Virginia native Ryan Sill made it all the way to the Top 8 of NBC’s The Voice before he was cut Tuesday.
He was thrilled to be competing in the show's live rounds, as his friends and family watched and cheered from his hometown of Sterling, Virginia.
But Sill is not done with The Voice. He will soon return to Los Angeles to compete against eight other previously eliminated artists for a wildcard slot. Fans get to pick the winner of that spot.
To thank his supporters, Sill will sing before the basketball game at his alma mater Dominion High School Wednesday night. Doors open at 7 p.m.; Sill's performance begins 30 minutes later.
Sill grew up in a very music-oriented family, but he didn’t always know he wanted to pursue a career in music.
“It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that I realized that I really wanted to make this a career, and that I could inspire a lot of people if I really focused and tried to make a career out of it,” the college student recently told News4.
Sill is taking a year-long break from college to focus on his new career goals. He says his experience with his coach, Gwen Stefani, has been much different than what he had originally expected.
“She’s just my friend, who just also happens to be really experienced in the music industry and has this bank of knowledge that she just instills in me all the time, and so it’s just awesome to work with her,” Sill says.
Not only did Sill use Stefani’s feedback to improve his voice, but he says he’s also helping the singer.
“I kind of absorb all the advice that she’s given me, like a sponge, and I think she brings out that positivity in me, and she says that it affects her life. It inspires her to be positive, and just to learn and grow, just like I’ve grown as an artist from everything she’s taught me,” Sill says.
But he says he wasn’t always the crowd-pleasing performer he says he is now.
“Thinking back to my blind audition, I never would have thought that I’d be able to go out there and own the stage like that, so I attribute all of that to Gwen,” he admits.
“Right now, I’m trying to live in every moment because, I think, when I look back at all of this, I wanna just remember everything that I learned and just remember that this was the time in my life where I felt most alive,” he says.