A Larne musician is rubbing shoulders with Gwen Stefani, Pharell Williams and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine after winning a place on The Voice USA.
Former Larne Grammar School pupil Keith Semple had his pick of judges Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani after impressing them with his rendition of “I’ll be there for you.”
The show, which is now in its ninth season, is to be screened on American channel NBC.
Keith, who was formerly a member of boy band One True Voice and has taken part in TV shows Popstars: The Rivals and American Idol, moved to Chicago seven years ago and became part of the group 7th Heaven before forming the group SEMPLE.
After picking triple Grammy award-winning Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine as his coach, Keith told the Times that he is aiming to be “a great addition to his team.”
“Adam is simply as cool as he appears,” Keith told the Times.
“He treats me like an equal and has mentioned several times about how similar we are in age, style, looks, musicianship and song writing. When someone like Adam says this to you, it is very humbling and makes me feel very proud.”
“Adam has had very little constructive criticism for me as he knows I’ve been doing this for 17 years now. He is very encouraging and will point out when I let my concentration slip in a rehearsal and reminds me which parts to work on and what I can do better. It all helps. He knows what he’s talking about after all!”
Keith says that appearing on a high-profile TV show that will be watched by millions of people feels “pretty awesome really.”
“My dad travelled a lot for his job and always instilled in me the idea of looking on the world as a whole rather than a set of countries or areas,” he continued. I have always loved Larne and the amazing childhood I had there and it molded me into the person I am today.”
Despite his success, Keith says he is still in touch with his Larne roots.
“I try to make my trips to Larne annually if possible,” he revealed.
“Being so busy with regular shows it can be very difficult of course but I try my best! I always look forward to seeing my grannies, playing some tennis with friends at Larne Tennis club and just catching up with old friends.”
The musician says that his formative years in Larne were key to ensuring the success he enjoys today.
“Larne Grammar School was an amazing part of my life and I want to give a big should out to all those teachers and pupils who believed in me,” said Keith.
“Especially Jimmy Christie who I owe a lot of my positive attitude to. He was an inspiration to me.”
Keith added that the support of his Larne friends and family has been instrumental during his journey on The Voice USA.
“You can’t take the Larne out of the boy,” laughed Keith.
Follow Keith’s journey on The Voice USA’s Youtube channel or on Keith Semple’s Facebook page.