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Emily Keener discusses her depression, favorite and most challenging aspect

Zoe Greszler • Apr 26, 2016 at 9:00 PM

Wakeman’s Emily Keener has experienced more in the past couple months than most other 17-year-old girls get to experience in a lifetime. 

In Feburary the teen had her first episode aired on national television as one of the few lucky contestants to win the blind auditions in NBC’s “The Voice.” Even more rare, was the reaction she received for her audition — having all four famous show coaches vying to be chosen as her coach.

Keener ultimately chose singer, songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams and the story of her vocal growth and emotionally charged singing on the show began. 

Keener received a lot of advice while on the vocal competition and said she plans to apply that advice and never be anything but ’true to herself.’

As “The Voice” published in her bio, Keener’s struggle has been a large part of her style and music, and she has chosen to make the best of it.

“Depression has affected me in a lot of ways,” the young artist said. “And I’m happy to say that I’m kind of out of the woods at this point in my life. But I mean, that’s not to say I won’t be back in the woods at some point. So it’s just something that individually you have to learn how to handle. Everybody’s experience with it is different.

“And for my own personal experience, song writing has helped me so much with it. It’s allowed me to sort out my feelings in so many ways and it’s one of the only ways I truly know how to communicate with the world. So it influenced my journey in a lot of ways and I’m grateful for it. And I think it tends to enrich my art.”

Keener said the hardest part of “The Voice,” may not have been what you initially thought.

“The most challenging part (of being on the show) is probably the anticipation of and the performances themselves. It was just really nerve-wracking,” she said. “I did struggle with nerves a lot and I think that can be heard in a couple spots in my performances. It was just a really intense thing to go through. So that was difficult in the moment. But I feel like I kept getting stronger week after week, so no regrets on that front. But yes, the nerves and just like the stress of the process was probably the most difficult part for me.”

Some of the nerves kicked into a higher level after Keener said she got sick.

“(My favorite performance I had was) probably a toss-up between ’Still Crazy After All These Years’ and ’Lilac Wine’ just because I think those were a couple of the most emotionally charged performances for me. I was really sick, and I’m still dealing with that sickness now, so they were also a couple of the most difficult performances,” she said.

“And I think they’re more special to me because of that, because I had to push harder for them and I had to really trust in order to let those performances come out, because I didn’t know what was going to happen on the stage. So it ended up being really different than anything that I expected them to be, and I’m really happy with the way they turned out.”

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