RVA Local Plans “Voice” Audition
CiJay Bailey splits his time between Richmond and Florida with his partner Ed. On his way to a career in Christian music, he came out of the closet and had to reinvent himself and his music.
He’s hoping to take that passion for his music to television and will be arranging a trip to audition for NBC’s The Voice in August.
“The music industry has changed so much over the past 10 years that it takes opportunities like this for the small independent artists like myself to get noticed,” Bailey said. ”Even with the current record label showing interest, it takes finding a support group, investors and lots of time to make something happen.”
Now, he’s working to increase his fan base through social media and traveling the U.S. to compete in in the finals for Talent Quest in Nevada.
Watch his video cover of “Let It Be” below:
GayRVA: How has being out impacted your music?
Bailey: Singing is my passion in life. I was on a path of great success in Christian music about 12 years ago, but when I decided to finally “come out,” I had to start my career all over again. Since many people believe that a gay man can’t sing about loving God, I have had to work over the last several years learning how to reinvent myself in a way that I can still share my faith and also my love for singing; plus be true to who I am as an openly gay man.
What have you being doing to build your career?
I’ve made small steps to be noticed over the past few years, but never really pushed for bigger opportunities. I released a five song original EP that was recorded in Nashville, TN back a couple of years ago, and I also released two dance singles – all available on iTunes. I’ve tried singing for a few bands, but for one reason or another it just never worked out – mostly because when they discovered I was gay…well you know. It also didn’t work because I was trying to sing a genre of music that just didn’t work for me. I love rock music, but I just don’t sing it that well.
This year I’ve put my efforts into singing and performing country music and it’s a great fit! I have a Nashville record label that is showing some interest in my voice and most recently, I competed and won first place in the Men’s Country and first place in the Duets category of Florida’s, “Talent Quest Sunshine State” Finals.
Why are you choosing to audition for The Voice?
I could never audition for American Idol because I am too old. They have an age cut off. I don’t really care much for the circus of America’s Got Talent. That show, like the new X-Factor is so unexpected with what kind of people get put through after the initial auditions.
The Voice is the first show that I really took notice of and I immediately wanted to audition. It’s all about the ability to sing and perform. My age will not matter. I really like how the judges in this show get directly involved with making each contestant better. It’s not only the contestants that have something to prove; the judges also want to win. It takes several auditions before a person can even make it to the audition in front of the celebrity panel.
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