Christiana Hicks became known for putting her own soulful spin on songs by well-known artists like Drake, Joe Cocker, Rihanna, and Sia. That was just six months ago when she was in Los Angeles, making a name for herself on NBC’s hit singing competition, The Voice.
Now, the performer, who goes by Christiana Danielle, is hard at work getting ready for her first show as a headliner.
The Fort Wayne native will be in concert on Friday, October 19, at the newly renovated Clyde Theatre. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.
“I’m just super, super excited. I’ve wanted to have a show ever since coming off The Voice in May, so this has been a long time coming,” Hicks said. “I’m just ready to put my vision out there.”
The 23-year-old said the support she received while on the reality show was “overwhelming in the best way possible” and that she’s really undergone a shift in thinking.
“It was so weird seeing total strangers supporting me,” she said. “I actually saved a video of someone going around town, recording people wishing me luck and telling me how proud they were of me.
“I have always been a little bit of an introvert. Being on The Voice definitely pushed me to be bold. I have a lot more confidence. It used to be that my singing was a secret, just in the car or the shower. A lot of my friends didn’t even really know I could sing at all!
“I still get really nervous, but it’s different. This random thing catapulted me into the spotlight and into thinking, ‘I really can be a singer.’”
Hicks has stayed busy the past few months performing at events like the Three Rivers Festival, Sweetwater’s GearFest, a Macy’s special event in Indianapolis, East Wayne Street Center’s Annual Fall Fundraiser, and several other private events. Along with fellow Fort Wayne native and The Voice finalist Addison Agen, Hicks even served as one of the grand marshals for the TRF parade.
She’s also ventured into public speaking, with her initial engagement as a speaker for the Foellinger Foundation’s annual Leadership Alumni event, sharing her story with others and working to spread a positive message.
Those have been great experiences, she said, but the idea of doing her own show is mind-blowing.
The best part? She plans to debut her new single titled “Resignation.”
“It was actually something that I wrote in my journal two years ago, more of a spoken word thing, and I recently put it to music,” Hicks explained. “So I’ll be performing that for the first time ever along with one other original. I’m just so excited to let all my creatively explode.
“Then I’ll be doing fan favorites from The Voice as well, that I’ll recreate and put my spin on, songs that I love that are just fun.”
The 90-minute-long show will have two distinct halves, Hicks said. The second half will be more of a tribute to her idol and musical inspiration, Nina Simone.
While she’s very much looking forward to continuing to launch her music career, she’s also sticking with her original plans. The Snider High School graduate earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Huntington University last year and will move to New Jersey next summer to earn a master’s degree from Rutgers University.
Her goal is to one day get her doctorate in social work, with a focus on mental health.
“I think it’s important for people to know they can have more than one dream,” Hicks said. “You don’t have to pick one to follow while neglecting the other. One passion isn’t less than another. And I’ve realized my passion is deeper than just me singing to myself. The whole Voice experience has opened my eyes to a lot of acceptance of myself and my gifts.”
Hicks would love to record a whole album and one day hopes to tour, but she’s making no promises when it comes to a timeline. For now, she’s simply enjoying the journey.
“I’ve heard from people from Sierra Leon and Brazil, people from all over who tell me my music is touching them,” she continued. “So it got me to thinking that maybe this is something bigger than myself. It’s opened me up to keep going and keep pushing.”
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June 27 • The Clyde