By Joy Ramirez
Brian Fuente Opens Doors With The Voice
Sometimes all it takes is one lucky break. For Brian Fuente that break came at just the right time in his budding (and almost short-lived) music career. The singer and former contestant on The Voice has been riding the wave of opportunity since the moment country star Blake Shelton pushed his red button during Fuente’s blind audition performance of “Paris (Oh La La)” in February.
“Being on The Voice has changed my life dramatically,” he said. “It took me to a completely different level and the opportunities have been bigger than I ever imagined.” It turns out performing in front of 85 million people has its perks, one of which is the unparalleled exposure (and ensuing overnight fan base) that only TV and social media can provide. “I went from being unknown with 120 followers on Twitter, to 5,000 followers in less than 24 hours,” he said. “No record label can do that.”
It doesn’t hurt that Fuente has a sexy voice and a punchy, attention-grabbing look that is hard not to like. The 28-year-old Mississippi native moved to Nashville in 2007 to take a stab at the music industry, but has been penning songs since he was 12 years old. He comes by his musical talent honestly—his mother is a jazz vocalist, his father a guitar player and his grandfather was an opera singer. His earliest memories include standing at the baby gate as a toddler watching his parents rehearse in an upstairs practice room. “My family’s support is a driving factor for me,” said Fuente. His parents are very supportive of his career, even knowing firsthand the difficulties of succeeding in the music industry.
In fact, after working hard to build a fan base locally as the front man for his band Newmatic, the singer said he “never could catch a break,” adding that he almost gave up on music and went to plan B. That’s when he got the game-changing call during which he was asked to audition for The Voice. “So many talented people fail in the (music) industry,” he acknowledges. “It’s not easy, so I found myself asking ‘what is my plan B?’” Little did he know his next move would be competing as a solo artist on a hit reality television show. “That was the first time in my life that I performed without my guitar and my band,” he said.
Now Fuente enjoys an international fan base, endorsement deals and collaborations because of the show and a more prolific songwriting career. “I’m more driven than ever before,” he said. Also, he enjoys living in Nashville, a city where great players are only a phone call away and the inspiration of so many other artists plays a major role in his productivity. “For me, (Nashville) is a great city to be in. It has helped me as a songwriter and it’s a healthy environment.”
Armed with a new drive to succeed, Fuente just recorded his new EP, is working on getting a new band together and has plans for an upcoming tour this fall. He just finished playing with Maroon 5 and Gym Class Heroes at the Gulfport Music Festival, an opportunity he believes he never would have had if not for the power of TV.