The top stories countdown ends on the year’s final day, with a special update on our profile of 16-year-old Grass Lake singer Brayden Lape. We interview him again about his future plans after his Top 5 finish.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve reached No. 1 in our countdown of the Top 12 Local Spins stories of 2022 with a bonus: a fresh interview with Grass Lake teen Brayden Lape after he finished in the Top 5 on this season’s edition of “The Voice.” Check that out here and scroll down for a link to the November story about Lape that eventually became the most-read story of the year. Plus, view “The Voice” performances that attracted the most viewers on YouTube.
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
As a small-town teenager focused on high school classes and sports, Brayden Lape didn’t see it coming: an exhilarating and attention-getting turning point that would become a milestone event in his young life.
Soaring unexpectedly to the finals of this season’s edition of NBC’s “The Voice” and getting a taste of Hollywood stardom has forever altered the 16-year-old’s trajectory, which means fans can expect to hear more from him in 2023.
“The best part of my experience on ‘The Voice’ was how many things I learned about performing and the relationships I made with the other contestants,” he told Local Spins this week while traveling from Nashville to his home in Grass Lake, Mich.
“This changed my plans for the future by giving me the confidence to pursue music beyond a hobby. I’m excited for what’s to come.”
That excitement about his Top 5 finish on the uber-popular TV singing competition clearly extends to his growing fan base: Local Spins’ November interview with Lape was the No. 1 story of the year based on website readership.
The handsome teen’s performances on “The Voice” already have racked up well over 2 million views on YouTube, mostly leaning toward renditions of songs by well-known country artists such as Tim McGraw and Brett Young.
But now, Lape wants the music world to hear his own songs for the first time: In September, the guitarist and singer began recording new tunes in Nashville, along with his first music video.
“My fans can look forward to me putting out my first songs in 2023,” said Lape, who’s been described as a “heartthrob” by many fans and publications.
“I’ve spent some time writing and recording in Nashville and am excited to release some songs. They can also look forward to me continuing to be active on my socials. … In this upcoming year, I plan to find new places to perform and continue growing as an artist.”
THE CHALLENGE OF BALANCING SCHOOL, SPORTS, FAMILY AND MUSIC
That all signals a major shift for the son of Kari and Bryan Lape who only began singing a couple of years ago and who’s just a sophomore at Grass Lake High School where he plays baseball, football and basketball.
“Being a 16-year-old and trying to find a balance with music, sports, family and friends is challenging,” Lape conceded.
“With this being said, I’ve just tried my best to find time to enjoy all of these things that I love. With the support of so many, I’ve been able to do that.”
Indeed, his hometown has showered Lape with encouraging words, video messages and more during his impressive run on “The Voice,” which announced his fifth-place finish in mid-December. Georgia’s Bryce Leatherwood, 22, won Season 22 of the show.
The mentoring Lape received on the NBC show has been life-changing, he said, particularly when it comes to guidance from country singer and “Voice” judge Blake Shelton.
“I just want to thank Blake for everything that he has taught me,” Lape said. “He’s pushed me to be a better performer and singer, and I can tell it has really helped me.”
LOCAL SPINS’ NO. 1 STORY OF 2022: Michigan teen sensation Brayden Lape rolling toward stardom on ‘The Voice’
VIDEO: Brayden Lape singing Niall Horan’s “This Town” (The Voice/Blind Audition)
VIDEO: Brayden Lape singing Brett Young’s “Mercy” (The Voice/Knockouts)
Copyright 2022, Spins on Music LLC