- December 11, 2019
The lights dimmed, and Chloe Hogan’s world stopped spinning the minute she stepped on stage.
Barely 10 seconds into her performance of Jackie DeShannon’s “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” Gwen Stefani smashed the button on her chair, turning around to face Hogan.
Now, the 20-year-old Dr. Phillips High alumna is set to compete on NBC’s “The Voice” as a member of Team Gwen.
Hogan’s first memory of singing goes back to when she was 5 or 6 years old and sang in church. She describes singing as a spiritual and cathartic experience for her.
“It just became kind of a way to communicate with people, the best way I knew how,” she said. “That hasn’t really changed much over the years. … Music seems to be the most profound way I can communicate with people. I’ve loved singing and writing and making music with my friends and my family.”
Hogan said she wrote her first song when she was in third grade. Now, she also helps produce her own music.
“Being able to produce (for) yourself or at least record your own demo tracks … is something that I find to be very important in the music industry just because people can’t get the full idea of you if you don’t have the full idea of you.”
She was a student in the Visual and Performing Arts magnet program at Dr. Phillips, where she got the opportunity to do a deep dive into her music education, focusing on chorus.
Today, Hogan lives in Nashville and attends Belmont University, where she is studying music business. She also is currently teaching Black Music in America to children online as a way to give back and empower a new generation of musicians.
When she first decided to audition for “The Voice” this year, she wasn’t sure how the coronavirus pandemic was going to affect the show’s mechanics.
But when the opportunity came to audition in Nashville, it was something she knew she had to try.
“I think it was God’s way of saying to me, ‘Everything that you think you can do, I can give you so much more than what you think you’re capable of holding or doing,’” she said. “For the longest time I thought, ‘The Voice is not for me because I don’t know if I have what it takes to be that kind of singer that the world would love like that.’
“I never thought that who I was as a human being would be something that would be nationally or universally accepted,” she said.
As Hogan would find out, though, Stefani identified the raw talent emanating from the young singer-songwriter before she even saw her.
After Hogan’s initial audition, she was invited to fly out to Los Angeles for the blind auditions.
“It’s always going to feel like a risk when you’re going after something really big,” she said. “It felt even more extreme because we were in the midst of COVID-19. I was saying, ‘Let me just try this, and if I get turned away, that’s OK, but I’ve got to at least try.”
The risk was worth taking, though. Hogan took the stage and did what she does best — sing with her whole heart. She said it was as if the world stopped spinning and only resumed the moment Stefani turned her chair. To her, it was the sign she needed to continue chasing her dream.
However, she said, the real work has only just begun. Her next step is to work on herself and grow as a singer.
“It’s crazy, it doesn’t seem real. It truly feels like I’m living out my dream, and I’ve never felt it this strongly before.” — Chloe Hogan
“I think that’s what this entire competition is about,” she said. “There’s so many talented people here, but what really shines through, I believe, is when you see someone progress. Even though they had talent in the beginning that put them onto the show, to see that talent soar forward is one of the most beautiful things to watch but also experience for myself. I can truly tell you I am not the same singer I was even just a month ago. There has been so much growth.”
Now that the blind auditions have taken place and the teams are set, the battle is on. The coaches and mentors will give their artists advice and tips from their celebrity advisers.
Next up are the battle rounds, where coaches pit two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song together in front of a studio audience. The coach then chooses who will advance to the next round of competition.
Hogan is most excited to soak in the experience, learn everything she can and use it to grow as her own artist.
“This is a God moment, this is a God thing,” she said. “I couldn’t do it alone. I couldn’t do it without my family, without my friends recording me, especially without Jesus Christ.
“The show has taught me that the impossible is possible if you just believe and keep dreaming for it,” she said. “It’s crazy, it doesn’t seem real. It truly feels like I’m living out my dream.”