(Rock Hill, S.C.) – Camm Wess — a Winthrop University student and musician from Blythewood, S.C. — is currently competing on NBC’s musical competition show “The Voice.”
Wess advanced to the knockout rounds of “The Voice” March 30 after he was “stolen” by coach Kelly Clarkson.
Wess, who entered the night as a member of Team (John) Legend, performed “Señorita” by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello with teammate Mandi Castillo during one of the show’s voice battles.
“I think it was kind of a challenge for me to take a song and an artist that I wouldn’t typically find myself listening to and be able to kind of adjust to that,” said Wess. “I loved the fact that I had to kind of search outside of myself and find that.”
Since the performance was part of a battle round, Legend could only pick one of the two vocalists to remain on his team.
Legend chose to keep Castillo, but just as Wess was about to leave the stage, Clarkson used her “steal” to save him from being sent home, which made him a member of Team Kelly.
Wess, who has put his studies at Winthrop on hold, first appeared on “The Voice” on March 2 during the blind auditions to perform his rendition of The Weeknd’s “Earned It.”
The performance earned positive reviews from Legend and Blake Shelton, who both wanted Wess on their team, and the video of his performance on YouTube has reached nearly two million views since it was posted a month ago.
“It’s kind of like a dream,” Wess said. “It’s one of those things that you always kind of want for your life, but you’re a little skeptic that you’ll actually ever get there.”
Members of the Winthrop community, who know him as Cameron Wesley, said they are excited for Wess.
“Even though he’s not in school right now, we still support him (in) whatever he does,” said Aaron Milner, a junior at Winthrop.
Wess and Milner are both members of Phi Mu Alpha, a fraternity that strives to empower the world through music.
“Everybody usually counted on him to save the day with a solo,” Milner said.
“There’s an attention to detail to (his voice),” Milner said. “He implements runs and different ornaments into the lyrics, when it’s appropriate, and I think that’s really good. It’s just really tasteful and people really vibe with that.”
Dr. Jeremy Mims, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities at Winthrop, said he was “definitely on the nervous side” watching Wess during his audition.
“I was texting his high school choral director…who I’m a good friend with and he was right there with me,” he said.
Mims said Wess has performed numerous solos as a member of both the Chorale and Chamber Singers at Winthrop.
“We have a lot of good singers in the area, but Camm is what I like to consider the whole package, because he does play and can accompany himself and sing in that way,” Mims said. “He is a great entertainer and storyteller in his music.”
Wess said Mims is among several professors at Winthrop who have been instrumental in helping him develop his voice and his passion and love for music.
He also credited Phi Mu Alpha and the DiGiorgio Student Union for supporting his music and giving him opportunities to perform on campus.
Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has not impacted the production of “The Voice.”
In an interview with The Associated Press, Legend said episodes have been pre-recorded until the end of April.
“There were only three weeks of live shows planned and those were for May,” Legend told the AP. “So who knows what we’ll do? I don’t know if we’ll be able to do them without an audience. I haven’t spoken to the producers about what the plans are.”
“The Voice” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC and you can follow Wess on Twitter @CammWess.