Tigard native secures spot on The Voice
Justin Hopkins joins the contestants of hit NBC singing competition
After weeks of waiting for his performance to air, Justin Hopkins appeared on NBC's 'The Voice' and he didn't disappoint.
With his performance of David Gray's song 'Babylon,' the 31-year-old singer/songwriter from Tigard rocked his way to securing one of 12 seats on musical coach Cee Lo Green's team, moving him one step closer to winning a $100,000 recording contract.
Hopkins appeared as part of the show's 'blind auditions,' performing in front of musical judges Green, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine.
Hopkins attended Westside Christian High School in Lake Oswego, and moved to LA after college to pursue his career in music, but said he's never really had professional training for his craft.
'I've always been a very untrained performer,' Hopkins said Tuesday afternoon. 'I had some piano lessons intermittently for a few years, but I taught myself guitar. Everything I've done has always been done very natural… but really great art and great music over the last half century was done with very careful thought and execution and refinement.'
Hopkins still has a long way to go if he wants to be crowned, 'The Voice'
From here, Green will work with Hopkins to develop his skills, and Hopkins will have to compete one-on-one against other singers. The winner of each 'battle' will stay on the show.
'I have always considered myself to have a good melodic sensibility, but I'd say that Cee Lo is better,' Hopkins laughed. 'The time he'll spend coaching me and my future music will be amazing and valuable. I've never been able to say 'Here's the sound that I make.''
That's exactly what Green hopes to do with Hopkins.
'You have a really unique voice and I want to help polish and refine what you do have naturally,' Green told Hopkins on Monday's episode. 'I also want people to bear witness to growth and prove that it's possible on this show. I want to show that.'
Hopkins has toured extensively in Europe, and has collaborated with artists including Johnny Lang, Sara Bareilles, Mat Kearney and R and B artist and producer Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds, but said that he still has a lot to learn.
'I am really looking forward to working with Cee Lo and bonding with my team,' Hopkins said. 'They are some really great artists that have been selected, and I became really close with them in the audition process. The time that we shared reminds me of being in a band, just touring from town to town with all the time in the world.'
Hopkins moved to LA when he was 23, playing in clubs until he eventually landed a steady gig as the guitar player for the late night talk show, 'Last Call with Carson Daly.'
Daly, who serves as MC of 'The Voice,' was rooting for Hopkins backstage with Hopkins' wife and daughter.
'He has been so encouraging and he's rooting for me the whole way,' Hopkins said. 'But the auditions are blind, and I knew that when I walked on stage.'
Along with his appearances on 'The Voice,' Hopkins will be performing at the Alberta Rose theater in Portland on March 11.
Tickets for the all-ages show start at $9 and are available on the Alberta Rose website, albertarosetheatre.com.
The Voice airs Monday nights on NBC.