The band Girl Named Tom won The Voice competition last December. Four months later, they reflect on the experience and share what comes next.
Did you explain your Mennonite roots to other contestants on The Voice?
Josh: You have to explain the Mennonite roots. People are very intrigued in us since we are a trio — it’s just different. We luckily have a number of things that make us strange: siblings, the homeschool thing and Mennonite thing, and then people associate that with Amish. It’s a great conversation to have with people, we love it every time. Proud of the Mennonite heritage for sure.
Bekah: Especially when people asked where we learned to sing, and a lot of people on The Voice learned how to sing at church, that was a common thread. There’s nothing quite like four part singing so that was really fun to share with people. They were like, “what, you didn’t have any instruments?” It was very cool to see how different people learned how to sing and that was fun to share with people about our church’s background and Mennonite hymn singing.
What was it like to go from playing smaller, intimate concerts to playing big-stage, high-energy live concerts for The Voice?
Bekah: I would say that taking our music to The Voice was an incredible experience because we didn’t change much about what we were doing, we just did it on a different platform that was being heard by millions of people instead of 20 or 100. We were feeling that urgency to get our music in more ears at this time last year so the fact that we were able to do that on national television is awesome. I do think it made us better as a trio, I think we gained a lot of confidence in our own individual voices and appreciating and letting each other sing in moments and then bringing in the harmonies later. Our arrangements have gotten more intricate and original. Singing to people live is much more fun than singing on TV, so what we have been able to do with The Voice and singing to crowds of 2,000 live, the energy is just so electric.
Josh: It was interesting because we didn’t know how the style of music that we like to sing would translate over a screen or if people were hungry for it but it turns out that really we didn’t change much. We had to change some stuff from week to week just because The Voice made us, but the stuff the people liked the most was the stuff that was closest to our hearts. That gave us a lot of hope.
What was going through your heads when you won The Voice?
Caleb: I would just say it felt so surreal, just a daze. At that point you don’t remember you’re on TV. People started coming up to us and congratulating us, saying “your lives are never going to be the same.” That was weird to hear. I still don’t really understand what they meant, my life hasn’t changed that much, but maybe someday I’ll understand more.
Bekah: The two words that come to mind right away are gratitude and hope. We have come this way thanks to all the people who have supported us, listened and voted us through.
How have things changed for you since competing on The Voice?
Caleb: It’s incredible, we were actually just having lunch today in Nashville with some teammates of ours. Our team has grown substantially in the past couple months to keep up with the newfound popularity. We want to start singing to people that now know us and we want to show them what we’ve known for three years — that we are great musicians and we have a product we want to take all over the country. Life looks a whole lot different on a day to day basis but when it comes to our shows, driving to a place and setting up, singing for people, that feels remarkably similar. We’re still singing our favorite music and meeting wonderful people all over the country.
Josh: A frequent misconception is that The Voice controls our touring and what music we release, but The Voice is completely hands-off at this point. Yes, we’re signed to Republic Records, but that has nothing to do with The Voice. Our management companies are all separate from The Voice and probably would have happened regardless, it just helps to sell tickets and helped us get out there a lot faster to have that exposure.
Looking forward, what should be expected in terms of new music from Girl Named Tom?
Josh: We booked ourselves so hard this year and writing is definitely going to be a part of it. We have a single that’s fully in the can. There’s a lot of stuff that has to happen before it can be released but it won’t be long until we have something out. We’re hoping to get a number of songs out this year, maybe a Christmas EP.
Caleb: Writing is still an absolute priority of ours but in the coming months it’s a secondary to playing live. Which is a bit of a hard pill to swallow, we really want to get a full album out but it’s going to have to wait.
How has the loss of your father changed the way you make music and operate together in a band that is ultimately a family?
Josh: I think all of us, especially Caleb, saw Dad as one of our primary songwriting influences. He’s a character influence and a musical influence for all of us. If anything, [his passing] brings more influence and reverence to the music. It brings more closeness as a family. It feels more special to be able to [make a career in music].
Caleb: I feel lucky everyday because I think if Dad had had his absolute fantasies come true when he was a young adult it would have been to do something like what we’re doing now. Sometimes I feel a little guilty about that but mostly just honored to take what Dad has given us and turn it into something beautiful.
Bekah: Dad was a really fun person to update because the delight in his eyes was so bright. I love to imagine that even now I can feel the light in my own eyes that I saw in his when something exciting is happening.