Perhaps poised to follow the path of pop phenom and inspiration Shawn Mendes, the 16-year-old from Grass Lake ascended all the way to the finals on the hit NBC show. The Local Spins interview.
DEC. 13 UPDATE: Brayden Lape finished fifth on the voice after this week’s finale performances. Bryce Leatherwood of Georgia was named the winner of this season’s competition. Read about the finals here. Scroll down for videos and Brayden Lape’ playlist of favorite songs.
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Mid-Michigan singer Brayden Lape has made a significant splash on NBC’s “The Voice” this season as a 16-year-old heartthrob who’s electrified fans and captivated judges.
So it’s not surprising that the sophomore at Grass Lake High School would cite pop superstar Shawn Mendes as a major influence – another singer who created a buzz as a teen sensation.
“I like Shawn’s story of a normal teen making it big,” Lape said of Mendes, who soared to No. 1 on the Billboard chart with his debut album as a 16-year-old and has since scored big hits with three subsequent albums.
A normal teen making it big could well be the developing script for Lape.
The kid from Jackson County who plays basketball, baseball and football literally came out of nowhere to not only pass his blind audition with an impressive take on Niall Horan’s “This Town” during the popular TV talent show, but continue through the Battle and Knockout rounds as one of the leading stars on judge Blake Shelton’s team.
Earlier this week, he and fellow contestant Bodie collected the most fan votes to move them into the Top 13 after Lape performed Jordan Davis’ “Buy Dirt” on the show. That video on YouTube generated more than 126,000 views in a single day. View it here.
VIDEO: Brayden Lape, “Come Over” (NBC’s “The Voice”)
Lape will perform again next week as “The Voice” continues its live shows at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
Amazingly, Lape – the son of Kari Ann and Bryan Lape – only began focusing on his singing since the onset of the COVID crisis.
“During the pandemic, I taught myself how to play the guitar and started to sing a couple cover songs,” he told Local Spins in an interview after this week’s TV appearance.
“I started performing in smaller gigs in the last two years. I have written some originals on my own and also teamed up to write a couple more songs. I plan on recording and putting out music next year. Stay tuned.”
AN EXCITING, UNLIKELY RUN AND A ‘SUPER SUPPORTIVE’ FAMILY
Before that, millions will be tuned in to “The Voice” to cheer Lape, who decided to audition virtually for the show earlier this year after his mother suggested it.
“My journey began just from a simple conversation with my mom. She asked me if I would be interested in auditioning since it was virtual. I thought, ‘What do I have to lose,’ so I went for it,” he recalled.
“From there, I made it through a couple rounds with some recorded covers and an interview. We waited a few months before we got a call telling me they would be flying us out to Los Angeles for a blind audition. This was pretty exciting.”
That blind audition took place in August, with Shelton turning his chair to add Lape to his team.
“The whole experience becomes hard to remember with all of the nerves and excitement, but seeing Blake turn his chair near the end of my song felt so good,” Lape said. “I was so happy.”
He added that he’s met “so many good people” along the way and received some vocal coaching, as well as mentoring on guitar from other contestants.
“At times,” he conceded, “it was long just being away from home and missing the Michigan summer.”
But he’s also thankful for the outpouring of support from fans, family and friends.
“I really appreciate all of the love and support that I have received from my local community and also so many others from around the country,” he said. “My family has been super supportive of me and are excited for me every step of the way.”
His father, Bryan, conceded it’s been a head-shaking ride. “We don’t know what to think,” he told Local Spins. “This is crazy to us.”
How it all turns out will be determined as “The Voice” winnows the ranks of finalists in coming weeks with the help of voting fans who’ve clearly made him one of the favorites, but Lape hopes to build on his newfound success.
“I would like to finish my last two years of high school while releasing music and playing shows,” he said. “I will see where music has taken me and go from there.”
Two other Michigan singers were eliminated in earlier rounds of this season’s “The Voice” – Sadie Bass of Bath and SOLsong of Saginaw.
VIDEO: Brayden Lape, “Buy Dirt” (NBC’s “The Voice”)
THE BRAYDEN LAPE PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY
In his Local Spins interview, Lape cited Shawn Mendes, Brett Young and Parker McCollum as his biggest musical influences, but he also revealed a Top 5 roster of current country/pop favorites for a Local Spins playlist. Listen to the tracks here.
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