Gwen Sebastian is one artist who has been walking on clouds as of late. After introducing herself to audiences via secondary radio the past few years, the artist has become very known as one of the artists on the NBC blockbuster series "The Voice" this season.
"I like it," she tells Billboard. "In fact, I can probably say that's the best thing that has ever happened to me. I'm going to live it, and hopefully become what it says, the 'Voice.'"
Gwen on "The Voice"
Though the show premiered following the Super Bowl just a few weeks ago, Sebastian admits it has been a long process. "At first, to be honest, it all started back in September. Then, I got called back several different times. So, it was a process or nervousness and patience at the same time. Then, finally, I got to do the blind audition in October. So, from waiting in October to Super Bowl night was the longest several months of my life. It was a feeling of excitement, but also 'Come on, let this happen.'"
She adds, "That first night it aired, I was reliving it, and watching it as if I was watching my kids on television. It was that release. Having gotten to know the contestants during that time, you become close to each other. It was an incredible feeling. I'm very thankful. I didn't think that this would happen. To be able to share my music with not just hundreds, but millions, there's nothing like it."
Sebastian said that she noticed a difference in her online following immediately following the broadcast on Super Bowl Sunday.
"That night, before it aired, I had about 800 Twitter followers, and after, it was up to about 5,000. That was crazy. I tried to respond to everybody. When people are recognizing you in that way, you've got to say 'Thank You.' That's why I do it. That was a long night," she says gleefully.
The recognition she has received has been very humbling. "Since then, it's made me realize how lucky I am," she admits. "It's given me a validation kind of feeling. As an artist, I'm not quite sure why we always want that, but having them turn around, and having some of the greatest artists in the world tell you really nice things made me realize that I'm supposed to be doing this, that I'm doing the right thing. So, I've had a chance to think about that a lot. It's made me want to release great music, and give them a reason for having turned their chair around."
Getting to be part of a show with celebrity judges like Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Blake Shelton has been a great experience, she says. "It's incredible. On the blind audition, the process was that you get up there and there's about 20-25 seconds of silence. Not only are you nervous that you are performing in front of four hundred or so people, but it's the four greatest artists out there right now. Then, having them talk directly to you about your performance makes you connect with them as people."
Though she has respect for all four judges, she knew whose team she wanted to be a part of - before she was accepted by the show's producers. "As far as interactions go, I knew if I had a chance I would choose Blake because of how he interacted with his team last year. He was really cool and looked at them as people and artists at the same time. But, some of the things that Cee Lo said to me were the nicest things that anyone had ever said to me. Any advice from any of them is well worth hearing."
Post-"The Voice," Sebastian is planning to roll out with some new material for her growing group of fans. "I'm doing a lot of writing, and hopefully will get to go in and record as soon as I can. Obviously, there's a situation where there's contracts involved with the show, so we have to wait and see what happens, but new music very soon," she says, with more than a little bit of excitement in her voice.