The day after Darby Walker was eliminated from The Voice last week, she spoke to reporters about her run on the show. The 17 year old Team Miley talked frankly about leaving the competition and the stress of facing off against her team member and good friend Aaron Gibson for the twitter save.
While Team Alicia member, Sa’Rayah, eliminated the week before, believes she lost HER face off against Aaron due to the might of Miley’s twitter followers, Darby has a different take. She believes Miley’s polarizing pop fame may have landed both her and Aaron in the bottom 2. Read on for more.
I’m sure original music is somewhere in your future. I was wondering what you can tell bands about that. What sounds to expect, was there something you were already started working on, that sort of thing?
It’s definitely something that’s way for a while. I can tell everyone to keep expecting music with a lot of messages very much in line with what you guys have been hearing but with more of a Darby twist on it so everyone keep your ears open.
How you would say your Voice experience will affect the music you’ll be releasing in the future?
I feel like my Voice experience really allowed me to explore the music that I’ve always wanted to sing and perform and I really got to get out of the whole Indie box. So for me I’ve always called myself an old soul. That’s the music I love so I really think I’ll be taking a lot of those kinds of sounds and putting them in my music. That’s something that I’ve started to do and it’s something that I think you can expect to hear from me.
Aaron Gibson was up again for the instant save. He was in that position last week as well so what did you think your chances were of staying or going when you were up against him?
To be honest that wasn’t even something that crossed my mind. In the moment I was just worried about giving my best performance of my last chance song and I had no clue what was going to happen. I feel like it could’ve gone either way. I know that the East Coast is the people – they’re the ones who get to vote first so at the end of the day – at the end of the day I knew it was up to them and it was all completely subjective. So yes, honestly my mind wasn’t there when that was happening.
Were you surprised at all that you were eliminated?
At the end of the day I was completely surprised. I wasn’t expecting it. I wasn’t expecting it to be (Aaron) and I in the bottom two. I just wasn’t expecting that at all to be really, really honest with you but I will say the universe works in interesting ways and I have complete faith that everything is the way it’s supposed to be and I’m really excited for the future.
Why do you think two of Miley’s team members fell into the bottom two this week? Like, do you have any theories and therefore do you agree or disagree with Sa’Rayah (who said last week that Miley’s large twitter following saved him)
I have my own theories. Miley’s someone who I have the upmost respect for and I love her with all my heart but at the end of the day she’s a figure that either people love, and some people don’t love. So I think – and we talked about this onstage. She believes that it’s a reflection of what people feel towards her. I can agree with that.
I think people project – they projected their feelings [about] her towards me which is something that I kind of expected going into it and I have no regrets [about] any of the songs I sang. I think at the end of the day that’s what it really boils down to. And when it comes to whole social media following I think that has to go with the demographic that was voting for the instant save as well. So yes, it’s tricky.
The public perception seems to be that you were one of the underdogs this season. Some of the favorites to win like Billy Gilman for example, they have these really undeniably huge powerful voices so I just want to know how you felt when you stacked up against the competition. Up until last night how confident were you that you could win this thing?
Honestly I’m not just a voice. I’m an artist and I think that’s what I completely brought to the table. I brought my artistry with me. Performing with Billy Gilman and all of those people, I loved them all. They’re all extremely talented but when it comes to stacking up against them I’m completely confident and comfortable in the music that I put out and the messages that I put out and what I was doing. It was so much more than just singing big and singing big songs. I can sing a big song if I wanted to. I could do that but for me it’s always about standing for something and really introducing to the world who I am.
You said originally that you were more of an Indie artist thrust into the pop music genre. The [songs] weren’t something that you’d do. Do you feel that maybe you could’ve – if you would’ve been able to do some of the songs you wanted to do that you could’ve gave a better performance?
Overall I’m so happy with every single song I sang and every performance I sang. Every song that I ended up singing on that show was a song that I wanted to sing. It was something that I believed then. It’s something I believe needed to be heard. So I’m ecstatic that I pushed out of the whole Indie box that everyone was trying to put me in. I’m an Indie alternative artist and I feel like I stayed that way throughout the entire thing. I wasn’t just covering songs. I was completely infusing myself into every song that I did. So yes, honestly looking back at it I’m so, so happy with every performance I gave.
