AUBURN, Mass. – Sam James, who was born and raised in Auburn, didn’t let a rejection from NBC’s “The Voice” crush his dreams of reaching stardom in the music industry.
James never quit after being eliminated from the singing competition show in February, making his second appearance on the show this week and advancing to the next round. And by succeeding this week and gaining popularity on iTunes, he may become an inspiration for those who were rejected the first time around.
“You can never give up. You can’t give up. You have to play at anytime, anywhere, any place, and today was a good day,” James told Christina Milian in an ‘after the audition’ interview.
On Monday night, James advanced on the television show, which is a singing competition with celebrities Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton as the coaches and vocal mentors.
James landed on Levine’s team after James sang “Imagine” by John Lennon, while also playing guitar. The Maroon 5 lead singer said he liked how James sang it “differently than it was originally done, which I really respect.”
“You have a fantastic voice, and you definitely deserve to be here,” Levine said. “And I’m happy you’re on my team, man.”
James told Milian that Levine’s team will be a perfect fit for him.
“Adam’s the right one for me,” James said. “I have a soft spot for Adam. I love his music, and he’s really talented, so I’m excited.”
After the show on Monday, James’ rendition of “Imagine” was on the verge of cracking the Top 10 on iTunes for Top Rock Songs.
His first audition aired Feb. 6. Although he was not chosen to continue in the competition, the judges gave him favorable reviews and told him he sounded exactly like soul and rock singer Gavin Degraw. James sang Degraw’s hit song “I Don’t Want To Be.”
James attended Assumption School in Millbury and graduated from St. John’s Prep in Shrewsbury before moving to Worcester. He now lives in Sturbridge. When James is not touring, he performs locally at clubs, restaurants and venues, including the Banner in Worcester.
To hear a sample of Sam James' music, including “Imagine,” visit his website.
Check back with The Daily Voice to see how James does on the show.