The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

December 10, 2013

Pounds not held down by genres

ENID, Okla. — If you ask Enid native Brian Pounds to define his music, he probably won’t give you an answer.

Either that, or he’ll give you an entire list.

“There are a lot of people I really respect,” Pounds said. “I don’t like to pick genres, because if I said country, there’s automatically something in everyone’s mind about what it should be.

“I like to write music and define it later.”

Pounds, 24, was a contestant on the most recent season of NBC’s “The Voice,” and he’s going to be playing a free show Thursday night at Convention Hall in downtown Enid.

The Austin, Texas-based musician was chosen by Blake Shelton before being knocked out in the battle round against Austin Jenckes.

But Pounds has no regrets for giving it a go.

“(It was) nothing but good stuff,” Pounds said. “I got the exposure and met some lifelong friends. I had an amazing time.”

One of those friends, by the way, is Jenckes, the person he lost to in the battle round. He’s even going to be on Pounds’ new EP, which will be released sometime next year.

***

Pounds’ journey began in Enid, where he was born and his father, Jeff, was a pilot at Vance Air Force Base.

Nine months after he was born, Pounds and family moved to Houston, where they bounced around several homes, from the south side to the north side.

When it was time to go to college, Pounds was faced with a choice: Boston for music, or the University of Oklahoma for an undergraduate degree.

He decided to go to Norman, following a girl, he said.

“I loved the town, but college was not for me,” he said. “(The girl and I) broke up a few weeks after I had gotten there.”

When his classes ended for the period, Pounds called his mother, Stephanie, and told her he wanted to be a “rock star” rather than a college student.

She said OK.

Shortly thereafter, Pounds found a home in Austin and settled down there. It turned out to be a great decision for him, due to what he called a great music scene.

“The entire city (of Austin) is based around music,” he said. “People go out to listen to music in Austin. It’s a really good community to cut your teeth in, because everyone wants to help.”

***

Pounds found out about “The Voice” auditions through a friend who owned a studio in Austin. He told him about the auditions, and Pounds said he would try out on one condition: He didn’t want to have to stand in line.

He was able to land a private session, where he went in and performed three different songs, including “Steal My Kisses” by Ben Harper and an original song.

That was around this time last year, Pounds said.

About six months later, Pounds got a call back and said the show wanted to fly him out to Los Angeles, so he went there for what are called “executive callbacks,” where you sing two songs in a room full of producers and some of the show’s higher-ups.

Pounds later got a call back, saying he made the show and he would be put on TV for blind auditions.

When he got on TV to perform Darius Rucker’s hit, “Wagon Wheel,” it was the first time he got a glimpse of the show’s judges, which included CeeLo Green and Blake Shelton.

Pounds explained that at first, he really wanted CeeLo to pick him because he heard he does the most afterwork with contestants.

“But when Blake turned, it was just kind of something ... he’s a very funny guy, a very charming guy. We’re both from Oklahoma.”

So he made a spur-of-the-moment decision, — even when CeeLo eventually turned to ask that Pounds be on his team — to go with Team Blake.

Pounds said some days he second-guesses his decision to go with Team Blake, but at the same time, he was grateful for the advice he got from the country music star.

“I’m happy for my time on the show,” he said.

***

Thursday’s show is presented by Global Spectrum and 103.1 KOFM. Again, the performance is free to attend.

“Texas is home, but I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Oklahoma,” Pounds said. “It’s a nice breath of fresh air every time I cross the Red River.”

For more information on Pounds, go to brian pounds.com or reverbna tion.com/brianpounds.

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