The young West Michigan singer and member of the Grand Haven-based band Five Strand Fusion impressed judges — and an audience of millions — on Monday during blind auditions for NBC’s “The Voice.”
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO OF MAYTON ON ‘THE VOICE,’ FIVE STRAND FUSION AUDITION
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Exactly one year ago, singer Skylar Mayton of Ada auditioned for a Grand Haven-based teen rock band dubbed Five Strand Fusion, with a small cadre of West Michigan judges unanimously choosing her for the spot from a dozen contestants.
On Monday night, the 15-year-old singer made a splash with a much bigger audience and a superstar panel of judges during blind auditions for NBC’s “The Voice,” selected to move on in the national TV competition.
After performing a rendition of The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights,” the West Michigan teen was chosen by judge Kelly Clarkson, who will now serve as Mayton’s coach during the Season 19 competition.
Mayton is the second Ada native in two weeks to make the first cut on “The Voice.” In October, classically trained singer Ryan Gallagher, 31, now of Los Angeles, impressed judges with a soaring version of Andrea Bocelli’s “The Prayer” during his blind audition. Clarkson, who called Gallagher’s voice “so magical,” will also be his coach on the show.
Mayton attends Forest Hills Northern High School. Gallagher graduated from Forest Hills Central.
“I’m so stoked to know you’re that gifted that young. It’s really awesome,” Clarkson gushed after Mayton’s performance on Monday night. “I’m blown away.”
VIDEO: Skylar Mayton, “Blinding Lights” (Blind Audition for “The Voice”)
For Mayton, it’s been a whirlwind ascent in the world of entertainment.
In a 2019 interview with Local Spins, the young singer and actor noted that she’s already appeared in films (including “Bennett Song Holiday”), recorded songs in Nashville at age 12, performed the national anthem for the Chicago Bulls and West Michigan Whitecaps, and collaborated with Nashville producer and songwriter Nathan Walters.
“I’ve been singing pretty much since I could start talking,” she said. “I started piano at 6 and then took up guitar. … My goal is to become a much better songwriter and guitar player.”
Late last year, she was chosen during “American Idol”-style auditions to become the lead vocalist for Five Strand Fusion, a teen band formed by Walk the Beat and Spread the Music founder Dave Palmer. (Scroll down for a Local Spins video of a portion of her audition.)
The Grand Haven band — which also features Avery Jorgensen on rhythm and lead guitar, Nick Roberts on electric and acoustic guitar, Tristan Kemp on bass and Kaylee Smutz on drums — played its first official show at Grand Haven’s Third Coast Recording in February. With COVID limiting live shows across the country, the band then fired up West Michigan’s first drive-in concert in June in the parking lot of Rycenga Building Center.
Palmer, who has raved about Mayton’s potential, called it “pretty cool” that she found initial success on “The Voice” this week.
“We have all loved Skylar from the moment we met her at the Five Strand Fusion auditions,” he said. “She has always been truly professional about any of the decisions she makes in her career. She’s very talented, ambitious and hardworking.”
Cheryl Roberts, the mother of a Five Strand Fusion band member, called Mayton “truly a gem with an incredible voice. Skylar has a heart of gold and I am super excited to see where her musical journey takes her.”
Praise rolled in from a bevy of fans on Mayton’s Facebook pages Monday night. “I just watched you sing on ‘The Voice.’ You are amazing, especially for 15,” one commenter wrote. “Your mom looked so proud of you. I am also from Michigan. Way to represent!”
Read more about Mayton at Local Spins here: Budding teen super-group from West Michigan has new singer
VIDEO: Skylar Mayton, Five Strand Fusion audition (11/1/2019)
VIDEO: Ryan Gallagher, “The Voice” audition
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