KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Local singer, Casi Joy, is officially team Blake on NBC's "The Voice!” The Smithville, Missouri native has been singing since she was 5 years old. Her music journey includes singing in the Midwest Opry Circuit at age 10, singing in the Disney girl group The Commotions until joining the School of Rock at 15 and opening for stars like Brad Paisley and the Rascal Flatts.
After amazing all four judges during the blind auditions, we sat down with the 26-year-old for a Q & A and sneak peek at what it's like being on the show.
We took care of the basics first, like all-time favorites!
Favorite Color: Teal Favorite Song Ever: "Hide and Seek" - Imogen Heap Favorite Food: Chipotle Favorite Animal: Monkeys or Gorillas
What do you like to do for fun?
"I’m super obsessed with my dog Danny. So if I’m not singing, we’re snuggling. He’s a Papillon. What else do I do? I eat a lot. I like to snuggle with Danny and snack. We just like to be out and hanging out with people. I’m a busy body."
Then we asked Casi more about what it was like being on “The Voice,” how she got into singing and about her family.
What is one word to describe how you were feeling before your “The Voice” audition?
"I was anxious. I wasn’t nervous because I was just trying to really focus on like it’s just another gig. “Just go out there like it’s another gig. Don’t go out like it’s a competition and this is make or break for you life," which it was. If I let myself think that, I would have fallen off the stage."
What is one word to describe how you were feeling after your “The Voice” audition?
"In shock. I was in shock for definitely until the next day. I couldn’t really comprehend it because I certainly wasn’t expecting one chair turn and to get four was nuts."
Describe your warm-up routine, how do you get rid of nerves?
"I did a lot of stretching, a lot of pacing. There’s voice coaches out there that give us voice lessons and everything. [One of the coaches] she gave me a physical body warm up like, stretching your neck and it really does help relieve tension."
"Oddly enough I did start in country, but what really inspired me was when my mom showed me “Blue” by LeAnn Rimes when I was six. That really sparked the idea that this could be a thing, that I could go somewhere with music. I think what made me ask my parents to do the talent show that I did when I was five was that I was always dancing and singing in front of the mirror. I was always very drawn to big performances and show stopping moments. Like, coming down from the ceiling, NSYNC and Britney Spears and all of that."
Can you explain more about what your audition song, “Blue,” means to you?
"My mom showed it to me when it came out in 1996. I had never heard a song like that before, for one. And then she [my mom] was like this girl is 13 and I was like, “hey, I want to do that!” Also, I love to yodel and I think this song helps showcase what I know that I do well. It would be a wrong choice for me to go in and say, “ I want to sing "Halo" by Beyoncé” because I’m not that kind of a singer. So I think it was important for me to know my strong suit and to stay in my lane and just really focus on doing that the best. So I think going in with the subtle yodel was a good choice."
What have you learned and how would you describe yourself as a singer?
"Since I’ve been kind of around the block with genres, I think that has helped me realize I’m more rooted into country. I love to perform pop and rock for sure, because of the physical elements of it and you get to run around and be crazy. Country music is definitely where my voice comes through the best and it’s where my songwriting sits the best as well. I’m definitely a country songwriter. I found that out when I was writing with one of the contestants out in LA. She’s an indie folk writer and I would write a line and she would say, “Wow that is such a country line.” And I was like, “Oh I didn’t know I was a country songwriter?” So, I’m definitely figuring that out."
What’s your biggest challenge?
"The biggest challenge I have is the actual vocal part. I’ve gone through some vocal issues in the past years. Now, I’m at a place where I’m on “The Voice” and there is no room, no time for any kind of vocal mess ups. I can’t have an off day. We don’t get that chance to have that out in LA. So I’m just trying to stay really on my game, with staying strong vocally and doing my warm-ups and staying fit."
Favorite thing to do while you’ve been home?
"Just being able to relax and get my mind right, and to be with my parents. They are so supportive and just take such good care of me, even in my adult years. Just being home and resting and kind of taking a little break first from singing before we start this all back up."
How important is your family to you?
"My whole family has been supportive since beginning of this journey when I was five. To share this experience with my family has been very special. My mom was my “momager” growing up, she booked all of my gigs and she was the one who found out about the Midwest Opry Circuit that I got started in. She was the one who found the talent show that got me into Radio Disney and that led to the School of Rock."
Describe the moment when you told your family you were going to be on “The Voice.”
"I was actually with my family on vacation in Minnesota when I got the call that they wanted me to come to LA and audition. It was really cool, I actually had to leave from Minnesota straight to LA. I only had bikinis and sundresses because we were on vacation, our whole group had to pull together to put an outfit together for me. They all came through and helped me get a plane ticket to LA. My family is literally the reason I’m still here."
What’s your advice to aspiring singers?
"It’s the typical don’t give up. Even when people are telling you everything under the sun that you don’t want to hear, they’re wrong. You just can’t ever give up. When I started singing, I was not a good singer. My dad was kind of hiding in the back because it was a little embarrassing. I don’t come from a musical family, it’s not in my genes. It’s just been true hard work. I knew that I wanted to be a singer and I learned how to make my voice sound how I thought it sounded the best and here I am."
You can watch “The Voice” Mondays and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on your 41 Action News station.