Wildish, a graduate of Elon’s music theatre program and a singer-songwriter specializing in bluegrass and Americana, performed on the show’s 24th season premiere Sept. 25.
With a rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s classic “Songbird,” Alexa Wildish ’10 soared through her audition on NBC’s “The Voice,” impressing the celebrity coaches and earning a spot in the singing competition’s 24th season.
An alumna of Elon’s Music Theatre program and an Americana singer-songwriter, Wildish appeared in the season premiere Monday, Sept. 25, performing for celebrity coaches Reba McEntire, Gwen Stefani, John Legend and Niall Horan. Each celebrity offered her a spot on their team, with Stefani specifically noting Wildish’s technique of singing as a songwriter and storyteller. Wildish accepted Horan’s bid and will continue the season on his team. Horan’s team won in season 23.
“I had no idea it would impact the coaches as much as it did. They are all magnificent. They do what I aspire to do, and I felt their humanity,” Wildish said. “That they picked up on the fact that I’m a songwriter, I felt so seen and it was such a validation to who I am as an artist.”
“The Voice” airs Mondays from 8-10 p.m. and Tuesdays 9-10 p.m. Each season consists of several rounds, beginning with Blind Auditions — where coaches don’t see the singer until they swivel their chairs around to offer a spot on their team. Once teams are finalized, Battle Rounds commence, with coaches developing their team of artists and selecting three finalists to advance to Live Performances. Television audiences then vote on their favorite performer. The show’s grand prize is a recording contract.
The next round in the competition — Battles — begin airing Oct. 17. The air date of Wildish’s battle wasn’t known at the time of this article. While she couldn’t give away any spoilers about her standings in the competition, she said being on “The Voice” has been “an unbelievable experience thus far.”
“It’s been better than I could ever imagine,” she said. “I’m excited for you all to to be along on the journey and hear how I make every song my own. That’s the greatest gift I’ve been given. When I receive a song, I make it my own.”
She credits her music theatre training at Elon for developing her artistry and interpretive abilities, specifically recalling the guidance of Senior Lecturer in Music Polly Cornelius and retired Associate Professor of Performing Arts Linda Sabo.
“So much of our training is about storytelling, and that influenced me 1,000% as a songwriter,” Wildish said. “We had to put our own story behind what we were singing, and for it to be my song, I have to feel it my bones as if I wrote it. The energy came through, and the feeling came through in my Blind Audition, and Elon gave me that kind of insight into performing.”
After graduation, Wildish pursued roles in music theater productions around the country while writing her own music. She learned to play the mandolin as an undergraduate and discovered a love of roots and bluegrass music, which she parlayed into a 2020 self-titled EP recorded in Nashville, Tennessee.
She expects her experience on “The Voice” to influence her future as an artist.
“I have this new support system, which I’ve never had as an independent artist who’s had to do everything by myself and work tirelessly. That feels like something I want to call in for my life and career,” Wildish said. “This is teaching me that I need a team around me and support as an artist.”