Local competes on “The Voice”
Paul Pfau, a Shepherd University graduate and former Shepherdstown resident scored big with judges on the NBC’s “The Voice,” a nationally broadcast music competition for new and emerging artists.
During last Monday night’s blind audition Pfau impressed music stars and pros, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams, as well as Maroon 5 frontman, Adam Levine.
Pfau ultimately chose to join “Team Pharrell” and faced off in his first “battle round,” to stay on the show Tuesday.
Following news of his success on the show, Pfau told the Chronicle about his experience thus far.
“It’s awesome,” he said.
“It’s still crazy to think about.”
Though the new season of NBC’s popular show began just weeks ago, Pfau explained that his original blind audition was actually taped in November.
“Keeping it a secret has been super hard,” he said.
“I just kept telling people I was in L.A. for writing sessions.”
Pfau said he was contacted in May of last year to audition for the show, a move he wouldn’t have necessarily made on his own because he doesn’t see his singing voice as “conventionally good.”
“I’ve never had any crazy vocal range,” he said.
Instead he says he’ll try to play to his strengths and stay true to who he is as musician.
“I’ve got no expectations,” he said.
“Just the fact that I made it to this point is excellent for me.”
At only 26-years-old, Pfau has made both strides and seen many setbacks in a budding career as a solo singer-songwriter.
Its been a roller coaster ride, he said.
Originally from Texas, Pfau’ family relocated to Middleway Maryland, where he attended high school before heading to Shepherd University for college.
Pfau said he started playing guitar at 14 and felt strongly that that was his calling.
Pfau said he got through college with the mentorship of SU professors Merz and Schultz and developed his musical abilities amongst Shepherdstown’s supportive community of artists.
“I had really the best teachers,” he said.
“Other than that, I was in my room playing guitar.”
Pfau described Shepherdstown as has having its own unique “juju.”
“In Shepherdstown, everybody gives people a chance to express themselves,” he said.
“It’s an amazing place,” he said.
“It has this weird way of inducing creativity.”
Pfau, who graduated from Shepherd in 2010 and went on to release his first solo album shortly thereafter, only left Shepherdstown in 2013 after suffering from the severe effects of a nodule on his vocal chord.
“That took me out of the game for about a year,” he said.
While recovering Pfau began touring the U.S. playing guitar with various bands before landing the “Voice,” audition through connections he made on the road.
“It ended up being a blessing in disguise,” he said.
Pfau said he feels lucky to be on the show and excited for the opportunity to work with his coach on “Team Pharrell.”
“He’s like a modern day prophet,” he said.
“Before the team photo shoot, he came up to each and every one of us and asked us what we wanted to do,” he said.
“With Pharrell it’s real. It’s not about TV. It’s about, how can you create the best music for you,” he said.
Pfau said he wants to use his time on the show in the most positive way possible.
“I don’t know how long this will last,” he said.
“I’m beyond grateful for this opportunity.. I’m just kind of riding this wave,”
Pfau said he will return to Shepherdstown to jam again whenever his time is up on “The Voice,” and said he’s already thinking about what’s next no matter what happens on the show.
“I want to put out another album,” he said.
“I’ll be back.”
“The Voice” airs on NBC Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m.
To find more information on Paul Pfau, visit his Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/paulpfaumusic or his “Voice” team member page at: www.nbc.com/the-voice/artists/season-8/paul-pfau.