Taryn Papa Reflects On Her Journey On ‘The Voice,’ Working With Blake Shelton and More
Taryn Papa quickly became a favorite among country music fans during season 19 of The Voice. The Nashville resident took…
Taryn Papa; Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC
Taryn Papa quickly became a favorite among country music fans during season 19 of The Voice. The Nashville resident took the stage to performant a number of country favorites, including Martina McBride’s “Anyway,” Little Big Town’s “Little White Church” and Carly Pearce and Lee Brice’s “I Hope You’re Happy Now.”
Papa proved her vocal prowess time and time again throughout the show and was constantly praised by coach Blake Shelton.
Her time on The Voice, however, was cut short after the first week of the live rounds. Now, she’s back in Nashville and ready to embark on her next musical journey.
Country Now recently caught up with Taryn Papa to reflect on her time on the show and discuss what’s next for her. Check out our exclusive Q&A below.
What made you decide to audition for The Voice and how did you choose your audition song?
I wanted to audition for The Voice because I wanted to grow my fan base and have an opportunity for my voice to be heard. Martina McBride is my role model vocally, and her song “Anyway” represents my journey in music with all of its trials and triumphs. My favorite line of the song is “you can chase a dream that seems so out of reach and you know it might not ever come your way, dream it anyway.”
What was your first thought when you realized you got a three-chair turn?
When I saw Blake turn, I lost all sense of what I was doing. It was as though I blacked out from pure joy. Seeing Kelly’s block was incredible because it let me know that Blake believed in me enough to not want anyone else to have me. It was everything I hoped for.
You had a full-circle moment with Blake Shelton after playing at Ole Red. Did that influence your decision to join his team?
Performing at Ole Red is great, but it did not influence my coach choice. I have respected Blake Shelton for years and we share a similar musical journey with both living in Nashville for seven years before we had any success. He is someone that I chose based on his accolades, personality, and desire to have every artist on his team be their authentic genuine self.
What was it like working with Blake and what’s the best advice he gave you?
I had a blast working with Blake! He always mentioned that I swing for the fences vocally. The best advice Blake gave me was to keep swinging hard. This instilled more confidence in my abilities and my natural gut instincts and it helped me feel comfortable to be myself on a nationally televised stage.
Looking back, what was your favorite memory from the show?
My favorite memory from the show will always be my blind audition. It was a dream that I had chased my whole life and having the opportunity to have been a member of the top 17 was incredible. 50,000 auditioned and I was selected. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Did you form any friendships that you think will go beyond the show?
Everyone on the show feels like family. This season was particularly close-knit because we all were experiencing a pandemic, family members and friends suffering due to COVID or loss of work back home, and trying to remain excited about our dreams coming true. It was a roller coaster of emotions and because of that, it drew us all closer together and I am thankful for that.
How did it feel performing in front of four of music’s biggest stars, without a live audience?
Not having an audience took some getting used to. As a performer in Nashville who is used to hundreds of audience members nightly, it was a lot more intimate and intimidating to just have it be all about you. The virtual audience was helpful but it is hard to feed off of that energy when it’s not in the room. I think that my experience would have significantly different had there been an audience to vibe with.
Do you plan to keep in touch with Blake as you navigate your career?
I am hopeful that Blake will reach out and be interested in the music that I plan to release in 2021. I’ve heard that he has helped a few artists in the past and hope to be one of them.
Have you been back to perform at Ole Red?
I am performing New Year’s Eve at Ole Red from 6:30 to 10:30 PM and I hope to see some smiling faces! I cannot wait to take that stage.
We loved seeing Carly Pearce support you when you performed “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” What did that mean to you?
I actually met Carly Pearce before her record deal about six years ago when I was singing at a bar downtown. She hopped up on stage and sang a song with me and I fell in love with her voice. Fast forward some years, she is an incredible award-winning artist that I respect and watched her dreams come true over the years. I am the type of artist that always includes my fans in my journey. I want them to feel a part of it, they are so special to me. Carly is that same type of artist. Having her support me, was a dream come true. Not only am I living my dream out on The Voice stage, but through that I was able to have one of her dreams also come true, which was to have a song performed on The Voice stage. It’s incredible to see dreams coming true in such an unfortunate time in the world. Hopefully, it brings joy to others like it did for me. I would love to collaborate with her in some way, whether it’s writing music together, grabbing a coffee, or attempting to stand in for the incredible Lee Brice should she ever need it.
What’s next for you?
I recently wrote three new songs that I cannot wait to release! I am hopeful for my future in music and look forward to a possible record deal with touring! I would love to meet and thank everyone that supported me and voted for me on the show.
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.