Smith Makes it to Top 11 on 'The Voice'
By Hannah Vickery
Since his debut on the NBC hit show, “The Voice,” Lee University student Jordan Smith has stunned both the audience and the judges with his talent. His success continued this week with his version of “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” which topped iTunes charts above notable artists such as Adele and Justin Bieber.
Smith, originally from Harlan, Kentucky, is a senior music business major. While at Lee, he has been a member of Lee Singers since his freshman year. He is taking this semester off to compete on the show.
“We are all very proud of Jordan’s success,” said Dr. Brad Moffett, director of Lee Singers and one of Jordan’s mentors. “It is remarkable that Jordan’s performance of ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’ has touched the world in such a time of turmoil. The timing of this performance demonstrates the hand of God is on Jordan’s life. I believe that this particular performance had such a powerful response because of Jordan’s consistency on and off the stage.”
Smith’s journey on “The Voice” began at blind auditions when all four judges turned around in their seats during his performance of Sia’s “Chandelier.” He then chose Adam Levine as his coach for the season.
“Not only do I learn something every day from superstars like Adam and Rihanna, but I have the chance to pour into the other contestants and work with them through this crazy process to create memorable performances,” said Smith.
So far this season, he has performed a variety of selections including Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain,” Sam Smith’s “Like I Can,” and Beyoncé’s “Halo.”
“Literally, there’s nothing to say, but that it’s totally true that God has signed your voice,” said judge Pharrell Williams of Smith’s rendition of “Halo.”
Smith’s talent for singing started at a young age. He describes his parents as being musically inclined and says that some of his fondest memories are of them harmonizing together and singing all the time.
His decision to attend Lee followed his love of music. When Smith was in middle school, his grandfather told him about a concert featuring Lee Singers. A few years later, he visited campus and according to Smith, he immediately fell in love with Lee.
Growing up, Smith participated in a choir, led by director Jeanne Anne Lee, from fifth grade until his high school graduation. Throughout that time, Mrs. Lee helped to improve his practical skills, such as reading sheet music and vocal control.
“She instilled an appreciation for music of all genres and fostered my love of singing,” said Smith.
A fan of “The Voice” since its beginning nine seasons ago, Smith imagined that it would be him on the stage one day. He first auditioned in February 2014 after deciding to try out for fun. He initially did not make it past first audition, but a year later, in February 2015, he received a call from the show about auditioning again.
“It was an open door that I decided I should walk through,” said Smith. “I have always loved the way the process works and how seriously the show takes its music. There are no gimmicks – the show really is about your voice and who you are as an artist. As I’ve become part of the process, I’ve found that to be very true.”
Smith describes being on “The Voice” as hard work with long hours, packed schedules, and lots of singing.
“As difficult as it is, it’s also the most rewarding, fun, and shaping thing I’ve ever experienced,” said Smith.
After “The Voice,” he is not sure what comes next. However, he is adamant about finishing his degree. The outcome of the show will determine when he can pursue the last semesters of his undergraduate career.
“This platform has opened so many doors for me and has allowed me so many opportunities to make music in lots of different ways,” said Smith. “At this time, I’m just waiting prayerfully and doing my best. Whatever happens, I know I will continue to make music and lead worship wherever I go. While my future is unsure at this moment, I know who holds the future, and I will continue to move and trust in God’s plan for me.”
“The Voice” started in spring 2011 and after successful ratings, was expanded into two cycles per year. The series hosts four coaches who teach and lead their teams of selected artists. During blind auditions, the coaches’ chairs are faced towards the audience, and if they hear a singer they want on their team, they turn their chair around to the performer. The show is currently in its voting phase, where America can vote for their favorite contestant to keep them in the competition.
“The Voice” airs on Monday and Tuesday evenings at 8 EST (7 CST).