Just a couple years ago, Gean Garcia was performing Bruno Mars’ “Count On Me” at his high school’s pep rallies, with a ukulele in his hands and heart on his sleeve. Music, the Pharr resident said, is how he expresses himself.
So deciding to try out for The Voice, an NBC reality music competition, took a lot of courage from Garcia. But that didn’t intimidate him.
On Tuesday evening, the IDEA Edinburg alumnas took his guitar and passion for singing to LA, where the show is recorded. After joining Kelly Clarkson’s team, Garcia became the youngest singer in the show’s 20th season.
Before Garcia went on stage, he told himself: “I know that I am good enough for myself, and I am just going to go out there and show myself to these beautiful coaches, and if they like me, they are going to press that button, and if they don’t, then I mean what can I do.”
The coaches were definitely impressed by Garcia’s voice.
A few more verses into the song, Nick Jonas decided to contest Shelton, but as his chair swiveled to see Garcia, the pop singer was devastated to find that he was blocked from choosing him.
Jonas later called Shelton a “big bully” for barring him from convincing Garcia to join his team.
Right before Garcia sang the last word of his song, singer and songwriter Kelly Clarkson couldn’t help but join the competition to have the Pharr resident on her team. As her chair turned around, Garcia was in the middle of holding a soprano note.
Clarkson was stunned. She stood up with her arms up and mouth open, in awe of Garcia’s talent.
When he finished his song, a backstage video of Gean’s family showed his mom jumping and screaming for her son, and his dad cheering with a wide and proud smile. Another relative is seen raising a first in the air.
Then Garcia had a decision to make, did he want to be coached by Clarkson or Shelton?
Both singers made their cases.
“There is such a presence with your voice, it just sounds so beautifully broken,” Clarkson said. “Even your approach to it is so sad, it’s so melancholy and I love that. You moved me… I think you are going to go far no matter what team you end up on.”
Shelton said Garcia’s voice has the power to bring people together.
“If I blocked Nick it’s only because I’m that passionate about you,” Shelton said. “I think your voice is something people can connect to. I hit my button like I turn up my radio when I hear something I love. I don’t know why, I just do. I want you on my team man.”
Gean said it was a difficult decision to make, but chose to join Clarkson’s team. The support from the judges, he said, has left him starstruck.
“All of them are my idols, I am very familiar with each of their music and just to see that they pressed their button for me and that they also see something in me is crazy,” Gean said Friday. “Because at the end of the day we are all artists, and the fact that they think I have potential inside is just like, ‘Wow, I should keep pushing forward because they believe in me.’”
Garcia was born in New York City, and moved to the Pharr at 15 years old. The first time he performed to an audience that wasn’t his family was during his seventh grade talent show.
Since then, Garcia said music has been his source of confidence.
“Music definitely took me out of that low confidence that I had and just boosted me up,” he said. “It’s always the thing that I go to when I can’t express myself with my words.”
Garcia has written more than 100 original songs in his bedroom in Pharr, and said he is hoping to release a couple of them later this year.
He said the reason he chose “All I Want” for his audition was because “it’s always been a song that I’ve related to.
“And I know that many people can relate to it at that same level because everyone has that special person that has slipped away from them or that special person they are scared to slip away from them. This song, no matter what language you speak, no matter what type of race you are, you can still relate to love in some way, so I felt like it was the perfect song.”
Though the first time Garcia sang on a stage was in middle school, he has been singing and performing for as long as he could walk. His father, Jon Carlo, is a producer and songwriter.
In 2017, Carlo took Garcia on tour around the U.S., Colombia and Mexico, where the father and son duo performed the original song they wrote together, “Mi Familia.”
“When I was in the belly, my mom would tell me that my dad would play guitar and sing lullabies before he fell asleep,” Garcia said. “And so music was just something he engraved in my heart and I just followed it.”
He added that the support he has received since the audition has been overwhelming. “It’s all been a lot to take in, and honestly being able to share my passion with the rest of the world is the most exciting part,” he said. “I am blessed to be in the position that I am, and I am very grateful for all the support from the RGV, and I am just going to keep giving it 100%.”
Garica will be moving onto the battle rounds of the singing competition, in which team members will sing the same song together. Coaches will then choose only one to advance to the knockout round.
The winner of the show will receive $100,000 and a record deal with Universal Music Group.
“The Voice” airs at 7 p.m. CT on Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC.
By A. Colleen Guzman. https://myrgv.com/life/2021/03/06/voice-coaches-fight-for-rgv-singer/