Casey Desmond won me over as a member of my team, Team Adam, on NBC's The Voice. Though she left the show in the final week of battle rounds, Casey's still going strong. She dropped by recently for a chat – here's what she had to say about her experiences on the show, what she's been doing since her farewell, and that trademark hair.
Let's start before The Voice. Tell me about your musical history.
I'm kind of a music baby. I grew up in a musical family. My parents are both artists; I have two younger siblings and they're both musical in some way. We just grew up in that world and anything else seems weird and foreign. It's a really awesome world. I'm super lucky and appreciative that I have supportive family and friends, and I feel really embraced by the Boston music scene.
Then you get to blind auditions. You've got one shot to impress these superstar coaches. Why that song choice? What was going through your head?
I am really happy to sing songs by Lady Gaga because I think she's an important icon in the music scene right now with an awesome head on her shoulders. come from an open-minded community; I really liked to see that an icon is doing music that's positive. That song has such a strong message.
I was really stoked to be on the show. I went up there and I didn't know what to expect. I was nervous but at the same time, performing is my favorite thing in the world.
Dia Frampton told me on Tuesday that if she'd known the show was going to be so big, she wouldn't have auditioned. What about you? How'd you feel when you realized what you were a part of?
It was kind of a whim. At first I was like, "No, it's not really my thing." I like to do my own material. But I got convinced. My fiancee drove me to New York City for the auditions and it went really well. Some TV shows aren't really nice to people, but The Voice isn't like that. They were really positive. The more I got into it, the more I felt really good about the decision. I don't regret it all.
You joined a fantastic team. Tell me a little bit about being with your fellow team members.
The only one who I didn't bond with a lot was Tim [Mahoney], but he was a nice guy. I got pretty close to everybody else on my team. Devon [Barley] is from Massachusetts, so we're planning on hanging out. Javier [Colon] made me cry the other night. He is so good. Me and Rebecca [Loebe] hit it off immediately. I miss a lot of my friends from the show.
Did being on the same team with Casey Weston ever cause you two to get mixed up?
I was "Casey Number 2″ and she was "Casey Number 1." One of my favorite pairs of pants has her initials scribbed on the tag because [wardrobe] must have thought they were hers. We got mixed up all the time.
There's such a positive environment on the show, not just amongst individual teams but among everyone. What's the secret to that success?
I think they gave us the situation where we have to hang out with these people that we don't know [and] it really helps that we have this good group of people. They picked talented people, people with good personalities. They're driven by success and their dreams and they're talent. I was happy to be in a pool of people like that.
I hope that it always stays so honest to the people. You feel like there are other shows that have similar vibes but it's all about the reality. It's not about getting to know them or seeing the process or being positive. A lot of reality shows want to tear people down. They want this show to have a high standard. They want people to see that there's integrity. I really respect that they did that.
Allow me to fangirl for a moment: your coach, Adam Levine, is one of my heroes. What was it like to be around him and that sparkling personality of his?
He's flawless. When he's up close and personal, he looks just as perfect as he does in the magazines. And his personality is really down to earth. He's totally mellow and cool.
Unfortunately, the environment that we all hung out in was for TV; we had to do what we had to do for the show. I didn't really get to have a lot of one on one time with him, but in between takes, I could see that I could hang out with him. I could tell he'd treat me like a normal person. He wasn't like a celebrity.
And then there's his amusing use of the occasional expletive.
He would slip and say things like that and I was all, "I feel like he's human." It made me feel more comfortable.
What about him as a coach? I remember watching your rehearsal for your battle round and actually learning something myself from what he was telling you.
When Adam chose me, I had no idea that he was going to be the one to pick me, but Adam was a good coach for me. Adam Blackstone was such a nice guy. I was happy that Adam chose him. Those guys were completely positive and really easy to work with. Having the two give out pointers with harmonies, having them at practices, they made it so easy because they're professionals.
Let's talk about your battle round. What was going through your head with that song? Because you delivered an exceptional version.
I could tell that Adam was really passionate about that song [Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me"]. It's probably one of his personal karaoke songs too. He obviously cares a lot about the song and knows it really well.
I never imagined that was going to be the song, because [Jeff Jenkins is] a country singer and I do totally different power-electric pop dance stuff. I'm happy that we got paired together because we worked really well as a team. Because we were last, we did a lot of waiting around, which is how he and I bonded so much. We bonded, hung out, had a good time. That was awesome.
How has life been after The Voice? What did you take away from it personally?
I will never be intimidated by something like that ever again. I don't feel like I'll ever be nervous ever again. I feel like the experience I had was so intense and so education that I became a stronger artist. I got a piece of the industry that I had never been introduced to before. I'm with a bunch of other people that have similar goals and we all ended up being really close friends. Even just the people that worked on the set, everybody, they're all really solid professionals and they have great personalities. I'm really happy that I got to experience this.
Anyone you're still in touch with?
I'm pretty much in touch with everybody. Right now I'm playing Words With Friends with Javier. Frenchie [Davis] is so amazing. Frenchie and I were talking about possibly doing some tracks. She asked me to put together some tracks. Jeff is from Texas but I know he goes to school in Nashville, and I have a co-writer in Nashville, and I told Jeff I wanted to introduce them. Me and Emily Valentine have talked. I like Emily a lot. She's got a fire in her.
What advice would you give to the artists who are auditioning for season two?
If you're confident in your voice and your abilities, you should definitely try out for the show. It's a positive experience. It's just a really different experience to be there and live it.
What have you been working on since the show? Anything you want to say to your fans?
Before I went on the show, I had worked for months with my little sister on this crazy music video, and I just put out this video and an album teaser. I've been getting a lot of really, really good response. And I'm going to do a bunch of remixes, and I want to go on tour. I'm going to try to collaborate with some of the artists from the show too. I'm just always creating and trying to find new people to work with.
What artists are you a fan of?
I have so many names that I could name. People on the show – one of my favorites is Tyler Robinson. He's got one of the best voices I've ever heard. His personality is amazing. The guy understands music like nobody's business. Tje Austin has an amazing voice and is actually a really good writer, too. He and I were fighting over the piano to write our songs because we missed our studios at home, so we actually got to see each other writing. He kind of reminds me of Seal. Emily's music – she should write songs for all of the major pop stars. Her hooks are really catchy. I feel like people need to stay tuned for some of these people.
And last but not least – what's the story behind your awesome hair color?
I have had funky colors for a really long time. When I was in sixth grade, I was in Catholic school and I felt really rebellious. My first color I did was bright red and my mom freaked out. I kept going back to reds and pinks, and I've had the bright red hair for a few years now.