Chevel Shepherd Interview
by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International
Chevel first charmed America in 2018, as the champion of season 15 of The Voice, nurtured by coach Kelly Clarkson. She spent the following year checking off a long list of red-letter firsts, including opening shows for Clarkson, Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne, Lee Brice, and more, along with singing the national anthem before the Indianapolis 500.
Lamitschka: Please tell us about the songs on your album EVERYBODY’S GOT A STORY (influences, etc).
Shepherd: Each song is different and represents who I am as a person and as a country artist. I grew up admiring female artists like Loretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker and The Chicks. I love classic country music and my EP leans into those traditional sounds and the genre’s legacy of storytelling.
Lamitschka: How did you choose the title for the CD? Is there a story behind the name?
Shepherd: The name of the EP, Everybody’s Got A Story, speaks to the value of our lives’ stories and storytelling in country music. The title track’s message is the thread that runs through all of the songs so it was fitting.
Lamitschka: Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?
Shepherd: Kelly Clarkson was a huge part of helping me find my voice in these songs written by acclaimed songwriters that I admire. While I didn’t write the songs for this project, I feel honored to showcase these songs on my debut EP.
Lamitschka: How do you feel about being winning the in 2018 The Voice? What has it done for your career?
Shepherd: Winning “The Voice” gave me confidence as a performer and a national audience. It helped launch my career and introduced me to life-long friends as well as mentors like Kelly Clarkson. The experience was priceless.
Lamitschka: Why did you choose Kelly Clarkson as coach by The Voice?
Shepherd: Many people, including myself, expected me to choose Blake Shelton due to his influence in Country music, but in that moment on stage something in my heart told me to choose Kelly. So, I followed that inner voice!
Lamitschka: Fans are always hungry for good The Voice stories. Do you have one you can share with us (come on don’t be shy)?
Shepherd: Sitting around the firepit at the hotel, contestants would gather and sing together. We had a strong, authentic bond over music that continues today – we remain friends and still keep in touch!
Lamitschka: What can your fans expect to see when they see you again in concert?
Shepherd: Energy and original music! I am eager to get back on the road and perform songs that I’ve spent the last year releasing.
Lamitschka: How did you spend time since last year during Corona pandemic?
Shepherd: I spent the last year at home with my family in Farmington, New Mexico. I spent a lot of time singing, teaching myself guitar and baking with my mom!
Lamitschka: If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Shepherd: So many people have great stories to tell. I would love to see the industry become more inclusive so that more stories can flourish, we can hear new voices and be inspired by our common humanity.
Lamitschka: Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have your own website and what will fans find there?
Shepherd: Yes! Fans can visit my website at chevelshepherd.com and discover more information about who I am, upcoming show dates, merch and more!