Raine Stern just might have ‘The Voice’
Madison’s own woman-of-all-trades lands a spot on Team Jonas
Local musician Raine Stern has been a homebody for the past few weeks. Decompressing, relaxing and cramming in lots of puppy time are all integral to the artist’s self care, particularly after undergoing a life-changing experience this past year.
A musician through-and-through, Stern recently earned a coveted spot on Nick Jonas’s team on the hit TV show, “The Voice.”
“I’m just trying to get ready for the whole storm, which is a good one,” she says. “And getting ready for the whole craziness that is going to be the show, and my career afterwards.”
In its first set of blind auditions last week, Stern shredded her heart out on electric guitar and belted along to MGMT’s “Electric Feel,” putting her own spin on the already-funky track. Three out of four judges turned their chairs (shame on you, Kelly Clarkson) with astounding compliments on Stern’s arrangement of the song.
John Legend even likened her to a female version of Prince, with whom Stern says she has a “natural” and “spiritual” connection via music. She even performs in a Prince tribute band from time-to-time, and got to perform with his bassist and drummer a few years ago.
Nick Jonas then swooped in, mentioning that he also played with the same musicians not too long ago.
“I had this other connection with Nick, that was we had worked with some of the same people,” says Stern. “And then of course, he’s selling me on the ‘I’m also a multi instrumentalist’ and ‘I really love the songwriting part.’”
Stern has a knack for guitar, drums, bass and keyboard, but Legend’s activism inspires Stern for other reasons beyond his art.
“As a young, female queer artist who shreds on the guitar, I have similar aspirations to be a leader in my communities,” she says. “But at the end of the day, I knew I could connect with any one of them … but my brother really wanted me to pick Nick,” Stern laughs.
In addition to Jonas and Legend, Blake Shelton wanted to get Stern on his team. Since joining Team Jonas, Stern has felt an outpouring of love from the Madison community and beyond. Former guitar and vocal students, bandmates, venue hosts and seemingly everyone in between has reached out to send their best wishes.
“It’s been unsurprising to get the support that I’ve been getting, because I’ve seen how this community works for people in it,” she said of her fellow Madisonians. “More than just as a musician or as a singer, but as an artist, I feel like we deserve these things because we are good people.”
Whether that means helping local teens explore their craft, welcoming new musicians to the community or filling in during another group’s set, Stern has always been willing to show up for those around her and now it’s the community’s turn.
While we don’t know what coming episodes of The Voice will bring, Stern is looking forward in anticipation. She has three full-blown albums written and ready to be released after the show is finished, the first of which she started working on at age 15. A “coming of age story” accumulated over the course of four years, this album differs from the ones to follow.
“Right around when I turned 20, I met my girlfriend and I started working on this new side of me, which was this pop music, but it’s very alternative and indie and has a lot of instrumentation in it,” Stern says. “She’s been a huge influence.”
The pair write and produce together frequently, and Stern speaks volumes of her girlfriend’s lyricism and support. Most recently, they even planned out their first music video.
“I am shaking with excitement to have the world here what we’ve been working on together,” she says. “How often do you find somebody who’s in their early 20s that just believes in you so hard?”
The rest of the season of “The Voice” hasn’t been filmed yet, so send some good vibes Stern’s way as you tune in each week. A “bit of a wild card” among her competition TV cohorts, Stern’s spunk and grit will hopefully be enough to send her to the finale.
“There are people [competing] whose entire lives have been dedicated, since they were tiny, to singing and singing alone,” Stern says. “And then I go out there and I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m a little bit of everything! And I’m still working on it all! And it’s totally different!’”
But “different” is why we love her, after all.
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