“Music was just something I kept trying to perfect. I knew that I had a talent, not only with music but with football,” Mike Parker, former Kettle Run students, said. “I saw it as that I had this god-given ability, and that it was meant for me to work on and perfect as much as I can.”
Parker secured his spot on Team Jennifer Hudson, Oct. 8. He is one of 56 contestants to appear on the 15th season of NBC’s, The Voice.
When Parker auditioned for his spot on the show, he sang “So Sick,” by Grammy Award-winning R&B artist, NE-YO. At the last moment of his blind audition, Hudson took a chance on the 23 year-old artist and added him to her team. Hudson told GoldDerby, that she adored his voice, stating “the voice was always there, and I could hear it. You’re on Team JHud.”
Parker attended Kettle Run for three and half years before transferring to FHS. He graduated from FHS in 2013. During his time as a Cougar, Parker played varsity football. His hopes of playing the game in college quickly faded due to his grades.
“Right after high school, I moved to Atlanta, and when football didn’t work out as I had hoped it would, I turned to music,” Parker said.
Although music was never a backup plan as a career, Parker shifted his life to focus on his music career. “I have always been into music,” Parker said. “It was always a key part of my life, and now, it has opened many doors for me.” Getting on The Voice was a lengthy process. Contestants can either wait in line all day for a possible spot for a “nonofficial” blind audition or they can send in a video recording of a performance to “skip the line.” From that point, contestants then wait for another audition with the producers of the show. If they make it from there, they will either move on to the true “live” auditions or be sent home.
“One of the reasons I auditioned for The Voice was to, not only get my name out there,” Parker said, “but to improve on my musical talent as much as I possibly could.”
He has since made it past the battle rounds, he was matched up with Natasia Greycloud, a Nashville native.
During their training for the battle rounds, Hudson brought her mentor, Halsey, on to the show.
“My experience with working with Jennifer has been amazing; she really is as outgoing and amazing as she seems on TV,” Parker said.
He added that she has been a great mentor and inspiration.
“Her work ethic and drive in music is so genuine,” Parker said. “She rubs off all her creativity on to the people she works with. She is so into her craft, and she could be working with anyone and no matter who it is, you can feel the creativity and inspiration as you walk-in the room.”
On Oct. 15, Parker and Greycloud battled. The two sang John Mayer’s “Gravity.” Parker won, but Greycloud was quickly scooped up by Kelly Clarkson using her first “steal.”
Parker has advice for singers who hope to follow in his footsteps.
“You should never close any door.” Parker said. “Where [young people] start failing, is when they believe ‘Oh I’ll have so much left to do in life and maybe something else will pop up,’ that is the wrong thing to do.”
“Never close a door that you may think is closing on you because you never know what is behind it. It could be your miracle; it is just waiting for you.” Parker said.
Parker’s time on The Voice came to an end in the second round of knockouts when he went up against MaKenzie Thomas.
Check out Parker’s new songs: “Put Me in the Game,” “Galaxy,” and “Raise a Glass” on Amazon and YouTube.