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article imageInterview with The Voice's Jared Blake Special

By Adrian Peel     Oct 2, 2014 in Music
Digital Journal finds out what the singer, songwriter and former reality TV star has been up to recently, both musically and in terms of his charity work.
These are exciting and rather hectic times for Jared Blake. Not only did he release his brand new EP and the video teaser for its second single, "Stomp," a couple of days ago, but the accomplished performer from Star City, Arkansas, has also been heavily involved with the addiction referral service, Live to be Sober (this being National Substance Abuse Prevention Month), an organisation that helps people overcome any problems they may have with drug and alcohol addiction.
"We've been touring all around the country," says Jared, speaking to me from Nashville, the town he's called home since 2006. "We've been doing this other tour, in conjunction with my normal tour, called 'The Live to Be Tour' and that's going through my sponsors, Live to be Sober.
"We're basically going to junior high and high schools and talking to kids about drug and alcohol awareness and then giving the town a free concert that night. We also let the school and the radio station pick a charity that they want to raise money for and all the proceeds go to that."
How did the bandana-wearing star, who in 2013 co-wrote the hit, "Home To Me," for Texas Country singer Curtis Grimes, originally team up with Live to be Sober?
"Well when I was on The Voice, they 'outed' me as being a recovering addict, which was something I had not talked about in the press or anything. After that my Twitter feed and my Facebook just loaded up with all these people talking about them having the same problem but wanting help and wanting advice about themselves or a loved one...
"It started becoming a thing that I felt I needed to talk about more. I played this show with Colt Ford not long ago and the sponsor behind it was a company called Best Drug Rehab. They did an interview with me and we really hit it off, and they had the same vision of what we could do together. So they started a whole other charity group kind of based around me."
And the one-time addict's advice on the first step to conquering drug and alcohol-related issues?
"I would go with support and honesty... I think it revolves around how honest you're being with yourself, what you're doing, what you're thinking, and having that support group around you to help you through the times when you go weak."
Moving away from the subject of his extra-curricular activities for a moment, and on to the subject of the new EP, 'Til Morning Light, the proud family man states, "The title is the title of one of the songs and to be honest with you, I just liked the name of it... It encompassed a lot of different things. Metaphorically doing whatever it takes to be here, you're gonna do it through the night - you're doing it full-throttle."
"I think there's a lot of different ways..." he muses, when I ask whether "country grunge," a style I've seen his music labelled as, is an accurate description. "I don't get too caught up in genres of music. I believe that music is just music and I think it's open to interpretation. But country grunge would not be too far off from what it is."
In 2011, Jared appeared on the very first series of The Voice, where he was mentored by Blake Shelton. Curiously, 'Til Morning Light came out the same day as Shelton's new offering, Bringing Back the Sunshine, and I was surprised to learn that this was not a coincidence.
"We still stay in contact, to a degree," he reveals, referring to Miranda Lambert's husband. "That was the idea behind it, with me being on his team, that it'd be cool to release it on the same day as him."
Discussing his favourite tracks on the EP, the artist, who is currently working on an album - and who finds songwriting to be the most enjoyable aspect of artistry - remarks, "I think the single 'Stomp' obviously stands out because it's very different. It's not anything like the rest of the EP and it's not anything like you've ever really heard before...
"Outside of that one, I think 'The Only One' probably stands out the most because I've kind of become known as one of the most rock artists in the country genre, and that song definitely shows more the songwriting side of me that I started off in this business doing. It's definitely a side of me that I don't get to explore as much as I'd like..."
'Til Morning Light is out now.
For more information, visit Jared Blake's official website.
More about jared blake, the voice, blake shelton, 'til morning light, Country music
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