‘The Voice’ Alum Kenzie Wheeler Hopes To One Day Play The Opry & Duet With Kelly Clarkson

Kenzie Wheeler; Photo Courtesy NBC

NBC’s The Voice alum, Kenzie Wheeler received second place on the most recent season of the singing competition show, just under winner Cam Anthony.

Wheeler told Music Mayhem that since the show ended, he has been enjoying a bit of down time before his career hopefully takes off running. “I’ve been hanging out with friends, family, spent some time at the lake, had a welcome home party, and I’ve been fishing a couple of times since I’ve been home,” Wheeler explained. 

During The Voice, the Tampa Bay native had the opportunity to perform alongside his coach, Kelly Clarkson. Together, they performed an incredible duet of Keith Whitley’s iconic hit single, “When You Say Nothing at All.”

“It felt so amazing to be standing alongside her and getting to sing one of my favorite Keith Whitley songs of all time,” Wheeler told Music Mayhem.

The singer also received some inspiring advice from Clarkson, who guided him through all the ups and downs of his journey on the show. Clarkson told him to “always believe in yourself and to also never give up on your dreams!”

Wheeler’s talent wasn’t the only thing that made the audience fall in love with him. The mullet of the season received praise from several country music superstars including Blake Shelton and Kelsea Ballerini.

“I love my mullet and I’m glad that I inspired a lot of people to start growing one,” said Wheeler.

Although we don’t know quite yet what’s next for this traditional country music artist, he revealed a few of his dreams that he hopes to pursue in the near future.

Kenzie Wheeler sat down with Music Mayhem to talk about his time on The Voice, performing with coach Kelly Clarkson, new music, plans to move to Nashville, and more. Read on to find out what Wheeler has been up to in this exclusive Q&A!

How’s life been since appearing on The Voice, what have you been up to?

Life has been great. I’ve already played a couple of shows and I have few more already lined up. I’ve been hanging out with friends, family, spent some time at the lake, had a welcome home party, and I’ve been fishing a couple of times since I’ve been home.

Have you been in touch with your coach, Kelly Clarkson, from The Voice since the show ended?

Since the show has ended. I have not been in touch with Kelly Clarkson yet but hopefully she will reach out soon.

Did you receive any advice from Kelly Clarkson during your time on the show?

Some advice that Kelly gave me was to always believe in yourself and to also never give up on your dreams!

Are you still in touch with any of the contestants from The Voice that you made friends with on The Voice?

I’ve been keeping in touch with Pete, Avery, Ethan, and Pia since season 20 ended.

I know a lot of The Voice coaches form close relationships with their contestants on the show and some end up working with them on duets in the near future. Would you want to create a duet with Kelly Clarkson in the future?

I would absolutely love to sing and create a duet with Kelly Clarkson in the future.

Blake Shelton, Kelsea Ballerini and many viewers of The Voice loved your mullet on the show. You even potentially inspired Blake to grow his mullet back, do you feel like mullets are making a return?

I feel like mullets never really went out of style but they are for sure making a comeback across the country. I love my mullet and I’m glad that I inspired a lot of people to start growing one.

How did it feel to be filling in for a voice like Kenny Chesney, while performing “Half Of My Hometown” with Kelsea Ballerini during the finale? How has Kenny ever inspired or influenced your musical journey?

Kenny Chesney is a country icon and that was some really big shoes to fill. I was really honored that Kelsea Ballerini asked me to sing half of my hometown in the finale. Growing up I listened to a lot of Kenny’s music especially his greatest hits CD. Which inspired me to always have that dream of becoming a country music singer. Hopefully one day I’ll be selling out stadiums like Kenny Chesney.

When Blake Shelton predicted that you were “probably going to win” The Voice, how did that feel knowing that you have such support from a country superstar like him?

What an honor that was getting to hear that coming from Blake Shelton especially since I wasn’t on his team.

What was going through your mind when Kelly Clarkson told you that “you’re literally one of my favorite country singers that has ever existed”?

That is something that I never thought I would hear her say. That is such a huge compliment for her to place me above so many elite country music stars.

How did it feel to perform a duet alongside Clarkson on The Voice?

Getting to sing a duet with Kelly Clarkson was something that I never that I would get to do. It felt so amazing to be standing alongside her and getting to sing one of my favorite Keith Whitley songs of all time “When You Say Nothing At All.”

In a recent interview with Country Now, you mentioned that you are working on new music, will your new music lean more towards traditional or current day country?

I have some new music in the works that will be coming out soon. It will lean more towards traditional country music.

How does it feel to be able to keep your traditional country music sound alive?

It is an amazing feeling to be able to keep my traditional country music sound alive. I feel that a lot of the country music fans feel the same way that I do.

Who are some of your biggest country music influences/inspirations?

Some of my biggest influences/inspirations would have to be George Strait, Keith Whitley, Alan Jackson, and Garth Brooks. They have definitely inspired me to keep the traditional sound of country music alive.

You also said you were potentially considering moving to Nashville, what would you most be looking forward to about moving to Music City and what would be your big plans when you get there?

Hopefully when I make the move to Nashville it’s because I’ve signed a record deal and would be headed out on the road to tour. In the country music business all roads lead to Nashville.

Do you have any aspirations to one day perform in the iconic circle at the Grand Ole Opry?

Yes it has been my dream for years to be able to perform in the sacred circle at the Grand Ole Opry where so many country music icons have performed over the years.

Let’s end it with a fun one, who would be your dream collaboration?

My dream collaboration would have to be getting to sing with George Strait, the king of country music.

What’s next for Kenzie in 2021?

Right now I’m in the process of booking shows, I’m getting ready to record some new music, and I’m also planning a trip in the next few weeks to establish some connections with people in Nashville.

About Andrew Wendowski & Madeleine O'Connell

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