire,” Leatherwood said before recounting his first interaction with the country music icon that came about prior to his performance.
“I got a chance to talk to her before walking on stage during the commercial break and she’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, Bryce, I’m the biggest fan of yours. I followed you.’ I was like, ‘oh my goodness, no way.’ And she’s like, ‘oh yes sir, I have and I can’t wait to hear you sing.’ She’s as sweet, as humble, and as caring as any country music act I’ve ever met in my life. She is as genuine as a woman could ever be,” he gushed. “I’m just very, very blessed I got the chance to be in her presence.”
Bryce Leatherwood Reflects On HIs Musical Journey
Leatherwood’s most recent appearance on The Voice allowed him to stand alone and truly showcase the amount of professional growth he’s experienced since claiming the win in 2022.
At the beginning of the year, he moved from his home in Woodstock, GA to Nashville, TN. It took about five months of living on a couch before he finally settled into a room of his own, and throughout it all, he’s been honing in on his craft by touring with the likes of Dwight Yoakam and bringing his ideas to the writing room.
As a result of his dedication and hard work, Bryce Leatherwood revealed that he ended up penning a whopping 78 songs this year. Plus, this fall he expanded his group of supporters when he signed his very first record deal with Universal Music Group Nashville in alliance with Republic Records and dropped his first single, “The Finger.”
“It’s been a really, really cool experience to have a team around you that sees the same things that you see because it takes an army,” Leatherwood shared. “I’m just so happy that I’ve been accepted by my peers and people who have been in the business for a while, but also the artists and musicians and friends I’ve made in Nashville as well people who look to me for advice. I don’t feel like I’m there yet to give advice, but it’s always great to hear from people and help other people out because country is all about giving back. That’s what it’s all about. And I think the biggest growth for me has just been all the love and support I’ve gotten from my family, my friends, and my team in Nashville.”
Finding Success With “The Finger”
Since the October release of “The Finger,” it’s evident that fans have taken a strong liking to the relatable breakup narrative. Leatherwood shared that the tune has already been streamed over half a million times and peaked at No. 12 on the iTunes country songs chart as of Tuesday morning (Dec. 19)
“I’m living the dream. It makes me wanna cry seeing the hard work paying off and we’re just gonna keep that going.”
Leatherwood brought the song to life through a brand-new performance video that captures his energy and charisma as a performer.
“The reason why we released that video, I think, is to show people what the Bryce Leatherwood experience is. You know, I’m not just a TV personality, by no means. I live on that stage. That’s where my love of music came from is seeing the joy you put on people’s faces from singing and playing and having a good time. It’s infectious, it’s the most addicting thing in the world, and it’s the best job in the world. I’m just so blessed I get to go out on a Saturday night and perform ‘The Finger’ and all my songs for the people.”
New Music On The Way
Fans will soon get to hear even more from Leatherwood as he’s preparing to release his next single in February. He teased that his listeners can expect to get a heavy dose of love in this two-stepping anthem that will also serve as a further look into his debut album that is set to drop next fall.
“We’re working on a record here, hopefully in September. Like I said, with 78 songs, you gotta whittle ’em down, but man, we got some great songs – great songs I’ve written and great songs we’ve been shown. We’re just gonna pick the best out of the bunch that tell the story of me,” he prefaced.
This collection of songs will set the tone for the future of Leatherwood’s career as he’s made it a goal to offer fans a more in-depth look into his artistry and everything he’s capable of bringing to the country music scene.
“You’re gonna get all different kinds of vocalizations, all kinds of different instrumentation, and I think some songs will take you by surprise,” he hinted about the forthcoming album.
Bryce Leatherwood is next scheduled to take the stage at the Rosebud Casino in Valentine, NE on February 17 followed by a set at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, GA on March 23.
Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.