Singer, songwriter and actress Beth Griffith-Manley was recently a contestant on Season 16 of NBC's "The Voice" starring coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Levine and John Legend. Beth caught the ear of John Legend and Kelly Clarkson during her blind audition with a version of "Until You Come Back to Me" by the late Aretha Franklin. She chose Kelly Clarkson as her coach, but was later stolen by John Legend during the The Voice Battles and joined his team. Beth shares her success story with us as well as her experience as a contestant on "The Voice"
Q. Beth, thanks for stopping by to share your story with us. We'd first like to know have you always had the passion to sing?
Yes !! I have always loved singing and had a passion for singing even when my voice was not developed as a little girl. In school I was always in the choir and band and singing to every song on the radio!
Q. Can you tell us how you landed a spot on "The Voice" and your experience as a contestant?
The Voice Casting reached out to me and offered me the opportunity to have an audition for the show. At that time, I was totally uninterested in being on a voice competition show so I declined the invitation. I released my first album and saw how difficult it was to promote it as an indie artist. The show happened to call again about a year later and asked me to audition again and I decided to try something different. I am so glad that I decided to take the chance to audition. It was a wonderful experience being on the show. I learned a lot and grew as an artist and as a person and got great exposure!!
Q. At one point, you were a background vocalist for Anita Baker and have also worked with Aretha Franklin. How was it working these iconic ladies?
I sang background for Anita Baker for five years and toured the world with her. Currently I am a background singer for Motown recording artist Kem and I’ve worked with him almost 6 years. Working with Aretha Franklin was somewhat of a different situation. I actually did not do background vocals for her or sing with her. I sang for her. I was invited by her to participate in a music celebration that the City of Detroit did called Detroit Music Weekend in her honor. Aretha Franklin was the featured artist and this celebration happened one year before her untimely passing. I was so honored that Ms. Franklin personally picked me as one of the singers to honor her in song during this celebration.
Q. In addition to singing, you are also an actress. Are there any current or upcoming projects in the works?
I’ve received a couple offers for upcoming stage plays, but nothing is confirmed at this time. I’ll pick the right production to be apart of soon.
Q. You are currently working on your second album. What should your listeners expect from this album and what makes it different from your first?
It’s so early in the recording process right now that I can’t actually say! What I like to do is record as much as I can and then pick the songs that are the best. Normally there will be a vibe or similarity or congruency between the songs picked. It may be very similar to the last album in that it’ll definitely be a story told and easy to listen to. But I’ll definitely push myself to grow and stretch but be true to my sound of R and B.
Q. Switching gears, what do you like to do on your spare time?
I love to sleep, lol. While on the road, I don’t sleep a lot because of the schedule and early lobby calls. So when I get home, I stay in bed whenever possible. I also love watching movies and summertime gardening.
Q. What does success mean to you?
Success to me means that I’ve mastered a goal that I’ve set for myself. For an example, even though I was voted off of The Voice after my 3rd appearance, I feel successful because my goal was to make it to live TV and I did that! Another goal could be much smaller, so it just depends what I’m wanting to accomplish at that time.
Q. Have you come across any roadblocks on your journey to success? If so, how did you overcome them?
One major roadblock for me was overcoming being insecure and extreme stage fright.
It’s was crippling at one time. I thank God, I kept pushing and fighting against it! That’s one of the things in my life that I’m most proud of. My will not to quit or give up! With me not quitting, I eventually learned breathing and relaxations techniques to help me deal with the anxiety to overcome the stage fright.
Q. What advice can you give to aspiring millennials who's interested in becoming singers and actors?
The best advise I could give is to tell someone if there is a dream or aspiration that you have, never quit. But also know that you are always a student and never stop learning and training to be better at your craft.
Connect with Beth:
Facebook - @bethgriffithmanley
Twitter - @bethalwayssings
Instagram - @bethalwayssings
Interview by: Lee Whetstone, Editor-in-Chief
Biography credit: Amirakal Marketing
Photo credit: Tyrone “T Money” Holmes