When Meghan Linsey reemerged on our television screens this spring as a contestant on NBC’s latest season of The Voice, many balked at the singer’s decision to tryout for the singing series. Her resume already included a win on a reality singing competition, CMT’s Can You Duet, and three Top 20 singles with her country duo Steel Magnolia. But what many seemed to forget was that, though her previous endeavors in music were thrilling, she was starting this journey on the same playing field as the many others hoping to turn a chair. Sure, she may have been a seasoned television starlet with opportunities to tour with major acts, including Reba, Brad Paisley and even her Voice coach Blake Shelton, but when Meghan opens her mouth all is forgotten as she soars above the competition. And isn’t that the whole point of the show’s blind auditions — to give singers a chance to be judged and picked by what comes out of their mouth, not their appearance or previous experience?
Her decision to join the series was a smart one as she managed to make her way to the show’s finale, where she placed second to this season’s winner. After the cameras stopped rolling, Meghan returned to Nashville, where she is busy working on new material — a soulful Black Keys meets Adele sound — that she hopes her new fans from the show will love, while staying true to her loyal fans from years past. I got a chance to sit down with the blonde beauty to talk about her time on The Voice, her future in music and where she loves to shop, eat and play in Music City.
Q&A: Meghan Linsey
Chris Vetrano: Congratulations on making it so far on this season of The Voice! What was your experience like throughout the show and would you do it all over again, if given the chance?
Meghan Linsey: It was such a positive, life changing experience for me. I feel like I learned so much about myself and gained a whole new, amazing fan base! I would definitely do it again!
Chris: What was going through your head during the finale?
Meghan: Honestly I was just really grateful. I didn’t really care about winning, because I felt like I had already won in so many ways. Also, I was exhausted and those shoes were killing me! Lol
Chris: You’ve gotten some flack for having had such a successful career before going on the show. Do you feel that your previous opportunities in the music industry helped or hurt your chances at the title?
Meghan: I think the reason people were giving me flack is because they don’t understand how the music industry works. They’re ignorant. They think because you’ve had moderate success, you have money and connections. I am self made and very hardworking. I was just looking for a way to live out my dreams and ‘The Voice’ gave me the platform to do what I love. I am grateful for all of my prior experience. I’ve learned a lot over the years and I definitely feel like I went in looking at the whole experience in a different light than I did the first time around.
Chris: You’re mostly known for your time in country music — as one half of the duo Steel Magnolia. What led to the decision to leave the country genre and go for a more soulful sound?
Meghan: I grew up in New Orleans and I’ve always had a soulful voice. In that respect, I’m not really changing much. The only thing that has changed is the production and the platform. I was just tired of not being allowed to completely be myself.
Chris: What can your fans –old and new– expect from your next project?
Meghan: The new stuff is very soulful and edgy. Some of the songs sound a little Black Keys-ish. Tyler Cain is really an amazing producer and has done a great job of making each song sound unique, but cohesive together.
Chris: Will any of your mentors from The Voice contribute to, or lend their voices to, your upcoming project?
Meghan: I’m not sure. I obviously love Blake! It would be so cool to have CeeLo guest on something. I also wrote a pretty cool song with Tyler and Aloe Blacc recently. I know he was a mentor one season.
Chris: Having known you for a few years now, I know you love to take risks with fashion. How would you describe your personal style and who are some of your fashion inspirations?
Meghan: I love vintage/pretty stuff, but with an edge. My style is constantly evolving, but right now I’m really embracing my womanhood. I love flattering pieces that hug my curves.
Chris: You got your start on another reality TV show, winning CMT’s Can You Duet. How was the experience on the two shows different? And what was one way they were the same, other than being a reality TV competition?
Meghan: They were the same format, but obviously ‘The Voice’ is on a whole different level. The sets on ‘The Voice’ are over-the-top and amazing! I loved both experiences for different reasons. I feel like this time around I was really “ready” for the opportunity.
Chris: Having done well on two shows, releasing a major label album and touring like a mad-woman under your belt, what do you count as your most exciting career milestone thus far?
Meghan: Honestly, coming in second place on ‘The Voice.’ It felt good to put myself out there and be so vulnerable and have America really embrace me as a solo artist. It was scary, but the risk completely paid off. I have an amazing fan base!
Chris: You live in Nashville full-time. Tell our readers, who may be looking to visit Music City this summer, a few of your Music City Musts! Where do you like eat, shop, play, etc.?
Meghan: I LOVE Nashville. LA was cool, but I couldn’t wait to get back here! Ani & Ari recently opened a new showroom with Kristin Geyser called The Showroom Nashville. They rent and sell high-end pieces. It’s great! Johnathan Kayne is an amazing designer in town and I love his stuff too! He makes beautiful gowns. For everyday clothing, I love Blush and vintage stores like Starstruck. Some of my favorites for coffee and food are Frothy Monkey, Crema, Urban Grub, Biscuit Love and Yellow Porch. And after I’m done eating… I love to do yoga! 😉 Fahrenheit Yoga in Brentwood is my fave!