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Gallipolis native makes his mark on “The Voice”

Published: Apr. 10, 2021 at 5:54 PM EDT
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GALLIPOLIS, Ohio. (WTAP) -

Connor Christian was introduced to music at a young age from his father. They would go out to places and listen to Blues music which is where Connor learned to like this particular style of music.

Christian grew up in Gallipolis, Ohio, and has been involved in singing for most of his life. He used to sing in the church choir and go to places with his dad to listen to Blues music. Their favorite artist was Gary Clark Junior.

Pre-pandemic, Connor and his dad went to see Gary Clark Junior in concert in Columbus, Ohio. As soon as Clark Junior came on stage, and watched Christian watched him perform and saw the way Clark Junior played guitar, Connor knew that he had found his sound and it lit a fire in him to want to perform.

Connor’s The Voice audition, which aired on March 9, was him singing one of Gary Clark Junior’s songs Bright Lights while playing the guitar. He said the song meant so much to him because the song lyrics say “you’re going to hear my name” and that was what Connor wanted to show the judges and make his mark on stage.

“That song just meant a lot to me,” Christian said. “That was just one of the first times I kind of unlocked the sound that I wanted to go to so hearing that an listening to his stuff, just kind of went down the rabbit hole like ‘oh cool, I like this’ and that went into this artist over here and like those pieces become yourself when you’re an artist.”

Christian was ecstatic to see not just one chair turn, but three! Christian said he was hoping for all four, as music icon John Legend is an Ohio native himself and just finished recording music with Gary Clark Junior. In the end, Connor went with his gut feeling and chose county superstar Blake Shelton as his coach for the competition.

“The mentality going into it like choosing Blake for one is just because he’s a great dude,” Christian said. “I just like connected really well with him, you know, I’m from a small town, you know Gallipolis, it’s like you know I like those kind of people. He’s got an awesome career but I feel like deep down he’s still that same dude and that’s kind of how I want to be if like I continue with music.”

Christian said the experience so far has been life-changing.

“It’s been life-changing, it’s been humbling, it’s been challenging, it’s been a little bit of everything and I think that when growth happens you kind of have a mixture of all those things, so like I’ve definitely grown as a musician, I’ve grown as a person, I’ve grown spiritually,” Christian said.

Due to the pandemic, the contestants were on lock down in a hotel together. Christian said the people he has met has been one of the best parts about the competition, apart from the singing. Since they are all stuck together in a sense, Christian said it’s kind of like going back to college where everyone knows everyone in your dorm and you develop such great connections with people.

Christian said he and his Team Blake teammate actually started a Bible Study together with the rest of the team. He said he has enjoyed learning about other people’s struggles and how they have overcome them thanks to God.

It was Christian’s parents, friends and wife who pushed him to audition, so he gave it a shot. He doesn’t regret the decision at all to go and put himself out there. Christian said it’s been a great way for him to branch outside of Gallipolis. Connor said he can’t be more thankful for the support he gets from his parents and wife throughout this experience.

“They love me so much and have sacrificed so much to help me like live my dream that it’s like I would not be able to be anywhere as close to this without them,” Christian said. “So that’s another blessing in itself, like God has put those right people in my life to be able to get me to my purpose and where I needed to go.”

Christian said to stay tuned as he will be coming back to Ohio to play some shows. He will be performing at the 2021 River Recreation Festival Saturday July 3rd and headlining at the Gallia County Fair Friday August 6th. Christian also hope to play at the Big Bend Blues Bash in Pomeroy, Ohio this August.

You can catch Connor on this season of The Voice at 8 p.m. Monday nights on NBC.

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