Rock Island Teenager Brings Her Vocal Talent to “The Voice”
Charlotte Boyer, a 17-year-old junior at Rock Island High School, will be featured as one of the contestants in Season 20 of NBC’s “The Voice”
singing competition, which begins airing Monday, March 1, at 7 p.m.
“It was a very long process and I was lucky to even be a part of it all,” Charlotte said this week of her auditions in October in Los Angeles. “I’m not sure what the number was, but there were a lot of auditions, a lot of people that did try out. I was one of the few that got lucky.”
“My mom submitted a video of me to the website and I guess someone found it, and I was invited to audition,” she said. That video was from August 2019’s Sweatstock in East Moline, of Charlotte singing “It’s a Man’s Man’s World.”
That All Sweat Productions’ 50th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival was a great experience, Charlotte said. “It has helped me grow as an artist so much,” she said, noting she started singing at All Sweat tribute shows when she was 15.
She didn’t know her mom submitted to “The Voice.” She and her father got an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for the month of October, first so she could quarantine for two weeks.
It was Charlotte’s first time ever on a plane. The auditions were at NBC studios.
“There were quite a few singers,” she said. “There was a small group of high schoolers, about five kids my age. We all got to know each other
“I wasn’t really, going into it, expecting anything,” Charlotte said. “I was along for the experience.”
“They have only so many people get to make it to the auditions, to get on the stage,” she said. “If you’re lucky, you make it.”
Charlotte was not allowed to say what she sang for auditions, nor who she sang for, until the show airs.
“It was very personal, because you didn’t have the audience there – it was just the judges and you,” she said. Charlotte was at the auditions for about six hours.
“I learned so much about production and how things are made,” she said. “I felt they were really trying to make this a genuine production. They’re trying to portray everyone’s lives in a good way. There wasn’t anything negative.”
Being gone from school for a month wasn’t too big a deal, since during the pandemic, students were studying remotely anyway, Charlotte said. “Everything was online, so I continued doing school online.”
She hopes to continue improving in music.
“I definitely never thought that I would have been able to do that,” she said of “The Voice.” “That’s something people dream of doing and I was able to actually make it. I think that’s something in itself that is a great accomplishment for me, that I’ll take with me for the rest of my life.”
Because of Covid, Charlotte hasn’t been able to perform at Rocky, and the Redstone Room at River Music Experience remains closed. Another silver lining is that she’s had a lot of time to work alone on her songwriting.
In Rock Island, the news has shared quickly among students. “It’s been really nice having that support among everyone at my school,” Charlotte said. “The teachers have been so supportive as well.”
Her mom, Chrissy Boyer, is a professional singer, frequent All Sweat performer and works as events manager at RME.
“Even more valuable than the audition was the crash course in what really goes into the music business behind the scenes. From legal, marketing, merchandise, touring, publishing, etc.,” she said recently of “The Voice” experience.
“It gave her a great opportunity to see how much work is involved in pursuing that kind of career in music and whether or not it’s a route
she’d like to take,” Chrissy said. “The validation that she received was great. Getting compliments from the studio band for the ability to work with live musicians, being prepared and professional and compliments on vocal quality are all things that everyone involved with helping Char develop can feel proud of.
Starting at RME at 12
Charlotte has been writing her own music since she was about 13, and took her first RME program (Winter Blues Camp) at 12. She’s done Winter Blues four years and the summer Rock Camp three years, each culminating in a public concert. “It’s really fun to play with other young musicians; I got to make new friends,” she said.
In 2019, Charlotte was the youngest songwriter chosen for the “Amplify Quad Cities: The Soundtrack” campaign from the local United Way. On Facebook, the Q-C United Way posted: “Her talent is amazing! She listened to Caty Pohl’s story of loss and depression and created an inspirational song that’s all about healing and never giving up hope.”
United Way partnered with River Music Experience to enlist local songwriters to create six original songs that reflect transformative stories of everyday people, whose lives were changed through the support of United Way.
Rene Gellerman, president/CEO of United Way Quad Cities and an RME board member, is thrilled for Charlotte being on “The Voice.”
Charlotte is intimately connected with RME, the Davenport-based nonprofit that works to change lives through music. She’s benefited from its educational programs, scholarships, and financial assistance.
“I like music because it helps me to express how I feel,” Charlotte (who plays electric and acoustic guitar) said in October 2019. “I’m not a very talkative person, so it helps me express my feelings.”
“She supports me a lot,” she said of Chrissy. “She writes music as well; I come to her for advice on songs. I always ask her questions, and she gives me feedback.”
Compared to other originals, Charlotte said her United Way “I’ll Be Alright” was different, since she wrote about another person, and was more emotional. She talked with 18-year-old Caty Pohl (a 2019 Rocky grad she knew in school), who faced struggles growing up and worked to overcome those barriers through music and services of the Youth Service Bureau (funded by United Way).
Chrissy said of Charlotte: “There have been so many that have helped her along the way — of course the RME programs obviously work to prepare our young artists to be able to go anywhere and be confident.
“The QC music family as a whole provides so much support to young people — from All Sweat productions putting them on stage alongside professional musicians to learn and perform, to every single open mic in the area being patient and welcoming to any kids that show up needing the growth that provides,” Chrissy said. “We all can feel good about the talent coming up in our QC music scene.”
“The Voice” returns with the strongest vocalists from across the country invited to compete in NBC’s blockbuster vocal competition show (on Mondays at 7 p.m.). Celebrity musician coaches Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, John Legend and Blake Shelton are featured, with Carson Daly as host.
The show’s innovative format features four stages of competition: the first begins with the blind audition, then the battle round, the brand
new knockouts and finally, the live performance shows.
During the blind auditions, the decisions from the musician coaches are based solely on voice and not on looks, according to https://www.nbcthevoice.com/about.
The coaches hear the artists perform, but they don’t get to see them — thanks to rotating chairs. If a coach is impressed by the artist’s voice, he/she pushes a button to select the artist for his/her team. At this point, the coach’s chair will swivel so that he/she can face the artist he/she has selected.
If more than one coach pushes their button, the power then shifts to the artist to choose which coach they want to work with. If no coach pushes their button, the artist is eliminated from the competition.
Carter Rubin was winner of season 19 of “The Voice,” at age 15.
You can see a short video about Charlotte Boyer’s experience with RME at www.facebook.com/watch/?v=332590174507464.
To see how Charlotte worked with Caty and United Way on “Amplify Quad Cities,” visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=weEHYt_0G4o. You can listen to “I’ll Be Alright” at https://soundcloud.com/unitedwayqc/illbealright.