Karlee Metzger: An Interview by Trinity Carey

Trinity Carey

Now competing in the third of four rounds in NBC’s “The Voice,” former NMU student Karlee Metzger, is pursuing her passion of being a musician.

The Voice - Season 11Metzger, 22, advanced through the first stage in the show, the blind auditions late this September.

“I’ve known that this is what I wanted to do since I was a little girl, and it has finally become a reality for me and it’s amazing so far,” Metzger said.

Born in a small town in Missouri, Metzger moved to Ohio at age 7. A year later she moved to the place she would call home for 14 years, Gladstone, Michigan.

Last July Metzger moved back to Missouri, but began missing her home and friends and returned to the U.P. to attend school at NMU.

She began school in January of 2016, majoring in business, but took a break to pursue her music career and auditioned for “The Voice” for her fourth time.

“I actually wasn’t planning on going to the audition, and two days before I was like, ‘Well, what do I have to lose? Just go and see how it goes, and if it doesn’t work out then you’re still going to be a musician at the end of the day,’ and I’m really happy I did,” Metzger said.

During her blind audition, judges Miley Cyrus and Blake Shelton both turned their chairs upon hearing her rendition of Regina Spektor’s “Samson,” leaving Metzger to choose her coach for the following rounds.

“I ended up going with Miley because I felt like she was really going to break me out of my shell a bit, which is what I need as a performer,” she said.

During the battle round, Metzger went up against other Voice contestant Darby Walker who was chosen by Cyrus. Shelton stole Metzger, saving her from going home.

Metzger is now in the knockout rounds, where the strongest competitors will be chosen to go perform in the final round of the show, which are the live auditions. The final winner will win the competition and a record deal.

“I think the craziest part for me, is that I’m singing in front of millions of people on national television and singing in front of four of the biggest names in the industry. That’s huge,” Metzger said.

Metzger began singing at 3 years old. She would spend days at her grandparents’ house practicing and listening to music and singing in her church and local talent shows.

“Growing up in a small town, you don’t really have many options for getting your voice out there. “The Voice” was kind of my only option, and it’s been a great one so far,” Metzger said. “It really helps people like myself, who have hard- ly any experience get our voices out there, and I think that’s something very special about the show.”

Metzger finds music inspiration in her many favorite artists such as John Mayer, Regina Spektor and Adele, but enjoys singing many different genres.

“I don’t really like to stick myself in this box of who I am. I like to do a little bit of everything,” she said. “I guess if I had to, I’d label myself as alternative, because I do have a different kind of tone in my voice, but ultimately I love doing everything. I love jazz. I love country, so it’s just a wide variety.”

While it wasn’t her first time auditioning for “The Voice,” Metzger knew her passion for singing was something she had to keep pushing for. Her experience on the show has taught her to let go of her insecurities and give it her all on the stage, she said.

“I’ve learned a lot about not only who I am as a performer, but who I am as a person as well… Just be who you are on stage and people are ultimately going to love you,” Metzger said.

After “The Voice,” Metzger plans to continue her pursuit of a career in music and move to an area like Nashville for the music opportunities available there. One day she may return to NMU, but for now she plans to use the momentum she’s gained from “The Voice” to keep her music going, she said.

“I just want to be a full time musician, making enough money to live comfortably. I want to make meaningful music. I want to make music that is going to mean some- thing to somebody, and I think that that is my ultimate goal, to just get my message out there and if people love it then great,” Metzger said. “I don’t really care about the money aspect. I just want my voice out there. I just want people to connect with me.”