By: Abbey Adams
16-year-old Moriah Formica belts out Heart’s 1977 hit “Crazy On You.” Singer and Voice Coach Adam Levine mouths to the rest of the judges “She’s really good.” About five seconds later, pop singer and other Voice Coach Miley Cyrus presses her button, and soon she becomes Moriah’s mentor for the remainder of her time on the show.
After being knocked off the show, Formica has returned to her hometown of Albany, NY. She headed back to high school, and back to reality with her family. I spoke with the now 17-year-old about her experience on a competitive TV show, her musical path, and what her future looks like.
The Voice Experience:
Being on a competitive show can wear you down. From practices, performances, long shoots, and more, Moriah opened up to me about how exhausting the process was. “For me, the days were really long. We would go out maybe 6 am and not get back till 4 or 8 pm. It personally was mentally taxing, physically taxing, emotionally taxing. It does affect every single part of you.” Going onto The Voice felt like such an honor, and something Moriah thought would be an easy pass into Hollywood…wrong. It was a lot more work than she thought. She says, “It changed my perspective on success. I thought that it would be like getting success handed to you, but it’s really not. There’s really so much work to it, and I’ve learned that you need endurance to have this kind of success. I learned to have thicker skin, just all those things…and confidence is the biggest thing I learned.”
Confidence is something that definitely helped her perform for the judges. Standing in front of celebrities and idols is already such a surreal experience, but doing it with all your heart and soul can be even more nerve wracking. “Singing for the coaches is really intimidating. One of the biggest challenges was when you’re out there constantly singing, practicing; every single day you’re doing something. Going out there even if my voice was shot, I still had to sing, so I think that was really nerve-wracking to go out there and do that,” she said.
But, nothing helps fuel you up before a big performance than a good meal, right? The catering on the set of The Voice was unbelievably delicious according to Moriah “I really liked this chicken. It was a lemon zest chicken, and it had a lemon sauce on it. It was so good. They had really good salads and sometimes dessert cups, and a make your own wrap station. They made the best wraps.”
“You need to have endurance like a runner”
“I’ve always loved music. I would always be in my car seat tapping on the seat or banging my head as a kid. I started playing guitar around 5 or 6 years old. I wrote my first song in 5th grade, so I guess I’ve been writing for a little bit. I’ll just kind of sit down with my guitar and usually a line will come to me and I’ll base my song off of that line or riff or something like that and then go uphill from there.”
Moriah has been a fan of good songwriters her whole life; voice coach Adam Levine being one of them. He is someone she admires and would love to work with one day; “I really love Adam Levine. I think he’s so talented, and it would be cool to write with him because I know he’s a great guitar player, and he’s also a really great songwriter and singer too. I think he would be really cool to collab with. I like collabing with people, because it’s just fun to write your own songs, but then when you get somebody else’s take on it; you think ‘oh well; I’ve never thought about it that way’ or ‘this adds so much more’, so I love collabing in that sense.”
On Working With Miley:
“I thought that I would be intimidated before I went to work with her, but she just makes it seem so comfortable and free and that it’s okay to mess up…of course you’re going to be super nervous – it’s Miley Cyrus. But, honestly it was great. Miley is super genuine and she really cares for her team and has the closest connection with her team. I think she spends the most time on working with the team and making sure we are all comfortable. Since we were all girls it was easier for us to have great relationships together, so I really enjoyed that.”
Moriah’s family is extremely supportive of her career and what’s to come. Her youngest brother is 15 and her oldest brother is 23. “They are two of my biggest fans. They are my best friends, and are always so proud and supportive. My younger brother works the merch table all the time. They both love it.” Moriah says, “Everyone is so proud. My parents are incredible. They do everything. A lot of this wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for them. My mom left her job just to come be out in LA with me to pursue my dreams.” Moriah’s dad is currently her manager helping her schedule tour dates with her band and any other business that comes up. Her aunt does all her hair and makeup for performances, shows, etc., while her grandmother makes the coffee/food runs for anyone who needs it. “It’s a whole family affair…a team effort” she says.
“I would say you need to have tons and tons of strength in every aspect of your life. You need to have endurance like a runner. There have been times where I’ve been so tired and discouraged, but I’ve had endurance. You just need to have that drive to remind yourself that no matter how hard it gets; it all pays off in the end. You’re working towards your dream, your passion, and what you want to do, so as long as you have the passion I think it’s worth going after anything.”
There’s no doubt Moriah is destined for a bright future, and she’s more than ready for it. With a wonderful support system, a newfound drive, and a never-ending passion for music, nothing stands in her way. “We’ve thought about moving to LA or NYC. I just want to hone in and focus on my career, because now that I’ve made a name for myself, people are going to be expecting more of me. I really want to focus on my career, become bigger and bigger, and would love to make a living off of it, because it’s what I love and I also want to help other people.”
To learn more about Moriah Formica, visit her website: http://www.moriahformica.com/