Tony Lucca might seem like a new arrival on the scene, but he’s no stranger. The longtime singer-songwriter has made regular appearances in Oklahoma City, including numerous shows at The Blue Door (where he will return in October).
But Thursday’s performance at the Coca-Cola Bricktown Events Center is his first since his run to the finals on NBC’s reality competition show, The Voice.
“It’s been pretty exciting to get out and see the fans who have been there for so long, rooting me on for all these years, and then watch this influx of new fans, introducing them to my catalog of music,” Lucca said. “It’s fun to get back to work with the proportion of things a little bigger.”
Lucca began from the same place as Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling all did: TV’s The Mickey Mouse Club. Rather than aiming for pop stardom, he initially made a go at acting (dating actress Keri Russell at the time) before ditching Hollywood for music and a solo acoustic career.
The subsequent 15 years brought highs and lows, with enough of the latter for the 36-year-old Lucca to start questioning his future in music.
That’s when The Voice came calling. “I just had to dive in and commit to it. I was on the fence for a minute, but the nature of The Voice is a little more my speed,” Lucca said. “I felt like I had the talent to hold my own, so I thought, ‘I’m going to go for this.’ Once I got on, it was all or nothing.”
He first caught viewers’ interest with a stirring cover of Ray LaMontagne’s “Trouble.” He found his coach in Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine and rolled his way to the final four with unexpected covers of songs like “… Baby One More Time” and “99 Problems,” tunes Lucca never would have considered doing without Levine’s guidance.
“He gave me lots of good things to remember, the main one being aware of when it’s time to take a solid, calculated risk,” Lucca said. “You can get used to your patterns and way of doing things, and as an independent artist, you get so close to your work that it can get hard to look outside yourself. We shook things up on the show in a way that I had maybe been reluctant to in my career before.”
Despite not winning The Voice, Lucca said he is more than happy with where he’s at now, looking at a record deal, gigs supporting high-profile artists and a new album due early next year.
Working to win over weekly viewers has given him a new direction in music.
“You get to see what people really gravitate to,” Lucca said. “It’s a style of music and performance I can connect to, and I want to find a way to fit comfortably into that formula — stuff that’s a little more unexpected and aggressive.”
While it’s still folk-based, Lucca likened the growth and evolution of his sound to a much-needed facelift.
“We’ve put a new coat of paint on the car,” he said. “Instead of off-white, it’s lipstick-red. We’ve raised the bar, and we’ve got to keep things exciting like that. I want to build upon that new dynamic I established on the show.”