Sawyer Fredericks recently visited his local news station, WNYT, to discuss his experience on The Voice, as he prepares for the upcoming live shows.
Sawyer has been busy trying to catch up with fan messages on social media, and celebrating his 16th birthday. It’s March 31, but his family wanted to celebrate it with him while he was home. Twitter and Facebook aren’t the only things he’s been catching up on.
He and and his family live on an 88-acre farm in Upstate New York. He said he had catch up on farm work he missed while focusing on The Voice. When asked if his older brothers made him do extra since he was away, his strong work ethic became clear.
“When I get home, I do the work, but not really just because they make me, because I’m going to make up for the work I missed.”
The young singer/songwriter also gave them an amazing performance of one of his original songs. He seems to get lost in another world when he sings, and appears to have a soul much older than his years.
Frontrunner Fredericks has wowed the judges and fans since his 10-second, three-chair turnaround during his Blind Audition performance of “I’m a Man of Constant Sorrow.” He moved on to a Battle Round duet of “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” with Noelle. Then, it was on to the Knockout Round with “Collide” by Howie Day. Now, he prepares to go all the way as he heads into the Live Rounds.
At only 15-years-old when the show started, Sawyer’s mom, Kirsten, has been with him every step of the way. She recently sat down with local newspaper, the Leader Herald, to share her own journey on The Voice so far. While obviously very excited for her son’s success, she said the experience can be emotionally draining.
“I guess the biggest change in our family life is simply Sawyer and I being away from home so much. That does take a toll on everyone, emotionally, but I know we can get through it.”
Kirsten is juggling supporting Sawyer, the farm business, and keeping the family’s feet on the ground.
“If he doesn’t win, it’s really OK. We will be so happy for whoever wins because we have become friends with all the contestants and wish the very best for all of them. With this new following of people who have discovered Sawyer and his original work, I think he will have no trouble moving forward in his career and putting out an amazing new album.”
She said Sawyer’s dad, brothers, and nephew have taken on tasks the two of them usually perform.
“Carl and the older boys have taken on the work that we usually do. Because our farm is just a fledgling business, our primary income is from Carl’s self-employed construction work, and there isn’t always enough local work, especially in the winter.”
Kirsten bragged about the older boys have accepted the challenge of more responsibility without complaining. It’s evident that Sawyer’s success is a family effort.
“I’m very grateful and proud of the way they have stepped up to this responsibility, without hesitation. I worry sometimes that they aren’t getting a fair amount of attention during this time, but they have not complained once.”
She also talked about watching her son spread his wings and break out of his shell. Being a shy, homeschooled, “farm boy,” he has had to handle things that are outside of his comfort zone.
“Sawyer is also coming of age through this journey. He has become very independent, pushing through his shyness to be the one who handles interviews, communications with his vocal coach, the band, Pharrell, and producers. In the past, he was always happy to let me speak for him, but he has found his own voice.”
Kirsten has stayed nearby to make sure “he doesn’t take on more than he can handle, and has a safe place to crash,” while giving him space to blossom and learn at the same time. She said “It’s a big job for a young guy,” but Sawyer “takes the stress and turns it into music.”
She is proud of how far he has come, and the independence he has gained. This growth was displayed during his Knockout Round, where he decided to perform without his guitar for the first time ever. According to Kirsten, he felt it would distract from his vocals, but he had to overcome the “awkward, what do I do with my hands dilemma.” She said he worked it out all on his own and wanted no help from her.
“He figured this out on his own, asking me to leave the hotel room so he could practice. He didn’t want any input from me.”
Kirsten was totally surprised when he worked the stage without his guitar. She claims Sawyer has “gotten more from this experience than we ever expected.” As far as she is concerned, Sawyer Fredericks has already won, no matter how their Voice journey ends.
[Image by Tyler Golden/NBC]