It may not have been in a twinkling, but life for country music singer Craig Wayne Boyd changed pretty dramatically after he was declared the winner on the seventh season of NBC’s “The Voice.”
One moment you’re homeless. Your musical career is barely on life support. The next, you’re living in your own home and putting on shows in front of as many as 15,000 people and singing alongside idols like Travis Tritt.
“I had just about lost everything I had monetarily owned and was sleeping on a friend’s sofa when I went to audition (for The Voice),” Boyd said in a phone interview from his Nashville home base.
One product of those whirlwind changes is that Boyd is in the midst of a 70-city concert tour, which comes to Rochester’s Mayo Civic Center on Sunday, Oct. 18.
When you find yourself living on someone else’s couch, it may be time to evaluate your career choices. But Boyd says that was never in the cards.
“Every time I tried to quit, it’s almost like a drug. I couldn’t get away from it,” Boyd said. “I was miserable and just couldn’t stand being with myself when I wasn’t doing music. It has been all my life.”
At least since the age of 4 when his dad, a banjo player, placed a mandolin in his hands. Father and son would play bluegrass music together. It was about that age that Boyd landed his first gig, singing for a graduation ceremony.
At age 24, Boyd left his native Mesquite, Tex., for Nashville to pursue his musical career. Almost immediately he found success, Boyd said, landing a job as a songwriter for EMI, then the worlds’s largest publishing company. Boyd seemed on his way. But there would be ups and downs. In 2007, Boyd had a record deal offer with a vocal group that fell apart in studio. The band disbanded. So Boyd started over. In 2011, Boyd put out a single to country radio on an independent label. It was climbing the country music charts when disaster struck.
“(The label’s) funding got pulled. I put all my investment money into that,” Boyd said. “And so then that’s when I started going really downhill.”
Enter “The Voice.” Today, Boyd’s biggest challenge is finding a way to balance the demands of being a father to a 3-year-old son and a fiancee to Wilhelmina model Taylor Borland with a demanding country music career. He has found a way to intermingle the two. Boyd proposed to Boyd on June 13 on his tour bus after a performance at the Oak Ridge Boys Theater in Branson, Mo.
But while “The Voice” lifted Boyd out of homelessness and set his career on an upward trajectory, Boyd said winning the contest isn’t a ticket to automatic long-term success. The struggle continues.
“There’s always disappointments,” he said. “Things don’t always happen like you want them to. It’s about finding the positive in all those reasons.”
But right now things are looking pretty good. During his concert in Rochester, the singer will be playing some of the songs that propelled him to victory on “The Voice,” as well as songs from a new album that will be coming out soon and previous albums. It will be his first trip to Rochester, he said.
“(I’ve been told to) bring something to stay warm,” Boyd said.