About your Twitter. Did you mention revolution? I wanted you to elaborate on what you define as revolution and what you believe in.
For me this revolution that I speak of is something I’m so passionate about so you’ll have to bear with me. Going up on that stage, it wasn’t about being pretty. This revolution that I was up there fighting was for everybody who wants to be themselves and for everyone else who doesn’t want to be labeled and put in a box. And for everyone else who believes in peace and believes that change starts with what we’re putting out in the world. And for everyone else who believes that taking risks us good. Being different is something that we need to do. That’s the revolution I’m talking about.
I’m not like anyone else out there right now doing this. I believe with everything going on in the world and everything going on in our country especially when you have things like social media, if you’re not being the change then what are you doing? So if I can do that–that’s all I want. I got to do that with every song that I sang. I got to do that week after week after week and the following I built up and the songs I did [are] unbelievable. I’ve gotten more of a social media following than anyone else on the show.
I really connected with a lot of the younger people out there and I think the most beautiful part about this is the fact that my need for change and my need to spread love and light resonates with so many other people out there and this is so much bigger than just The Voice and this is so much bigger than just song choice and music. This is about coming together as a collective.
Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with Miley. How did the two of you work together? Did she pick your songs or did you pick them together? Did she pick your outfits?
Everything that Miley and I did was completely collaborative. It was her texting me song choices saying hey, what do you think about this or hey, just listen to this and me texting her saying you listen to this, what do you think about this? Style was the same way. I’m someone who very much know who I am.
The nice thing about Miley is that I really got the freedom to go all out and be 10,000% of what I wanted to be and I don’t know if I would’ve gotten to do that had I dealt with another coach. It was just really nice to work with someone who believes in everything that I believed in. We both knew that some of the songs I sang were calculated versus we weren’t sure how people would take them.
We knew that we weren’t sure how people would take me wearing a flower, just a flower in my hair doing my thing but at the same time it was more important to us to put out good art, an art that means something than just music that everyone can sing along to if that makes sense. So working with her, it was wonderful. It was super wonderful and I look forward to everything or anything, if anything comes in the future with her.
You sang a lot of vintage songs. Did you – had you heard those songs before?
I always tell people I was born in the wrong time. I go back and cry myself to sleep at night because I don’t feel like I’m from this time. I’m going to go back, collect antiques and start a vinyl collection from the past three years. So for me that was very much – that was who I was. She completely gave me the freedom to do that. I never knew how and if I could do that and with her, I got to push out of the Indie box and do everything that I wanted to do.
It’s something that’s influencing my whole life and I’m really happy that I got to sing those “vintage” songs for everyone to hear because it was good music and it was music that meant something and I feel like a lot of songs nowadays talk about love or being heartbroken or about sex. That’s all what we’re hearing and I feel that the songs that I sang were about so much more than that. It was about freedom and self-expression and love and peace and being who you are.
What’s your most memorable moment from being on The Voice?
That’s hard. There’s a lot of them but I think my – one of my favorite moments is – it was 11:00 at night. We had a long day of filming and we were rehearsing for a group song. It was me, (Aaron), (Ally), and Miley on stage. The band had gone home. The crew had gone home. They were turning off the lights and I was standing there barefoot and all of us were just sitting there clapping our hands and tapping our feet practicing that song over and over and over, just really enjoying the music and enjoying being there and creating something. It was the last moment I think I experienced on the show and it was beautiful.
You mentioned just briefly the East Coast versus the West Coast and the Twitter save and of course you were going up against someone from Georgia and you’re from California. How do you feel about that whole Twitter save format? Do you think that could’ve influenced the outcome?
I think it did influence the outcome completely but it’s something that’s out of my power. It’s something I can’t cry about because I knew that going into this. The thing is I’m from Georgia as well but I never fully got that same exposure and it’s hard to be from – it’s hard to be bicoastal because when you live in LA the only people they are talking about are the A-listers. Because (Aaron) was from Georgia he got first dibs on everything. I really, really, really pushed myself and promoted myself as much as I could. I was my biggest person out there fighting for myself.
