By Destiny Rivera | Editor-in-Chief
Albert Melendez / Special to Viewpoints
Riverside, there is a local celebrity among us.
Newly discovered artist Daniel Rosa made it past the “Blind Auditions” and onto several rounds of NBC’s season three of “The Voice.”
This happened to be Rosa’s second time auditioning.
Not making it through the first time during season two, he was invited back to compete with 25 to 30 others for a second chance at the next season.
A smaller competition was held where contestants advanced further in order to perform on air for the coaches once again at the blind auditions.
With the expectation of a chair not turning around, Rosa was floored when his version of “Somebody That I Used to Know” turned half the coach’s chairs around.
The very chairs that read “I want you” belonged to country singer Blake Shelton and hip-hop artist and producer Cee Lo Green.
This was not only a monumental moment for Rosa, but for the entire show as well.
He made history on “The Voice” by being the first contestant to return and go forth in the competition.
Emotions flew throughout the auditorium and the coaches were ecstatic to see him back, one in particular, Adam Levine.
He rushed off from his seat and onto the stage, nearly knocking Rosa over in excitement.
“(The hug) was painful actually; I had knots in my stomach.” Rosa said.
Rosa’s decision ultimately came to choosing Cee Lo because of the eagerness he expressed while speaking of his music.
Musical freedom was one request Cee Lo was able to take him up on, while Blake was blank on that subject.
“I asked if they would allow me creative freedom with the songs and Cee Lo was like, ‘Yes, I totally would, I love what you did with it,’ and Blake didn’t even answer the question,” he said.
“Cee Lo was really wanting to work with me and it was really awesome.”
Having influences such as Stevie Wonder, Amy Whinehouse, Jack Johnson and Ingrid Michelson, Rosa wanted to incorporate their style in his music.
Jack Johnson actually inspired him to learn the ukulele, which he planned to use to mix up songs and make them his own.
Another instrument the show did not capture Rosa’s talent with is his the guitar.
He learned how to play before his first year of high school in order to become the worship leader at Ramona High School.
In fact, that is when Rosa’s genuine interest in music and singing bloomed.
In the beginning of junior high, he was stuck with what he believed to be “dreadful” choir class; Rosa even refused to sing in front of the class.
This even went as far as ending up in detention because of not participating.
The out of character behavior is what led Rosa to what he loves the most, singing.
His teacher slowly made him sing in front of all the kids in detention.
Then, in front of the class, proving his rebellion to singing was only a common case of stage fright.
Stepping out of a comfort zone only leads to experiencing a completely new adventure and maybe even become life changing.
Rosa continued throughout the show until round three, the “Knockout Round.”
He went up against his very own roommate and best friend on the show, Mackenzie Bourg.
After a stiff sing off between Bourg’s own version of “Call Me Maybe” by Carlie Rae Jepsen and Rosa’s cover of “Back to December,” by Taylor Swift, Cee Lo decided to move forward with Bourg, eliminating Rosa from the show.
“A lot of people that they battle on the show are bitter against (the people they went home to), but I don’t waste energy being upset about it” he said.
Through the confidence, friends, experience, and fans he gained from the show, Rosa continues to create music and play shows here in Riverside.
“I want people to know that I’m from Riverside, I’m just like you guys, I grew up here,” Rosa said.
He sings at open mic nights around the city, at places such as Back to the Grind in downtown Riverside and Romano’s.
He is also working on an EP that he hopes to release this March and is aiming to release a full album in April.
Following the release, Rosa plans to host a party for the Inland Empire supporters and fans.
In the meantime, Rosa and his band are looking for female backup singers, trumpeters and a manager.