Interview with Carter Rubin, Season 19 winner of “The Voice” on NBC by Krista 12/23/20
I enjoyed talking with him very much; he was very friendly and well mannered. He is a great singer, and I can’t wait to hear more of his music. He also speaks of writing songs in the new year, so I hope that will go well for him. He seems to be a very mature 15 year old boy and has used his bullying experiences to make him into a better person. His family also does a great thing of providing trips for autistic kids in New York.
Here is the audio version of it.
Krista: Tell me how you first got into music.
Carter: I kind of always loved singing and music ever since I could talk, but my grandpa was in a band back in the day, and he’s been singing his whole life. So, he’s kind of the one that got me into singing. I’ve always really been a fan of his music, and we’ve always been singing together.
I started singing more seriously when I was about seven. That was my first time performing in front of a live audience, and I just loved it.
Krista: Oh, that’s awesome. I read in your bio that you had talked about being bullied a little bit because of your voice? Did you use music to help you cope with the bullying?
Carter: Yeah, for sure. You know, I’m a little more on the unique side. So, some kids will just pick on me here and there, but I always just kind of use my music and my voice to kind of drown all the negative out. I’d always kind of focus on my craft and my artistry, and that kind of was my outlet to just be myself and be creative, and I’ve realized over the years that it’s not a bad thing to be unique.
Krista: It’s not a bad thing to be unique, and I don’t think anybody’s going to bother you with bullying anymore.
Carter: Yeah, I was saying the same thing.
Krista: Who were your biggest influences in music?
Carter: I love some of today’s male pop contemporary artists like Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran, Luke Pauley, Shawn Mendes, and James Arthur. Artists like those are some of my big influences, and when I record an album someday, I really want it to sound like those.
Krista: Oh wow, and it’s funny you said that. I have a friend, and she’s a big, huge fan of Harry Styles.
Carter: Yes, that’s so cool. Yeah, my cousins are huge fans of Harry Styles.
Krista: So, I’m sure she would agree with you on that.
Carter: Yeah. For sure. For sure.
Krista: Do you remember the first time that you ever performed in front of people? What was that like, and do you remember what song you sang?
Carter: The first time I performed in front of people, it was at a local boardwalk on Long Island called Long Beach. I was reopening the island, the boardwalk, after it was ruined from Hurricane Sandy, and I sang the national anthem. I was seven years old. It was about twenty five hundred people, so it was a lot for me at that time. It was very nerve wracking. So, I was definitely nervous, but I did it, and that’s kind of my first taste of performing and singing in front of people and what it was like, and I just never wanted to stop.
Krista: What made you decide to audition for The Voice?
Carter: I’ve always watched The Voice. I’m a just a huge fan of the show in general, and my family’s always encouraging me to follow my dream. I’ve always dreamed of being on the show and being one of the artists, and they really helped me follow my dream. So, I went to an audition in Boston, in February, before before COVID happened, and I was lucky enough to be flown out in July to LA for my blind audition.
Krista: Oh, wow, that sounds so interesting. What made you decide to sing the song “Before You Go” for your audition?
Carter: I love Luke Pauley. I love his voice. I love his music. So, “Before You Go” is one my favorite songs. I also like the message of the song. For me, it’s about not missing the chance to be there for someone, and I think that can be very inspiring to some people. So, I thought it was a good song for me to sing at the time.
Krista: How did it feel to have chair turns from John Legend and Gwen Stefani?
Carter: It felt incredible. It felt completely surreal. I just wanted to go out there and sing, and whatever happened happened at that point, and I was so happy to see these two icons turn around. I’m such a huge fan of both of them and their music. It was really tough picking, but working with Gwen felt really right at the time, which is why I picked her.
Krista: Okay, that was my next question. I wondered if you had your mind made up of who you would pick if they turned around before you went on stage? Or did you just decide on the spot
Carter: I kind or always had Gwen in my heart, but at the same time, I was open to hearing any of their advice or their pitches, because I would be 100% happy working with any of them, because they’re also iconic and successful, and they’re great coaches. So, I’d be happy with anyone, but I’ve always just been the hugest Gwen Stefani fan. I love her music, and she gave a really good pitch. She told me she’d be like a motherly figure, and she’d give me some really good advice about style and stage presence, and it just really drew me in.
Krista: I thought that too, when I watched it and saw how she was pitching to you, that that would be a good thing, for her to help you with the things like that, like the stage presence.
Carter: Yeah, it just felt so right at the time.
Krista: What was your favorite song that you performed?
Carter: I liked all the songs that I performed, but I think my favorite would have to be Rainbow Connection, because that was a song I dedicated to my brother for dedication week, and Gwen loved it. She was brought to tears. She told me it was flawless, and that really meant a lot to me. I just wanted to make it very raw and pure and intimate and broken down, and I felt really successful in doing that. I was just so happy after the performance.
Krista: Since you mentioned your brother, I read that he was autistic. And I just wanted to tell you I have twin nephews that are autistic.
Carter: Really? Wow.
Krista: Yes, my husband’s brother, his two sons, they’re both autistic. They just turned sixteen, but they’re nonverbal.
Carter: Well tell them I said, “Hi.”
Krista: I sure will.
Carter: I’d love to meet them one day.
Krista: Okay, great. Maybe we can keep in touch, and maybe that can happen.
Carter: Yeah, absolutely.
Krista: What was the biggest challenge that you faced on The Voice?
Carter: I tried not to think of anything as much of a challenge. I just kind of wanted to have fun with the whole experience, and I just kind of wanted to go in and learn anything I could, because at the end of the day, I’m only fifteen is there so much for me to learn. So, if anything, that was a challenge, being on the younger side, but I just kind of took it as an opportunity to grow and learn and soak up anything I could. It was definitely the time of my life, for sure.
