— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) October 4, 2022
Cara Brindisi and Team Gwen are not the only ones we have to root for on NBC’s “The Voice” this season.
On the show that aired Monday night, a wholesome 19-year-old from Northborough caused a sensation when Gwen Stefani (who already has Shrewsbury native Brindisi on her side) and Camila Cabello simultaneously turned their game chairs around to see the raw talent whose voice tickled their curiosity and captured their imagination.
Singing a slow but intense version of Kings of Leon’s hit “Use Somebody,” Northborough newbie Zach Newbould already seems destined for stardom from the reaction of the celebrity coaches.
“It captures a lot of emotion. It just lets me just let it out and lets the crowd feel it. And I also love the freedom to make a different rendition of the song," Newbould said in an interview Tuesday of his blind-audition song selection. "There’s a lot of room to change it and make it sound different from the original and just sound like me.”
Thirty-nine seconds into his performance, Stefani's and Cabello’s chairs were turning for Newbould.
Cabello was absolutely giddy at the sight of her new discovery, bouncing and dancing in her chair, while Stefani gave an authoritative nod of approval and a knowing eye that she wanted him on his team.
“I was fine up to that point. I wasn’t even that nervous. Then they turned around and it was like they were fake. It was the weirdest thing. And my heart just like skipped a beat and from then on, it was like so hard to focus on the singing,” Newbould said. “I thought I could turn a chair, but once it actually happens, you just can’t believe you actually did it. And it’s this moment you have always dreamed of actually coming true all at once. And your body doesn’t know what to do.”
Going into the competition, Newbould said his favorite coach was Blake Shelton.
“I actually planned on picking Gwen (Stefani, Blake’s wife),” said Newbould, who attended Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester for a time. “Camila said something that was convincing and it made me make a last-minute switch.”
Newbould confesses he was a little disappointed that Shelton’s chair didn’t turn around for the young aspiring singer.
“I was hoping for all four (chairs) but I am grateful for it,” Newbould said. “At least I got to go to the next round.”
With a silver cross around his neck and white sneakers laced on his feet, Newbould looked like a clean-cut kid, but his distinctive raspy voice made him sound like an adult whose heart has gone through the wringer.
“The silver cross stays on,” Newbould said. “It never comes off.”
By song’s end, the two pop stars were hooting and hollering and on their feet giving a standing ovation to the young Northborough native.
“I love you,” Stefani shouted.
“Oh my God,” Cabello exclaimed.
Then the two stars made their pitch to seduce Newbould over to their side.
“Wow! He has an amazing voice. He has an amazing tone,” Cabello said. “That’s what I’m looking for, those voices that are special. They don’t even have to be technically perfect yet.”
“I want to be your 'momager,'” Stefani countered, an apparent reference to a combined mom and manager. “I think I can help you. I know that I can help you. What I heard in your voice is so much art. I don’t know what genre you’re going to end up doing because you’re only 19. I promise you if you went with me, it would be so much fun to figure out who you are.”
Although he didn’t turn his chair around, John Legend praised Newbould’s special tone in his voice, which he referred to as his “superpower.”
When the accolades were over, Newbould chose Team Camila.
Despite being only 19, Newbould said he has been singing pretty much his whole life.
“The moment I could talk I started to just mess around with my singing,” Newbould said. “Even before I could talk, actually, I was just like humming stuff and just trying to make music the best I could. And, once I hit fifth grade, when I was 9 or 10, that’s when I started taking it seriously.”
In fifth grade at Lincoln Street Elementary School in Northborough, Newbould auditioned for the school’s chorus that was looking for a soloist to sing Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.”
“I went home to my dad and I was like, ‘There’s a solo at school for chorus and I, kind of, want to try it.’ And, he goes, ‘Well, just be prepared. If you try for that solo, you’re gonna get it.’ And I’m like, ‘What do you mean I’m going to get it?’ He goes, ‘I know you’re good enough for that,’” Newbould recalled. “So I went in the next day. I tried out for the solo and that day I got it. And that gave me the validation I needed to start going for it and believing that I was good enough.”
As for his musical influences, Newbould said it runs the gambit from heavy-metal rockers Mötley Crüe to country artist Luke Combs and pop-rocker John Mayer.
“I like to say I’m a pop-country-rock-type deal,” Newbould said. “I’m not completely country but I like to implement some of it.”
Newbould, who graduated last year from Algonquin Regional High School, has been taking a break from attending Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester to focus on his music career.
“I really want to push it now that I’ve had this experience. I’ve got so much positive feedback and everybody just seems to really like me,” Newbould said. “If they like me that much, maybe they will listen to my music and actually make this my career, which would be amazing.”
Newbould — who said he has mainly performed live in restaurants of New Hampshire and has posted some of his performances on social media — hopes to get some gigs in the area.
Newbould, who has been on TikTok for a couple of years, saw a spike in a couple thousand new followers overnight. In addition, Newbould said he has received “quite a few” marriage proposals overnight, as well as a lot of risqué messages that he said are fun to read.
— Craig Semon (@CraigSemon) October 4, 2022
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Zach Newbould of Northborough has fan in Gwen Stefani on 'The Voice'