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Worcester Native Sam James Stars on NBC’s “The Voice”

Friday, September 28, 2012

 

One Worcester native managed to grab the attention of America, and Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine, with his performance on the third season of NBC's "The Voice" this week.

Performing his rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine," Sam James earned the praise of the Maroon 5 front man, and a spot on "Team Adam." It was a welcome occurrence for James, who was not selected by any of the judges in Season 2.

"Last year I wasn't selected, and Adam actually had some constructive criticism for me," James said. "I performed "I Don't Want to Be" by Gavin DeGraw, who I've been told I sound like. Maybe it was too similar, because I had to prove I had my own sound. When Adam turned around, he was like 'I remember you,' and I thought that I had something to prove to him."

Since his performance Monday, James has seen his rendition of the John Lennon classic climb the charts on iTunes.

"One of my friends called me and told me that it was at No. 98," James said. "I was thrilled with that, and then I kept watching it for the rest of the day and it kept moving up. I said that if it got into the top-50 I would throw a party, and then it ended the day all the way at No. 11. It was one of the proudest moments for me."

James performing on "The Voice" this week.

It is certainly a long and strange trip for the Worcesterite that got his start playing at the old Java Hut in town.

"Worcester has a great music scene," James said. "I started playing coffee shops around town when I was 13 or 14, and then I got my band together and we moved around, but I've always kept my roots here."

James says his favorite venue to play in Worcester is the Lucky Dog Music Hall. Now, James will move on to the "battle" rounds of the show. He admits being a little nervous, mostly because of the immense talent level of his competitors, but says he hopes this new exposure can help him be heard as an artist.

"I just want to be heard," James said. "Just to play a song and see people's reactions. I hope that now I can tour and be on the road all year, rather than just for a few months… Now I'm focused on the battle rounds, so hopefully I can win there and advance a little bit, but I really want to come back and play Worcester. I'm getting a little bit antsy."

 

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