‘The Voice’s Luke Wade Talks About Going From Competing to Casting
If you’ve been following @thevoicecasting, you might’ve noticed a former contestant in their videos! That is because Luke Wade, a member of Team Pharrell in season 7, now works for The Voice‘s casting agency. In a recent interview with Variety, Luke spoke about his transition from contestant to casting. He also talked about what else he’s been up to since he was on the show in 2014.
It goes without saying that Luke Wade is a perfect fit for the casting team. He knows the process intimately, having gone through it himself. He was a standout early in season 7. After turning all four chairs, Luke joined Pharrell’s team. He continued to wow in the Battles and Knockouts with two of the strongest performances for each round that season. Luke was later eliminated in the Top 8.
So how did he end up on the casting team? Let’s hear it from Luke Wade himself:
“It really happened organically. I started working with the casting team on doing some open call events…and then [they] would call me up and just get me to talk to contestants about the process. [I was] asked if I knew someone who might need a casting job and I said, ‘Well, I’m touring a lot right now but if that comes up again, ask me.’ So [they] did!”
And according to Luke, he is now involved in every step of the process. Whether it’s open call auditions or callbacks, Luke helps get the most out of the singers. So when singers are nervous, he helps them calm down and have fun. The casting team wants everyone to have the opportunity to put their best foot forward! Luke has become a crucial helping hand in that. As far as what he’s looking for in contestants?
“I’ll tell you what I tell the people in the room. It’s not about being good or bad, it’s just about having the right moment at the right time. I just have to go off how I react to the performance.”
This makes sense, especially knowing that many times, what artists audition with in the initial rounds is not what they end up singing in the Blind Auditions. It’s all about feeling and conveying the message of the song! You can definitely tell that when you watch the show too. Plenty of artists turn chairs despite pitch issues. When you’re casting 48 artists each season, you have to go with your gut on some of these. Casting can’t focus on only the technical aspects. Performances are about more than that even on The Voice, where the coaches can’t see the artists until they turn. As Luke said, “It’s not about singing notes, it’s about singing songs.”
Luke was then asked how his personal experience on the show affects how he handles the auditions. He responded by saying:
“I feel like everyone here approaches the auditions from a very kind and empathetic place. I would say for me, I just feel it in my bones what they’re feeling. The most important thing for anyone who’s auditioning is believing that they deserve that moment and believing that they belong in that room. Anything I can do to pump someone up and make them believe in themselves is something I’m going to throw every ounce of myself at.”
Working in casting has also taught Luke a lot about the music business and his own career! Since appearing on the show himself, he has released two albums and several singles. He also built an audience by touring around the country. In talking about how he balances casting with his personal musical aspirations, Luke said:
“One of the things that I’ve learned throughout my musical career is that one of the most important things is finding a balance. It’s really great to have this as a part of the overall balance…working with artists and seeing the way they need to be nurtured and the strengths and weaknesses of people who are just kind of starting out. It’s just super valuable in terms of me seeing where I’ve been and what to do next, what’s the next smart right thing for me in my career.”