Alexa Wildish’s musical journey through 2023 was nothing short of spectacular, from captivating audiences with her soulful rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Songbird” on Season 24 of “The Voice” and getting a 4-chair turn, to making it all the way to the playoffs later in the year.
Currently, she is taking a well-deserved break in northern Idaho, momentarily seeking solace away from it all, before heading to Los Angeles, where she’s set to embark on an exciting project — recording an album inspired by her experiences on the acclaimed TV show.
“It’s been a really busy, eventful year for me. I decided to kind of hide away in the forest in northern Idaho,” Wildish said. “I wanted to record some of the songs that I did on the show, not all of them, but some of them … It’s a way to bring people into my world and bridge the gap between ‘The Voice’ and my own music.”
For Wildish, music is more than just melodies — it’s a canvas for exploring the complexities of human emotions and experiences. Writing music serves as a personal therapeutic tool for her, allowing her to delve into her emotions and grasp the essence of the human experience. After immersing herself in others’ music over the past year, she couldn’t be more excited about what she creates next.
Wildish didn’t actively pursue “The Voice” initially. The show reached out to her for a 2019 audition back when she didn’t feel like it was the right time for her. While her 2019 encounter with the show didn’t resonate, a fortuitous moment led her back to the opportunity when she found herself yearning for a broader reach.
Navigating the uncertainties and preconceived notions of the music industry, Wildish found herself questioning the impact of the show on her identity as an artist. However, she chose to approach the experience with an open mind, recognizing the opportunity for self-expression.
Wildish appeared on “The Soundpost Sessions” on Longmont Public Media in early Spring 2023, shortly before her audition for “The Voice.” At that juncture, no one was aware of her forthcoming audition, except herself, as she couldn’t disclose it to anyone.
“It’s quite different. For an experience like that locally, it’s a controlled, intimate setting, which I really love. But ‘The Voice’ is very different in that it’s very controlled, and a lot of it had to be done before I got on the show … For the performances, me and my coach, the music director and the wardrobe team, it’s all of us co-creating this experience together.”
Wildish was an odyssey of emotions and nerves during the enormous experience of performing before a global audience and in front of music icons. Her emotions were a rollercoaster as the reality of performing on such a grand stage dawned upon her.
“I had never been more nervous in my life. I thought that on some level I could let go of the nerves, but it was very, very intimidating. So, I was very nervous,” Wildish said. “I received a four-chair turn, which was absolutely mind-blowing to me at that time because I didn’t have any expectations. I was going into this open-hearted, very curious, very much with the flow of ‘okay, this might happen.’”
As the coaches swiftly turned their chairs, the audience erupted in excitement, creating a surreal atmosphere for Wildish, who was overwhelmed by the attention and the instant shift in dynamics.
“All these coaches turn around, and the audience freaks out. And that was definitely a new experience for me. I knew I just had to keep going,” Wildish said.
Reflecting on her interactions with the celebrity coaches, Wildish emphasized their dual nature, observing both their star-like presence and their relatable humanity. She found it intriguing to witness this blend of larger-than-life personas and their down-to-earth qualities while working with such big musicians.
Reflecting on her growth, Wildish learned to trust her artistic instincts and the importance of staying true to oneself in an environment that demanded swift decisions and adaptability. Her journey through “The Voice” provided her with a nuanced perspective on the music industry.
“Everyone that worked on the show is absolutely incredible ... I found that I got more from it when I just allowed myself to be fully who I am,” Wildish said. “Wynonna Judd is a legend in my mind, but she also said some very encouraging things to me and helped me to see what I brought to the table.”
Wildish’s journey through “The Voice” was not just about the rounds and performances; it was a transformative exploration of her artistry, personal growth and the realization that within the music industry’s perceived complexities lies a tapestry of opportunities and supportive individuals.
Her experience on the show significantly impacted her live performances, with shows selling out faster and gaining more traction. While navigating the music industry as an independent artist, Wildish stressed the pivotal role of community support.
“What helps music to continue to happen is that artist-to-fan support,” Wildish said. “Any kind of support as far as following musicians and staying invested in us in any way they can, sharing our music, sharing our art — that’s the way independent artists thrive.”