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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, May 25, 2018 10 months ago

The Voice's Kaleb Lee: 'Follow your dream'

Ormond Beach resident and The Voice contestant Kaleb Scharmahorn talks about his life post-show.
by: Jarleene Almenas News Editor

If Ormond Beach resident and The Voice Season 14 Contestant Kaleb 'Lee' Scharmahorn had to choose just one lesson to pass on to his children, it would be to never give up on their dreams. 

“Music for me has been that," Scharmahorn said. "It’s been of those I haven’t been able to forget, in a good way.”

He wants them to discover what they want to do with their life, discover their own vision and dream, and once they do, to never be afraid to take a risk and go after it. Sometimes that dream gets lost along the way, Scharmahorn said — whether it be due to responsibilities or events in one's life. 

And while he doesn't want them to grow negligent of life's responsibilities, he wants them to know that balance between responsibilities and dreams is possible. 

“It may not be overnight success," Scharmahorn said. "It may take you 10 years and being out of music for a while to get out back into whatever music is for you.”

At age 32, Scharmahorn was able to do just that on The Voice. 

He said his experience was both incredible and surreal. Before doing the show, he worked at an internet marketing company and hadn't been pursuing music professionally for over eight years. He still sang and played his guitar in front of his family and friends, but he never thought he would get back to performing in front of crowds again.

Kaleb 'Lee' Scharmahorn on The Voice. Photo courtesy of NBCUniversal Television

While there were times on the show he felt he needed to "shake the dust off," he said every round he got more comfortable onstage. It's like riding a bike, Scharmahorn said.

“After a while, it doesn’t take too long to where you’re cruising like you used to," Scharmahorn said. "So for me, that’s kind of where I feel like I got near the end.”

He is thankful for all the people who supported him all the way until the semi-finals, where he and three others were eliminated. Coming into the show, and being a skeptic by nature, Scharmahorn said he wasn't expecting to make it that far. Over 40,000 people auditioned for the show, and while he was approached by The Voice casting who saw a video of him online, he looked at things from a statistical point of view.

“Even if you’re a great singer, the odds of making it, there’s still a lot of luck that’s involved," Scharmahorn said. 

He believed in himself though, and as he advanced, his skepticism decreased. He added that the show was like a high-intensity music boot camp, where in eight months he was exposed to people and aspects of the industry that would take others years to encounter. He said he felt like he got 10 years of experience during his time on The Voice. 

It was the best part of the process for him, and it's what he will take with him as he advances with his country music career.

He'll also look fondly back on his experience working with his coach, Kelly Clarkson. He said she's become a great friend.

“What she says and who she is on-camera is exactly who she is off-camera," Scharmahorn said. "I gravitate to people like that, especially when you can tell that they’re genuine about their feelings and who they are and I see that in her as well. I think that’s why we had such a connection.”

What's next for Scharmahorn? 

He's not sure yet. Having just got back home from the show, he's still figuring things out. He will be performing some shows in his hometown in Kentucky and has a short tour planned from Minneapolis to Nashville, Tennessee, in the coming weeks. He'll also be bringing his new travel partner: a Vizsla puppy named Whiskey.

“It’s super humbling and I’m super thankful to call this place home and to call everybody friends and excited to see what happens from here," Scharmahorn said.

And as he delves into creating more music, one thing is clear in his mind.

His family will always play a huge part.

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