Recently, many North Georgia residents turned on The Voice, to hear a familiar name, “Jason Wilkes”. What was even more exciting, was to watch the battle between Blake Shelton and Adam Levine, when both mega stars, turned their chairs. Ultimately, Wilkes chose Blake Shelton and went on to wow America to the Top 24.
Some see shows like, The Voice, as a quick path to fame, for Wilkes, this was far from instant success, without putting in the hard work. The 33-year-old Cedartown native, has put years into honing his craft, working the small shows, and building a sound that is defined by the influences of Church, small town life, and dynamic story telling. Wilkes, started in Freedom Baptist Church, a small church located in Cedartown, GA. His grandfather was pastor of the church, and the Wilkes family provided the music. By middle school, he started developing his own tastes and sound, and by high school, he joined a rock band with friends.
Asking Wilkes to define his current sound, he attributes it to being raised in a small town, being raised on Southern Gospel, country music, and having an unexpected 17 year career in rock. Wilkes says his sound comes from “flying all over the map, as a typical 33-year-old, from a small town”. The combined sounds, from playing all types of instruments, and meshing of genres, is the unique blend, that is now Wilkes. Musical influences, that you can hear in his sound, would go from The Killers to Keith Urban to Dierks Bentley.
Wilkes has been writing music since he was 5 years old. His process is self describe as “24 hours a day of banking ideas”. He told me he had notebooks, voice memos, and recordings of melodies or lyrics. He has been writing and working with a publishing house in Nashville, and even if a song doesn’t come “organically”, he has years of material to pull from.
Reluctant to do The Voice, Wilkes is now seeing the benefits from taking the leap, and keeping true to who he has worked hard to become. He is still releasing the same material he would be releasing, but The Voice has given him a larger platform to share his music. He is seeing a bigger number of downloads, newer faces at shows, and the ability to perfect some earlier released music. Wilkes has released an original song, “Good To Be Us” and a cover of No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak”. The EP will be released soon, but his fans can start downloading songs now.
This Friday, June 8th, Wilkes will return “home” and headline the Rome River Jam Pre-Party. Rome River Jam is one of the largest music festivals in the south and has seen headliners from Tracey Lawerence to Luke Bryan to Old Dominion, and this year’s headliner Kane Brown. The Rome River Jam Pre-Party has become a must see show to kick off the weekend. Wilkes is excited for his first, post The Voice, hometown show. Wilkes will have a great opening act, Austin Jenckes (from Nashville and Season 8 The Voice contestant), and another unnamed opener. Wilkes will take the stage at Rome City Brewing Company, located at 325 Broad Street in Downtown Rome, Ga. Tickets are selling fast, so don’t miss out. Doors will open at 7:00 pm and the show starts at 9:00 pm. You can purchase tickets at Fresh Tix.
Be sure to download “Good To Be Us” from all of your favorite streaming sites, or from Good To Be Us ITunes. You can learn all things Wilkes by visiting all of his social media sites. All the links are provided below!