The Daily Lobo asked Wade about his childhood, what he learned from his time during “The Voice” and living on the road.
What sparked your desire to become a musician?
“It really started as kind of a need to tell my story. As a kid, I grew up in a small town and I didn’t always fit in, and there were parts of myself I felt like I needed people to know about and I didn’t know how to tell people about. So I started playing music to have a platform for my feelings, my words and the things I wanted to say to people. And then I realized that wasn’t going to be good enough unless I learned how to do it well.”
What parts of yourself did you want to show?
“One of my favorite people on the planet is Mr. Rogers, and one of the things he talks about is everyone is invisible and intangible. I think what that means are the best parts of us are the parts that are most seldom seen, sometimes. That’s really what I wanted to communicate with people. And for me, I feel like there is a lot of beauty in the world and beauty in humanity and I wanted to share that point of view. I wanted to engage people on a different level. That was something I felt like I needed to do.”
What difficulties have you faced in your life that have pushed you forward in your music career?
“I just feel like I’ve been so many different versions of myself and each one was created in some sort of traumatic way. I started out as a very energetic and a high-strung kid and I was always the class clown. Then I had an eye injury and it made me way more serious. It kind of put me face-to-face with my mortality and I felt like I was one eye short of being a full person, which I know is silly, but as a kid it is just hard not to feel that way.
“I had a chip on my shoulder and something to prove, and I pushed myself so hard that I ultimately had a severe heat stroke that led to amnesia and it rewired me. At that point I started moving away from science and more towards the creative side of me. After there was a struggle with my weight and I was 50 pounds heavier, and I was in a really unhappy relationship through college. And I came out of that, got some confidence through school and really came into my own musically as a singer. I feel like that was the beginning of the person I am today.”
What prompted you to audition for “The Voice”?
“Well, they actually contacted me. It was something I never really considered and they sent me a message that said, ‘We want you to come in and do a private audition.’ And I am a no-stone-unturned kind of guy; I don’t feel like I am too good for anything and better than anything. It was an opportunity and I took it, and I think it worked out wonderfully. I love the process and I love the people.”
What was it like working with (“The Voice” judge) Pharrell Williams?
“Pharrell is a great guy; he genuinely cares about his contestants and just about people in general. He is very in the moment, very present and he had a lot of integrity. He is someone I admire as a human being and as a musician. He is a great guy, and if anyone ever questions his integrity I’ll always bat for him.”
What are the differences between performing on stage for “The Voice” and performing on tour?
“When you are on ‘The Voice,’ you only have a minute and half to two minutes ... to tell your story and connect with people. And so whenever you have 90 minutes it’s a different game. You have the opportunity to show so much more of yourself and you also have the opportunity to be boring; you have the opportunity to lose people’s interest. It’s just a different game and I think it should be about being the best version of yourself in front of people for a whole show. And that is really where I feel like I shine, is through a whole set of songs and performances.”
Wade will take the stage tonight at 8 p.m. at the Launchpad.
Lauren Marvin is the culture editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @LaurenMarvin.