Congrats on winning 'The Voice!' What was being on the show like off-camera?
We all bonded, especially when we got down to the final eight, and even before that. We're all going through the same thing, and we all have the same dream. We would all share our anxiety ... our fears, our worries, our excitement. It's really easy to bond with folks in that atmosphere. There's still some of them I still talk to them a lot, that are good friend and who are going to be for a long time. The top four, Beverly, Dia, Vicci, they're all awesome. We see each other when I'm in LA. We all support each other.
Maroon 5's Adam Levine was your mentor. What was it like working with him?
Adam is a great guy. He really, really cared. He really wanted me to succeed and he's just a down to earth guy.
Now be honest, were you a fan of Maroon 5 before all of this?
I absolutely was. I went to one of their shows a couple years prior [to 'The Voice']. I wasn't one to know every song, but I did think they were awesome. It's what dreams are made of [to sing with Adam].
It must be so surreal to go from being in the audience of a show like that to performing in front of a huge audience!
I got an opportunity to sing with Stevie Wonder. Are you kidding me? This is what I get to do now. It's a blessing and I'm very thankful for how things turned out.
The new season starts right after the Super Bowl this February. Got any advice for the new crop of contestants?
Just to get ready because it is a ride. It's an amazing experience when you are going through it, we didn't realize how big it was going to be ... it was the first season. The folks who are doing it now have a better idea, they've seen it on TV! It's an amazing show and opportunity and they're going to be working with amazing people. [I'd tell this] to soak it all in because it's going to make you a better musician.
What challenges has winning this show and being away from home presented to your family -- especially to your relationship with your young daughters?
We're taking it day by day. We try not to let [the travel] change the family dynamic. My daughters, who are two and four ... everything is normal. People ask them questions about daddy now. They were on TV one point, on the show, so some of their friends were like, "We saw you on TV!" But they don't see that anything is different from anything else, and that's the way we want to keep it. We're just a regular family and although I don't have a regular job, my kids think it's normal ... daddy gets to go out and sing and I don't want them to think any different.
So let's chat about the new CD. What would you say is your favorite track on the album?
There's so many that I really, really love but one that comes to mind is 'Come Through for You,' which is the name of the album, too. I wrote if for my wife about five years ago. We had an argument that night about what we were doing and where my career was going. I had been dropped from my label and we didn't have a lot of money coming in and the bills were piling up. We were trying to figure out our next move. I tried to reassure her saying, I can do this, this is the only thing I know, you just have to hang with me and we really can do this. That's what the song was about -- that one day I would come through from you, and hopefully with this album is that day, that I'm now going to be able to come through for her and my family.
Wow! What was your wife's reaction to the song?
She was definitely moved. It was a small biography of our lives. She's always been a supporter, she's always been very strong for us. At that particular time she was at a breaking point ... and rightfully so ... sometimes the business isn't that nice to you as an artist, people promise things to you and then you end up promising things to your family that end up not happening and you look bad. So I'm just glad to finally have a chance to put this music out there and have everyone hear it.
Another lady in your life is Natasha Bedingfield -- we love your duet, 'As Long As We Got Love.' What was it like working together?
She is amazing! We unfortunately did the song in separate studios so we've emailed a bunch back and forth, but we haven't had a chance to meet in person. So I'm looking forward to meeting her shooting the video. I've been a fan of hers for a long time, to have her on the song is an amazing feat to be able to get her on there. She's a co-writer on the song, too.
In the past, you've talked about becoming a teacher. Was there ever a teacher who inspired you and changed your life?
My 7th and 8th grade choir teacher, she unfortunately died about a year and a half ago and we miss her terribly. She was the one who broke me out of my shell and she was the first one to believe in my voice and set me up with my first voice teacher. Between her and my mom they were the driving forces getting me to open up and want to sing in front of people. I can honestly say that without her I might not be doing what I'm doing. She was that influential to me at an early age. And that's why I would want to go into teaching because you have the ability to inspire others at a critical age when they are just figuring out who they are and what they want to be. I would love to find talented kids and help them in any way that I can.
I'm sure there are plenty of kids who would love to have you as their music teacher!
That would be awesome!