So I knew when that happened, that not only because he was from Georgia, but because I think the mindsets are different between East Coast and West Coast if that makes sense. I’m not trying to make this political by any means but I was up there singing about things that maybe more conservative people didn’t want to hear about. I was up there doing things that maybe they weren’t ready to hear or ready to watch and I think their opinions towards Miley and me being considered the “mini-Miley” could’ve influenced their judgment and their votes but you know what? It’s up to the universe. I believe everything happens for a reason so I’m happy that he’s still there and I wish I could’ve been there but that’s just the way the cards fell.
Despite loving your instant song save last night, do you think maybe singing a different song would’ve produced a different outcome for you?
It’s something that I thought about but it’s not something that I’m going to keep thinking about. Honestly I picked the song – the way I thought, I was like ‘Darby if you have to sing an instant save song, sing something that everyone knows and loves and sing songs that you love.’ Your Song by Elton John–I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love that song.
So no, I don’t think I would’ve sang a different song. It’s something that means a lot to me. Yet again if that was going to be my last song I’m glad I got to put out one last little message of love and one last little tidbit of light and one last little tidbit of Darby.
What was your reaction when Miley saved you over (Belle Jewel) and (Sophia) heading into the top 12? That was obviously a big moment for all the artists that were saved. Was that a shock for you or did you feel your connection with Miley was strong enough where you anticipated that decision?
I never like to fully anticipate anything but it was really, really satisfying and gratifying if that makes sense. I believe that we had that relationship, so for her to pick me and really believe in what I was doing was something that was so special. I think for both of us–my presence on the show meant more than just singing those songs. I think that’s why we had such a good time and why we did connect so well. It’s because we’re both people who stand for a cause and we’re both people who are out there every day trying to spread some light. I was surprised but I wasn’t surprised.
What’s next for you? Do you go back to doing Indie music? Do you advance from there? What’s next for Darby?
That’s such an open-ended question because there’s so much that I don’t know about yet. There’s so much in the works already. There’s so many things out there. I have a movie coming out in February which I’m really excited about. I’ve got a lot of music that I’ve already made but I’m more thinking about – because I’m a person, I believe in change. I believe in evolution and I know I’m not the same person now than I was going into this.
So you guys can expect to hear a lot of new music coming from me. You can expect to see a lot of me on social media. I’m going to be everywhere. Just expect a lot of art.
Now I feel like I’m moving on to something bigger and more meaningful. I want to sing – I’ll sing for anyone who listens, anyone who wants to hear me sing but at this point I really, really, really have a strong sense of who I am and I know who I am and a lot of other people know who I am and believe in me and what I’m doing. So I think it’s so much bigger than what it was when I was started. I don’t think there’s any going back. There’s only looking forward and only new experiences.
What were your relationships with the other contestants like? Who were you closest to?
To be honest my best friend on the show was (Aaron) so that was real fun last night. Yes. Everyone here is like family. I love Billy Gilman. I love me some Billy Gilman. He’s the most charming person you’ll ever meet in your life. (Alli’s) the funniest person you’ll ever meet in your life. Her impersonations of everyone are hilarious.
I love everybody here. I have the upmost respect. My gosh. Cowboys, I love our cowboys. (Josh) and (Austin)…they’re great.I love them all with all my heart and I know that I will see them all and continue to talk to them all for many, many, many years to come. They can’t get rid of me that easy.
Did you and Aaron say anything to each other while waiting to hear the results?
We both just were in shock. He felt so – it was just like a lose-win-lose situation. Either way, you couldn’t really fully be happy. I talked to him last night and this morning. Although he’s happy to be here that’s not what he wanted at all. And for me it’s like I’m happy that his music still gets to be heard because I love his music but at the same time I still really, really want to be here. So yes, it was just – it wasn’t a fun situation to be in.
Could you talk a little bit about your upcoming movie? Is this something you filmed before you were on The Voice?
Yes. I’m actually super excited. This is something that I filmed before The Voice which was produced by the same man who produced Halloween and Michael Myers so I’m super excited. It’s scheduled to come out in February. I think it’s going to be cool. I can’t give away all the details but everyone should stay tuned and watch. I’m excited.
It’s a horror film?
It’s a horror film.