Krista: Well, that kind of answered my next question, I was going to ask what it was like to perform against people that were so much older than you. Did you form relationships with any of them? And did they have like a friendship with you?
Carter: For sure. It sounds so cliche, but we really were a family backstage. All of the adults were so nice to me and so nurturing and caring, and they’re so skilled and seasoned, that they know exactly what they’re doing. They were really awesome role models for me, and I just had so much fun singing with them.
Krista: Yeah, I enjoyed all of them, especially the last three, the the ones you were up against; they were all awesome.
Carter: Yeah, for sure. They’re all awesome.
Krista: What was it like to perform a duet with Gwen?
Carter: That was such a dream come true, because from day one, I was like, “What if I go to the finale and actually sing with her? That’d be insane.” It actually happened; it was such a dream come true. I’m so happy that we sang that song, because it was off of her Christmas album, and we just had so much fun with it. We really wanted to bring joy and some Christmas cheer to other people, and we felt successful in doing that. She’s been such a phenomenal coach, and so it’s just kind of a full circle experience to be singing with her now.
Krista: Well, I enjoyed it, and it was great.
Carter: Thank you. I appreciate that.
Krista: How did it feel to be the youngest to ever win The Voice and to give Gwen Stefani her first ever win?
Carter: Being so young, The Voice was really amazing, because I wanted to inspire other young people to follow their dreams right now and do whatever makes their heart happy. You don’t have to wait, because you don’t want to look back and say you wish you did it then. Just go do what makes you happy, and follow your dreams. I think I just want to inspire everyone to do that, regardless of their age.
To give Gwen her first win was so awesome, because she’s such a phenomenal coach and somehow hasn’t had a win yet before season nineteen, which I think is crazy, because she deserves all the credit, because she’s just really nurturing and caring for her artists. She’s just great at what she does, which is not only [being] an amazing singer, but just a phenomenal coach. She gives really good advice and is good at calming nerves. So, I’m really happy that I could give her her deserved win.
Krista: Yeah, she seems like a sweet person.
Carter: She is the sweetest. She’s so nice.
What are your plans going forward? Can you tell us anything about your plans?
Carter: Yeah, Gwen told me that it’s time for me to start writing songs, and I definitely agree. That’s what I’m working on right now, starting to brainstorm some ideas of songs I want to sing and record one day. Speaking of recording, I definitely want to get in the studio, [by] the third part of 2021 and start recording songs to put out there for people to hear. Once COVID is over, I want to perform in front of live audiences again, because I really missed that. The Voice is kind of like just the beginning. I want to keep growing and expanding my music career. I just want to make others happy and want to make others feel inspired.
Krista: Have you written any songs so far? I mean, have you done that in the past?
Carter: No, I mean, I [have] some rough drafts here and there, like I have some songs in a folder that I have kind of kept to myself, but I’m thinking and expanding on those little ideas that I have and making them into marketable songs that I can record and put out there.
Krista: Well, I look forward to buying your album.
Carter: Thank you. I appreciate it.
Krista: If you could work with anyone in the future, qho would you like to work with and maybe perform some duets or collaborate with?
Carter: I mean, I’d love to collaborate with Gwen again in the future, but if you’re talking about another person, I have a huge crush on Ariana Grande. I love her, and I love her music, so if I got to sing with her one day, that’d be like a dream come true.
Krista: Well, maybe you’ll get to do that.
Krista: Aside from music, what are some of your hobbies and favorite things that you do in your spare time?
Carter: Besides music, I love acting. I’m a huge theater nerd at my school. I love being a part of my school’s musical and plays. Outside of the arts, and this is really quirky, but I love rollercoasters, and I love going to different parks and going on as many roller coasters as I can. I love road tripping and traveling with my family and hanging out with my friends.
Krista: Since you mentioned the theme parks, I think I read in your bio that you your family has a foundation for autistic children?
Krista: Can you tell me more about that?
Carter: Yes, our foundation is called Families in Arms, and what we do, is we send families that have children with autism to Disney World, because having a child with autism can be very financially and emotionally stressful. With all the therapy and stuff they have to pay for, it can be very draining. So, we just kind of give families who can’t afford to get away from that a chance to just break outside of those boundaries for a week and just have fun with their family without worrying about anything else.
Krista: That’s so nice of your family to do that, and I thank you for doing that for other autistic kids.
Carter: It’s all my mom; she’s the one who started it.
Krista: Well, tell her that I appreciate that very much having autistic nephews. I understand some of the challenges that the parents go through and raising the children and everything, and that’s just an awesome thing that you all do.
Carter: Yes, for sure. I’ll tell her.
Krista: That’s all the questions that I have Carter, but I do want to wish you good good luck in the future, and I do really enjoy your music. I just absolutely loved your Lauren Daigle song.
Carter: Thank you.
Krista: I loved all of your all of your songs, but the Lauren Daigle was just awesome, and I really enjoyed it, and I do look forward to buying your album when it comes out.
Carter: Thank you. I appreciate that.
Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com
Hometown: Shoreham, New York
Resident: Shoreham, New York
Carter Rubin grew up in a musical family and was inspired by his grandfather, a guitarist and backup vocalist for Jay and the Americans. Carter loves singing and playing music, especially with his older brother, Jack, who has autism. They perform together at their family’s autism foundation, which surprises families with trips to amusement parks. Outside of the foundation, Carter also performs in his school’s musicals and various community events.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda