Talon News - Good Local News



January 25, 2019

Shevel singing on The Voice- Photo by Tyler Goldin. Special to TALON

by TALON Staff

San Juan County residents are singing praises of Season 15 winner of The Voice, Chevel Shepherd. Throughout the season, signs of encouragement and celebration have been displayed throughout the area acknowledging Chevel's journey. Now, anticipating Chevel's maiden concert to be performed at the Farmington Civic Center on Sunday January 26th, the surrounding chatter includes a lot of speculation about what is next for Chevel.

Back at home, Chevel is enjoying normal 16-year-old activities like going to the mall and being back in school. Chevel shares, "Every chance I get I go to school so I can be with my friends and teachers". She and her family are appreciative of the school's support allowing Chevel seamless continuation of her classes on and off campus. Chevel and her family are not making any immediate long-term plans, just fielding opportunities and waiting to see where it all leads.

Upcoming events include appearing at a Kelly Clarkson concert February 1st in Glendale Arizona and beginning work on an album. The record deal is included in winnings from The Voice and Clarkson will help Chevel in that process. Clarkson was Chevel's coach on The Voice and that experience was Chevel's first formal voice training!

Chevel's mother, Julie Shepherd, reminisces, (Chevel) "Sang before she talked. She always sang well. I knew there was something because at two years old she could hold a tune and a beat". Chevel traces her memories of singing back to age two and believes she was influenced by hearing her mom and sister singing. She recalls the first songs she learned, Fly Away by Tim McGraw and Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood. Chevel was about eight when The Voice premiered and Julie reflects, "I still look at her as a little girl on the floor watching The Voice saying, "I want to do that, I could do that"." Chevel smiles and comments, "It's crazy".

What seems crazy is that Chevel did not plan to audition for Season 15 of The Voice. She had auditioned a previous season but did not make it to the blind auditions. The Voice actually scouted her and invited her to come back, obviously a defining moment in Chevel's life. While winning is obviously every contestant's goal, the Shepherds speak more about the relationships built during participation in The Voice. Chevel explains, "The whole experience was amazing! We're like family, we all still talk. All of us are really, really close". Julie agrees, "She made a lot of great friends. They all share the same passion so it's real easy to get along with people who share the same passion".

Chevel winning- Photo by Tyler Goldin. Special to TALON

Regarding pursuing a country music career, Chevel feels confident, "This is what I want to do!" She has some personal goals in mind too, she eludes that winning The Voice had been a goal and adds, "I want to sing at the Grand Ole Opry". At this point nothing seems impossible for the young woman who grew up singing at church services, funerals, weddings and on the radio in San Juan County, New Mexico. The Shepherds are thankful for everyone in the county, surrounding areas and entire state of New Mexico, Chevel clarifies, "Without them I wouldn't be where I am". But, Chevel's popularity is not limited to our county, state or even country. The Shepherds are being inundated with requests for interviews, appearances and concerts from all over the world. Julie comments, "It's been fun. I'm very proud of her".


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