Bryan/College Station has seen it’s fair share of local talent rising to the national stage. There is a long list of athletes that went to Texas A&M and are now making a name for themselves professionally: Von Miller, Michael Wacha, Mike Evans…the list could go on.
Then you have Rico Rodriguez, who landed a role on Modern Family and became a household name. Or Granger Smith, who went from playing guitar in his dorm room to a #1 song on the billboard charts.
That list wouldn’t be complete without Courtnie Ramirez. You might recognize her name if you have watched NBC’s “The Voice: this season. A fifth-generation Texan, Ramirez grew up in Bryan, and music is something she has always loved. She landed a solo in a church musical when she was 5. She started competing in singing competitions at 13. Now she has earned the title “Diva in the Making” according to Rolling Stone.
We recently sat down with Courtnie to have her dish on her time on “The Voice,” what life looks like with her newfound fame, and what really inspires the heart behind the artist.
MW: If we asked you 9 months ago to describe yourself in 5 words, what would they be?
CR: Joyful, loving, confident, focused, and independent.
MW: So do you think those would be different today?
CR: Yes, I would add grateful!
MW: That is a great word to summarize the past few months for you.
CR: I added grateful to the list because I am truly humbled by all the love and support my hometown has given to me. Also by all the love from my fans across the world! The Lord allowed me to be on “The Voice” for a season and it has opened so many doors, and I’m truly grateful for all the many blessings!
MW: How did you get into music? Did you just start singing in the shower and decide, hey I am pretty good at this?
CR: I began singing when I was 5 years old. I performed a solo for a church musical, and soon after that I discovered that I really enjoyed singing. But yes, I sang all over the house. My brothers would always get so frustrated with me.
MW: Tell us a little bit about your journey to get to “The Voice.” Why that show? Why now?
CR: My mom registered me for the open-call audition in Houston, Texas back in January! I remember standing outside the Minute Maid baseball park for hours, and it being so cold. My mom said I needed to try out and see what could happen. Never did I imagine that I would make it to the actual blind audition stage. I really like “The Voice” because it’s about what they hear and not how you look that makes them turn their chair.
MW: What a journey! From Bryan to NBC’s “The Voice,” you have really had a chance to experience some new things. Did you ever think you would live this out? Sitting in your bedroom singing to yourself, did you see yourself with this journey, this exposure?
CR: Never did I imagine I could make it on a national television show called “The Voice.” This journey has been amazing. It has opened so many doors and I’m truly grateful for all the blessings and opportunities that are still in the works.
MW: Ok be honest, going into the show did you have a particular judge you were hoping would turn their chair around?
CR: Yes. I always hoped and prayed that Alicia would turn for me. I know she did, but I felt the Lord wanted me to step out in faith and go with Miley. I needed to think outside of the box and that’s exactly what Miley did for me, she allowed me to adventure into some pop-rock.
MW: Since making your television debut on this season of “The Voice,” you have gained quite the fan following on both a local and national level. How has the added exposure been? How is a day in the life of Courtnie Ramirez different now than before the show?
CR: Oh my goodness! The love and support is amazing. I have gained so many new fans and followers, it gives me that much more determination to push forward with this calling and passion I have to sing my music to the world. The exposure has definitely opened so many doors, and I’m truly grateful. My schedule consists of vocal training, song-writing, practicing with my piano and guitar, singing at a variety of events, traveling to different places to song-write with professional songwriters, but most importantly spending valuable time with the Lord is my top priority.
MW: That sounds like you stay pretty busy. In addition to working with other writers, we know you have worked on writing some original material. What is that process like? Does it just come to you?
CR: I love hearing melodies in the songwriting process, but sometimes the words flow so easy and sometimes they don’t. I spend a good amount of time finding lyrics that have real meaning to it. Sometimes I can write a song in a few hours, sometimes it takes all day.
MW: With all of these new experiences and the added exposure, you have had the chance to meet some pretty amazing and talented people. Can you tell us one of those moments that has really stood out to you and made a mark?
CR: I have had the opportunity to meet some well known artists, and I’m truly humbled by this experience, but the one moment that really stood out to me is when Blake Shelton tried to describe this inner joy and peace that radiates from within me and all I could say was its the Lord, and I praise God for walking with me through this amazing experience.
MW: Who would you say are some of your biggest influences in the music industry?
CR: My biggest influence would definitely be the Lord and my Bible. I love reading my Bible and finding God’s hidden treasures and putting those words into lyrics.
The people that have played a huge role in my music journey would have to Jennie Lee Riddle, who I had the chance of interning with this past year. She has helped me to write lyrics that have power and meaning! The other people would have to be my parents; they have gone through so much and they have showed me what it truly means of working through everything with Christ! They are my biggest inspiration!
Some other artists I love would have to be Lauren Daigle, Jessie J, and Shane & Shane to name a few!
MW: A lot of the music that you perform and put out on Facebook and YouTube is Christian based. What is your background there? Did you grow up singing in church? How has that had an impact on the path you see for yourself moving forward?
CR: I grew up in a Baptist church so that has definitely had a huge impact on me wanting to become a Christian artist. I love the message that Christian music brings and I want to share the LOVE of Christ with everyone that God brings into my life.
MW: That is awesome. So, what is next for Courtnie Ramirez? Can we expect an album?
CR: Right now, I’m working on some original music and very soon I’ll be traveling to Nashville to meet with some important people in the Christian music industry. I’m so excited and praying for God’s guidance through it all. I am also working on solid songs for an EP that should come out very soon.