Fort Wayne’s Addison Agen shares update on her music, career plans
Fort Wayne’s Addison Agen talked about upcoming concerts, career plans and just hanging out in Fort Wayne during a visit Wednesday to News-Sentinel.com.
Here’s a recap of highlights from our conversation with “The Voice” runner-up before and during a Facebook Live interview.
WELCOME HOME CONCERTS
Addison, 16, is excited about her sold-out concerts at 4:30 and 8 p.m. Sunday at the Embassy Theatre.
• Adam Levine of the pop group Maroon 5, who served as her celebrity coach on “The Voice,” was thinking of coming to one of the Embassy concerts, Addison said. Levine had to cancel that plan when his manager and longtime friend recently died unexpectedly.
• Addison has assembled a five-piece band – bass, drums, piano, cello and guitar – to accompany her at the shows. Members of the band likely will perform with her at other shows in the future, she said.
• At the Embassy concerts, she will perform songs she sang on “The Voice.”
“I don’t want to sing them only once,” she said during the Facebook Live interview.
She also plans to sing songs from her first album, “New Places,” which she released at age 13, and songs she hopes to make part of a second album expected out later this year.
WINTER JAM CONCERTS
Addison is thrilled to have been asked to perform at the Winter Jam contemporary Christian music concerts Feb. 8 at Memorial Coliseum, Feb. 10 at Indianapolis and Feb. 11 in Detroit.
• Tour organizers reached out to her Mom (Kristine) or Dad (Morrison) and asked if she would be interested in doing a small set of songs in the middle of the Fort Wayne concert, she said. Then they asked if she’d like to join the tour for the concerts in Indianapolis and Detroit.
• She’ll perform two or three songs, she said, including one she wrote in the past week that looks back at her recent journey in music and how God played a part in it. It will be a stripped-down set, with just her, a cello player and guitarist.
• Addison said she’s been attending Winter Jam concerts here since age 7. Performing on the Winter Jam tour “has been a dream of mine.”
“I would love to go on tour with them for the whole thing (entire tour) next year,” she said.
• Addison said she has about 15 other concerts already scheduled for the rest of the year, including many at festivals. She didn’t have the schedule with her and couldn’t recall the specifics, but a good guess would be that one of the shows will include the Three Rivers Festival.
• She also hopes to do a summer concert tour.
• Addison’s performances at the Embassy and Winter Jam will straddle two music genres – the indie-folk artist she described herself as on “The Voice” and the Christian contemporary music of Winter Jam. She totally embraces that and thinks she can do both styles.
“I think you can put indie folk into Christian music, 100 percent,” she said.
“I love writing songs that show how God is,” she added, but said she knows some venues may not welcome Christian music artists.
“When people think of me, I hope they think of that young Christian singer,” Addison said.
• She’s been writing a lot of new music.
“I have so many things to write about,” she said.
She keeps a notebook by her bed so she can jot down song ideas at night. She also writes ideas on her phone.
“Ideas spark at the most random times,” she said.
When she has 30 minutes or an hour, she goes back to the ideas, pulls out her guitar and starts composing songs.
• Her plans to hire a manager and staff have been put on hold temporarily because she may have an opportunity to work with the artist management company operated by Adam Levine, she said. Levine still is reorganizing the staff of the management company following the death of his manager, and he may try to fill more of a manager role himself, she said.
“I would love it,” Addison said of Levine managing her career. “I trust him with everything. Me and him really clicked and kind of understood each other really well.”
• She has to wait to see what happens with some of the contract obligations placed on top finishers on “The Voice,” she said.
Technically, they were under contract with Republic Records while on the show, she said. Republic decided it didn’t want to sign her as an artist after the show, which is fine, she added.
But the company also must pass the opportunity to sign her to a few other smaller record labels, she said, and she hasn’t heard anything yet about whether any of them are interested. If none of them express interest, she’s free to do her own thing.
“I’m good with that either way,” she said.
She’ll either make music with one of the small labels if one wants to sign her, or she’ll make music by finding her own record label, she said.
In the meantime, her parents have picked up most of the behind-the-scenes work, such as scheduling appearances and interviews, which has kept them extremely busy.
LIFE AFTER “THE VOICE”
• To push forward with her music career, Addison recognizes she’ll have to give up many things other 16-year-olds take for granted, such as going to high school football games and performing in school plays.
Addison was home-schooled through eighth grade and then attended Concordia Lutheran High School. She opted recently to take online classes to finish out this school year so she has more time to pursue a career in music.
“I think it is totally worth it,” she said of what she will miss.
“I have a very clear picture now of what my career will look like,” which is a rarity for a 16-year-old, she noted.
• She’s still adjusting to being recognized by people who became fans while watching her on “The Voice,” and she welcomes their support.
“I get recognized A LOT,” she said of going anywhere now in Fort Wayne.
“My boyfriend is getting used to being my photographer,” she said of people stopping them and asking for him to take a photo of them with Addison. “He thinks it’s funny.”
But she enjoys meeting new people and welcomes the chance to greet people who like her music.
“I’m very easy to talk to,” she said.
• After such a hectic schedule on “The Voice,” it’s nice to be home and to chill out a little, she said.
Through her home-schooling, she learned how to develop and keep good friends, and those bonds remain strong, she said.
“They treat me completely normal,” she added.
Through her experience, however, they’ve all grown a lot and learned more about themselves – all for the better, she added.
• She expressed gratitude for all of the support from people in Fort Wayne, both during and since “The Voice.” She said she wouldn’t be where she is now without that support.
That includes Mayor Tom Henry declaring Wednesday as Addison Agen Day in Fort Wayne.
“Fort Wayne is on fire!” she said.
ODDS AND ENDS
• Addison would love to perform with Adam Levine again, especially on “Falling Slowly,” which they performed as their Top Four finalist and celebrity coach duet on the Dec. 18 final live performance show on “The Voice.”
“It’s one of our favorite songs from a movie (“Once”) both of us really enjoy,” she said.
• Other than performing with Levine, Addison would most like to perform again with Norah Jones. Addison and Jones combined for a breezy performance of Jones’ “Don’t Know Why” on “The Voice” season finale results show Dec. 19. Addison said she also was excited to meet a music artist who is shorter than her.
• “The Voice” Top Four finalists are scheduled to receive a new car. While Addison is really excited about it, “I have to get my (learner’s) permit first,” she said.
THE ADDISON ARCHIVE
Here are our past stories about Addison Agen’s journey on “The Voice”: