Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 17, 2013

PikeView graduate to try out for spot on ‘The Voice’

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

ATHENS — A recent PikeView High School graduate will be heading to the Big Apple at the end of the month in the hopes of scoring a spot on a national singing competition.

Kayla Gray, 18, of Athens will be traveling to New York City on July 28 to audition for “The Voice,” a singing competition where contestants are mentored by celebrity judges. Based on a reality show that debuted in Holland, “The Voice” has featured celebrity judges including Adam Levine of Maroon 5, country singer Blake Shelton, pop singer Christina Aguilera, R&B artist Cee Lo Green and others.

Gray said she decided to try out for the contest on a whim.

“I’ve always enjoyed singing,” she said. “I figured why not have some fun and try out. I just thought I should do it so I could say that I did it, whether I’m chosen or not.”

Gray said she will be performing some of her favorite country tunes in hopes of landing on the show.

“I sing country music,” she said. “My favorite artists are Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. I can relate to a lot of their music. I enjoy their music and I love to sing it.”

Though she is now preparing to audition on a national show, Gray said most of her performances to date have been to smaller crowds.

“I have done a lot of singing in church,” she said. “I’ve sung before some pretty large crowds before. Of course, I’ve never done anything like this where I had to sing before judges, especially the judges like on this show.”

When she arrives in New York City, Gray will be auditioning with a large group of show hopefuls.

“I am very nervous,” she said. “I don’t know what it will be like. I’m kind of nervous about it, but I’m also very excited. This is the first set of auditions for the 2014 season of the show. If I make it through this, the next set of auditions will be in California.”

Even if she doesn’t make the show, Gray said she is still hoping to take in the sites of the big city.

“This is my first time going to New York City as well,” she said. “The audition in New York was the closest to here. The other option for me was Texas, but I decided I wanted to go to New York. I am going to see some of the sites while I’m there and I’m hoping to have a lot of fun.”

— Contact Kate Coil at