Congrats are in order for Jeffery Austin this week!
Although Team Gwen’s contestant did not win season nine of The Voice this week, the 24-year-old accomplished so much these past few months — he made it to the finale!
CelebSecrets4U was able to speak with Jeffery every Monday after his performance and we got nothing but good vibes from him. Our most recent chat with the 24-year-old this week was a little different. The interview was not about how he can go further in the competition, but to reflect on all his amazing accomplishments these past few months.
In our interview, Jeffery gave us the inside scoop on what it was like being on Team Gwen. He also talked about what it was like taking the stage with Tori Kelly and what’s in store for him in the future! Make sure to read the full Q&A below.
After Jeffery’s father passed away when he was nine years old, Jeffery grew up with his mom, grandparents and brother. During that time, Jeffery pursued music in high school and auditioned for all the school musicals. At 16, with the support of his family, Jeffery came out after years of trying to hide his sexuality.
Despite wanting to study music in college, his mom preferred that he take a more stable course. Jeffery majored in communications with an emphasis in advertising. He now works at a public relations firm in New York, but is still itching to do music full-time.
CS4U: How does it feel to have made it this far?
Jeffery Austin: “You know making this finale and seeing the competition through was a win for me! Everything else was icing on the cake, I think I can speak for all four finalist; this is how they saw the competition. The finale is the end goal always when you start this and its something that you never think is possible. To make it there and to have that experience and those memories and that crazy week, is one of the coolest thing I’ll ever do in my entire life!”
CS4U: Last week you sang for an instant save and this week you were a finalist. What was that like?
Jeffery Austin: “I’ve always focused on what’s ahead of me. I’ve never really thought “Oh, I’m going to win this” I’ve always thought gradually, “Oh, I’m going to make it to the top 12, then the top 11, then the top 10…” and once I got to the finale I really just wanted to do songs that meant something to me and were going to touch others and I think I did that. I’m a very competitive person but even with that competitive edge we all wanted to make sure we were showing who we were and as artist what we wanted to do in that finale and that’s really the only pressure we had on ourselves.”
CS4U: Your performance with Tori Kelly was absolutely amazing! Is this the kind of artist we can expect to see you as?
Jeffery Austin: “Yep! I would love to have just a miniscule level of the success that girl is having right now. It is so cool to preform with someone who was just nominated for their first Grammy and having a big moment this year, and someone who’s been through the show – she was on American Idol, so someone who has been through the process she know what it’s like to be an artist and what it’s like afterwards and hustling, so it was kind of cool to be with someone who has been through this at the end of my experience and see the success that someone can having. We actually found this out because I auditioned for American Idol years back and we found out that we auditioned in the same stadium for the same season! It was really weird and cool, she’s just one of the nicest people and I’m so excited I got to do that.”
CS4U: What’s the first thing you did when you got home?
Jeffery Austin:: “Ordered Chinese food *laughs *”
CS4U: Will you be going back to work at the PR firm that you work at?
Jeffery Austin: “I think with the success that I’ve had on the show and the way it’s all turned out there’s nothing I can do other than really make a go for music right now. I loved doing PR when I was doing it, I had a lot of fun working with a lot of great people but right now I’m at a point in my life where I have to just make a go for it and I will likely just keep working on my music from here on.”
CS4U: If you could give advice to your fans what would it be?
Jeffery Austin: “My advice is to always stay true to who you are and never apologize for who you are. I think I have done that throughout the entire show. There is never an interview or a song choice where I’ve felt “That isn’t me” or “that’s not me” “that’s not my personality” I’ve always felt that I was accurately represented and that’s because I was an honest open person on the show, and that in anything that you do, is key. Secondly, if you ever want to do something like this, the only way that you know if you can is by trying! The number one way of not getting on the voice is by not trying out for it. I just encourage anyone who’s interested in doing that is to go for it and make their dreams come true, because I made my dream come true and it’s definitely possible!”
CS4U: The holidays are coming up. Do you have any special holiday traditions?
Jeffery Austin: “Every holiday with my family, they always used to try to force me to sing in front of my family in my living room or wherever we’re gathering. It’s a long drawn out conversation where it usually takes bribes so that’s become a tradition *laughs* and then we always have the same pasta dinner every Christmas Eve!”
CS4U: If you could collaborate with any artist who would it be?
Jeffery Austin: “Sam Smith and Adele are obviously people I’d love to collaborate with, but of all time – John Mayer.”
CS4U: Since we are CelebSecrets4U could you tell us a secret no one knows about you?
Jeffery Austin: “I got a D in psychology.”