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The voice of the Bronx

Bronx Times

Bryan Keith has a voice and he wants the world to hear it.

The Bronx native, 22, has been singing and writing music his whole life, but he may have recently gotten his big break.

Keith was chosen as a contestant on the third season of NBC’s hit television show The Voice.

The show gives singers a chance to “blindly” audition for four celebrity coaches — Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton — who can then chose to have the singer be on his or her team for the remainder of the show.

The coaches must make the decision to chose the singer based solely on their voice, and once they have decided they want the person on their team, they push a button to turn their revolving chair around and view them.

Coaches will work with each of their team members as mentors to judge and critique their performances.

If the singer is chosen by all four coaches, he or she can chose which team they want to be on.

Keith sang Bruno Mars’s “It Will Rain,” and impressed all four coaches.

He said being chosen by all four judges was one of the best feelings in his life.

“It felt like a dream when all four coaches turned for me,” he said. “I was floating on a cloud when I saw them staring back at me. For that moment to have finally arrived and for the performance to have gone so well just felt like it was my time. For 90 seconds, my voice was the only thing that four Grammy-winning super stars were listening to. I felt accomplished.”

Keith said he ultimately chose to be on Adam Levine’s team, lead singer for the band Maroon 5, because he felt he could relate most to him.

“I chose to be on Team Adam because I felt that Adam and I would be very compatible with each other because he is the front man for a band, and I used to be a front man for a band. Adam is also influenced by some of the same artists that I respect highly,” he said. “He also seemed like a lot of fun to be around and get advice from. It has been an amazing experience to work with Adam. He reminds me to stay original and always connect with people. He also reminds me of the importance of not forgetting who you are as both an individual and as an artist. ”

After spending a few days home in the Bronx, Keith will be returning to California where the 40 remaining contestants will be cut down to about 20, during the Battle Rounds.

After the cuts, viewers from all over America can vote to keep which singers they like the most.

“I believe that I can win the show because I have something different to offer as a singer,” he said. “As both Christina and Blake said, I have a signature voice and I want people to hear it, win or lose.”

Music runs through Keith’s DNA. His father, Ray De La Paz, is a Latin jazz and salsa singer and was also a member of the Grammy Award-winning band Spanish Harlem Orchestra.

“I first started playing drums with a band when I was about 15 and that was giving me a taste of ‘studio life’,” Keith said. “I was being recorded by a friend named David Andronico. Later on in life, as I started performing solo singer songwriter shows downtown and around my neighborhood in the Bronx, Dave and I linked up again, this time with another friend named Peter Macchia, and we recorded some demos. After that they realized I had an original sound and offered up the opportunity to audition for The Voice. From that moment my dreams started coming true.”

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at ksanchez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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