‘The Voice’ set two midwestern music groups on a path to Van Wert

VAN WERT — “Music was ingrained into who I was from a really young age,” said Addison Agen, who appeared on “The Voice” at age 15. She will open at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 for headliner Girl Named Tom at the Van Wert County Fair.

“Music was always around and really important. I grew up in a musical family: my mom, Kristine, is a music therapist and a worship leader and my dad, Morrison, owns a record store,” Fort Wayne, Indiana-native Agen said.

“I was home-schooled until high school. Music was involved in more than one subject. I memorized math with music. For English assignments, I could write songs or poetry.”

“Before The Voice, I was playing at coffee shops and leading worship at my church Come2Go Ministries, and others, and writing songs,” Agen said. She was also recording with Off The Cuff Sound Label in Ft. Wayne and released a 10-song album with them on Spotify when she was 14, which she called “a great learning experience.”

It was her Spanish teacher, Señora Lizette Pierce, who signed Agen up (without asking) after hearing her sing the national anthem at a school sports event. Agen, her mom and Pierce traveled to Chicago to audition for the show.

Agen described her appearance on the show as “nerve-wracking,” but, “if you stop thinking about the millions of people watching through the camera, and just concentrate on four blank chairs (pretending there are no famous people, no coaches) and that there’s just about 300 people in the audience, it’s fine.”

Agen said about the opportunity to work with famous musicians and singers was amazing. “Meeting the coaches, they’re all really friendly people. I mostly got to know Adam Levine because he was my coach for the longest amount of time. He’s very real, very down-to-earth. He’ll tell you honestly what he thinks and I appreciated that. I wanted to know the truth.”

The experience for Agen was not just an opportunity to learn from Levine about music but about the music business, she said.

After auditions, the coaches knew what kind of music the performers preferred. The coaches then selected the first few songs for the show. But further into the competition, the coaches work with the contestants to select songs together.

Once she reached the Top 12, Agen said, “It was pretty much a choice between me and Adam. We sat in a room and tried a couple songs. We were normally there for a couple of hours before landing on one.”

At such a young age, it was a bit much for Agen to grasp how this “whirlwind” experience would influence her future music career.

Girl Named Tom is a trio of family singers from Ohio who performed on “The Voice,” and that show brought the two together for this unique performance. Caleb, Joshua and Bekah Liechty were the first to win on the American television talent show competition in December 2021. Their performance of “Helplessly Hoping” (originally by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) earned them four chairs turned.

They reached out to Agen and asked her if she wanted to do this show with them in Van Wert.

“It’s just a one-time-only type of show, but I’m super-excited because we have this crazy, shared experience of being on ‘The Voice.’”

Follow Agen on her website addisonagen.com and social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). Keep up with her latest releases on Spotify and Apple Music.

Learn more about Girl Named Tom on their website girllnamedtom.com), social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok) and music sites (Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube, and Apple Music).

Reach Shannon Bohle at 567-242-0399, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Bohle_LimaNews.

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