Brian Fuente On Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and Life After The Voice
Brian Fuente is not your average reality star. Before auditioning with Grace and the Nocturnals’ “Paris (Ooh La La),” Fuente was a graphic artist in Nashville who played in an independent rock band on the side. Newmatic was the band and they saw moderate success before Fuente decided to focus on his graphic design business. Last year “The Voice” contacted his manager at the time, inquiring if any artists would like to audition for the show. At first Fuente was unsure if he could leave his band behind and make the jump.
“I didn’t want to disappoint them or let them down,” he shared with me during a recent phone interview. “I slept on it and said, ‘what the hell, I’ll do this.’ At first I thought it wasn’t my thing. I didn’t think I was cut out for television.” Lucky for us Fuente attended a private audition in Nashville with three songs prepared. After one and half songs the talent scouts stopped him and told him it was “good.” After four weeks of anticipation, Fuente learned he made the cut. “I was nervous to tell the members of my band, but they were super excited for me.”
Though Fuente was use to being in front of a band, he didn’t have trouble adjusting to being in the spotlight solo. “I’m so use to having the guys there as my crutch, and I think once I got it in my head that I was doing it on my own it became easier,” he said. “I’ll never forget the first time I did the Nashville audition, it had been forever since I did a solo gig. It was definitely new to me.” During the blind auditions Fuente earned a spot on Team Blake. Blake Shelton wanted a rocker on his team and Fuente was just that.
During the battle round he was paired up against punk rocker Jordis Unga with Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic.” At first he didn’t think it would be hard singing the song that was written for a female voice, but as he and Unga practiced he felt that she had the upper hand. “It was clearly cut out for a female. I’ve never really heard of a guy singing this song,” he explained. “I didn’t even see anyone on YouTube that was a male that sang that song. I did my best.“
While preparing for the battle round, Kelly Clarkson mentored Fuente. Before entering the barn, he had no idea who to expect at rehearsal. “”Kelly is so humble and cool and easy to work with,” Fuente said. “Just the experience alone of working with her, it was such a confidence builder. She’s one of the best vocalist in the world and continues to have success. It was nice to work with someone who had such success and was in my position before.:
Fuente also had nothing but great things to say about working with Shelton. “What you see on TV and Twitter is who he is,“ he reminisced. “He’s a humble guy and he seems to really care about the show.” Shelton welcomed his team into his home with open arms. “We went to his home in California and it was like going to a family member’s house. I’ll never forget having dinner at his place. We were at the table and he was sitting on the floor.”
Despite his hard work and connection with Shelton, Fuente was eliminated during the battle rounds. He doesn’t see the experience as a failure though because his career is already benefiting from his short time on TV. Just last week he was in Austin performing at SXSW because of his fame. People are even starting to recognize him on the street. “When I was in Austin people would recognize me,” he shared. “People would recognize you at the coffee shop. I consider myself pretty humble, but I’ve gotten use to it. TV can be an overnight success. No record label can put you in front of that many people.”
After elimination, Fuente has no hard feelings against The Voice or any of the contestants or judges. During auditions and rehearsals, Team Blake became a family and he still supports them through their journey. “The cool thing about The Voice is that 95% of people on the show were actually musicians,“ he said. “That’s what sets this show apart. We continue to support each other.”