Slow and steady wins the race, goes the old familiar proverb.
Craig Wayne Boyd embodied just such a sentiment as he sang his way to victory on the seventh season of NBC’s hit series “The Voice.”
The 36-year-old singer-songwriter, who spent the past decade in Nashville toiling in semi-obscurity, showcased a soulful country style, beating out his fellow finalists (Damien Lawson, Chris Jamison and Matt McAndrew) and bringing coach Blake Shelton his fourth victory in seven seasons.
Boyd’s debut single, “My Baby’s Got a Smile on Her Face,” was in the 25 top songs on iTunes and he’s been busy preparing a new album this year.
Since winning “The Voice” in December, Boyd has been touring the country playing solo shows and sharing the stage with the likes of Rascal Flatts and Marty Stuart. He brings his solo tour to the Turlock Community Theatre for a show Tuesday. He spoke after his win with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in his home state of Texas about the experience.
Q: Has it all sunk in yet?
A: Absolutely not. It’s just been going so fast. Everything’s been a whirlwind since I hopped off the stage.
Q: What have you taken away from the experience?
A: Life as I have known it previously has completely changed at this point – and for the better.
Q: A recurring theme you talked about throughout (“The Voice”) season was the idea of validation. During the decade you spent in Nashville – was that the thing that kept you going?
A: Every time I would make it through to the next round, it was like a puzzle piece, and winning “The Voice” was like that final puzzle piece to validation.
Q: Your love for your son, and working to make both your lives better, was an important part of your story. Was that something you ever had any hesitation about sharing, or are you an open book?
A: I feel like I’m pretty much an open book. I thought that through before even auditioning. I told myself if I was going to do it, I was going to be open to change. Of course, not with my heart or musically, but physically, be open to change. Also, to just let it all out – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Q: Have people reached out to you to talk about how that’s affected them?
A: Yeah, there’s been a lot of Facebook and Twitter stuff that’s come through, and how people can relate to many of the things I’ve been through. It tells me that I did the right thing.
Q: What was it like working with Blake – you guys have some shared history (Boyd opened for Shelton’s now-wife, Miranda Lambert, in Dallas in the mid-2000s and the pair have several mutual friends in Nashville). Does that make it easier or harder?
A: Working with Blake was a blast, because what you see is what you get.
Q: Are there artists you want to emulate or do you want to forge your own path?
A: I kind of want my own path, I guess, in a way. There are definitely people I look up to, more recent and in the past. As in, Travis Tritt, Randy Houser and guys like that.
Q: Was there anything during your time on “The Voice” that surprised you?
A: When I first started out, I didn’t expect us to be able to do original songs, which I thought was amazing they added that this season.