A Peoria native is chasing his dreams on this season of NBC's "The Voice."
Victor Solomon grew up singing for his friends, family, and church in Peoria.
Solomon said he has always had a passion for singing and performing for people, simply to put a smile on their faces. He and his three siblings grew up in a tight-knit, single-parent home, he said. His mother and siblings always encouraged him to sing from a young age.
"When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was in a room and I was singing, you know, just playing around and singing," Solomon said. "And my sister was in there, as well. And she stopped me and said, 'Victor, you sound like the people in the videos.' And I was like, 'Oh, what?' And I was happy.
"From that moment on, I started singing in church, started leading songs in the Sunshine Band, and the feedback I got from those performances as a kid, it really made me feel good. And singing made me feel good, as well. So I just continued to sing. Sing in church. Sing in the Praise and Worship Team, the youth choirs, adult choirs--and we're here now."
Solomon said it was the combination of his own passion, and support from his friends and family that ultimately pushed him to take a chance and audition for NBC’s show "The Voice."
After auditioning for the show and not getting picked the first time, he didn't give up. He chased his dreams and gave it another shot.
"It took me a while to think about going on the show. It was fall of 2018. I was having a conversation with a lady at my school by the name of Daphne Rogers. And she was like, 'When are you going on The Voice?' And I said, 'I've never really thought about going on The Voice.' And she said, 'We've got to get you on The Voice.'
"So in 2019, in January, I flew out to New York, and I was like, I'm going to audition, I'm going to try out. And I didn't make it. Last year, they reached out to me and said, 'We think you would do really good on The Voice.' So that brought it back up. Them reaching out to me, saying your content is good on your page. We think you would do really well on the show.
"So I thought, well, I've tried it before, why not do it again? I'm so excited. So grateful to be here," he said.
Solomon said being on the show has blown away a lot of his expectations. He said this experience has been incredible, and that he truly gives all the glory to God.
"Coming on this show, you think you want exposure, and you want a platform, because you get like 20 million views every week, and then you gain followers. Boom. Right? That's the reason why I chose it.
"But it's been so much more than what I expected. And that's the beauty of God. God blesses me. He does things that I didn't expect to happen, or that I didn't even think to ask."
Growing up singing in his church choir, he developed a passion for singing soulful, gospel-like music. This inspired him to audition with the song “Glory” by John Legend.
Solomon ultimately chose Legend it be his coach for this season, adding that being on the show and having Legend as his coach has taught him so much about music and how to craft his skill.
"Music-wise, I learned to listen to myself more while I sing. I kind of think about John as a coach as well. The things he likes, and the choices he makes in his songs. Some songs, you just want to let them speak for themselves, the emotion behind it. The power behind it.
"Whenever I pick a song to sing on the show, I'm thinking about that right there. So that's something that I've learned."
The Peoria High School graduate now serves as ‘Mister’ of North Carolina A&T, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU).
Solomon said he is constantly being blown away by the support from his hometown and college community. He said he is humbled by this experience, and is excited for what's to come.
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