Wednesday was a whirlwind of media interviews for 15-year-old Brynn Cartelli, who was crowned the winner of NBC’s “The Voice” on Tuesday night.
“It’s really crazy and unreal,” the Longmeadow native said in a phone call Wednesday.
Cartelli’s schedule doesn’t seem as if it will slow down soon, either. The teenager will return to Massachusetts on Saturday, then go back to finish her freshman year at Longmeadow High School. Oh, and she has an album to work on now that she’s won a recording contract, her prize as youngest-ever champion of the reality singing competition.
Cartelli hasn’t wasted any time planning those new tracks with her “Voice” coach and Grammy Award-winning singer Kelly Clarkson. In fact, Cartelli received a text message from Clarkson about her album while she was on the phone.
“Kelly and I are talking about this right now,” Cartelli said, after explaining that Clarkson had just sent her a message. “We’re working on it already.”
Cartelli and Clarkson became close during the teenager’s time on season 14 of “The Voice.” During the show’s finale Tuesday, Clarkson said she was “going to be Brynn’s big sis for life.” Cartelli said she admires the way Clarkson is so likable both as a person and a musician.
“If everyone loves you for the person you are, let alone your music is incredible, I think that’s a really great place to be,” Cartelli said.
The biggest lesson that Clarkson has taught her, Cartelli said, is “to be real at all times, to remain yourself. It’s just really important that you don’t let any of this eat up who you are as a person. It’s so important to just be nice to everyone and be respectful.”
Cartelli said that, earlier in the day Wednesday, she had sent Clarkson ideas for her album.
“I sent her this album I’ve been listening to,” Cartelli said of English artist JP Cooper’s “Raised Under Grey Skies.” “And it’s totally the vibe I’ve been going for.”
Cartelli is a songwriter and said she plans to write her own songs. Her first single, “Walk My Way” (which she performed Monday on “The Voice”), was written by Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, and Nick Monson, but Cartelli was quick to put her own mark on it.
“Julia’s version was amazing,” she said. “She sent us the demo, and I took that and made it my own. I changed a lot of the melodies, and a lot of the ideas were mine. I was just really proud of it.”
“The Voice” has helped Cartelli realize the type of artist she wants to be.
“I want to do a darker, pop soul kind of feel,” she said. “I want it to be current but have this old-school-funk kind of vibe to it.”
She said she expects to begin writing songs soon after she gets home. She’ll also need to finish out her school year, which ends in June. She has kept up with her schoolwork while in California by meeting with a teacher almost daily. As for whether she’ll attend her high school next year, she said she doesn’t know.
“I’m still trying to figure out what’s going to be best for me in the moment next year, what’s going to work out for the career, and being able to balance it all,” Cartelli said. “But I still want to graduate high school. I want to go to college, if I can. That’s really important to me, and I really hope that I get that opportunity to do so. But at the same time, music is in the forefront now, and I want to pursue that.”
The teenager has a lot to figure out. For right now, though, she’s looking forward to being home in New England.
“I miss all my friends,” Cartelli said. “I miss the weather out there. I love California weather, but I love spring in New England. I miss all the flowers blooming and everything.”Kristi Palma can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.