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WUNC Youth Reporting Institute Production. Youth Reporting mentor Caitlin Leggett hosts weekly instagram lives with the movers and shakers of our community. Her introspective interviews bring the community to the world, and amplify the voices of the marginalized.

NC A&T Senior Victor Solomon Readies For Finale of “The Voice”

Contestant Victor Solomon is coached by EGOT winner John Legend, who offers some R&B flair to the A&T senior's gospel roots.
John Legend
Contestant Victor Solomon is coached by EGOT winner John Legend, who offers some R&B flair to Solomon's gospel roots.

From step team to the sunshine band, Victor Solomon credits his up-and-coming success on the singing competition "The Voice" to both his church community and his enduring faith.

Victor Solomon has been training since childhood for this moment. From step team to the sunshine band, he credits his up-and-coming success to both his church community and his enduring faith. A senior at North Carolina A&T State University, Solomon was voted Mr. HBCU in 2021, but now he's heading into the finale of “The Voice,” a nationally televised singing competition. Solomon is lifted up by the support of his coach John Legend, his fandom #SoloNation as well as Historically Black Colleges and Universities across North Carolina and the country.

Prior to the finale, Solomon joined Changing Channels for a conversation with host Caitlin Leggett.

Follow @wuncyouthvoicesto keep up with the Youth Reporting Institute and to watch weekly episodes of Changing Channels.

The finale of The Voice will air on NBC at 7pm on May 24 and 25, 2021.

Interview Highlights

Caitlin Leggett: How did you get your start in music?

Victor Solomon: I grew up singing in the sunshine band first, which is basically the children's choir. And then, as I grew older in the church, I started singing in the youth choir and the praise and worship teams, and then the adult choirs.

...And I've always been a performer. I've been stepping since I was in middle school. And I just loved going out there and giving everything I had on the stage. So when it was time for me to do it on The Voice, you know, I was comfortable with it, I was comfortable doing a spin and stop.

CL: How do you honor your gospel roots while still showing your range?

VS: I knew what I was getting myself into. I know that “The Voice” is not a gospel competition. It’s not “Sunday's Best.” So what I did was I prayed about it. ...I started the [audition] process in May, 2020, and I actually opted out. I told my casting producer, I said, “I don't want to do it anymore because I don't want to get up there and just sing a whole bunch of secular music.”

And, you know, I went without a month of doing work, of doing auditions and doing interviews. And towards the end of that month, I prayed to God, and I was like, you know, “God, you see, you know, everything. So, you know, like, what would be the case, if we got up here and did this?” And he said, “I will be with you every step of the way. As long as you keep me close, I will keep you close. As long as you keep me first everything will fall in line.”

And from that moment on, I had no doubt about it. I say, you know what, let’s do it.

CL: Talk about the support that came from your community.

VS: It's been really incredible to see everyone supporting, and not only just supporting but they are going all out. You know, they're having watch parties, they’re getting t-shirts made. My school is sending out mass emails to everyone who has ever had an email attached to North Carolina A&T.

My job — I worked at Texas Roadhouse, so they've been having watched parties. They are promoting free appetizers. If you vote 20 times, free appetizers. That's love. That's love. Yes. So it's incredible. You know, my co workers at Texas Roadhouse, I was just serving and you know, they got shirts made saying Team Victor on the back as well.

Even Burlington, North Carolina, somebody sent me a picture of a billboard of my face and my name. So the support has definitely been there. And you know, I'm truly thankful. Truly thankful.

CL: You’re a senior at A&T right now, what’s it been like trying to finish off that last year strong?

VS: I haven't graduated yet. I changed my major when I was a sophomore, so I have just one more semester. So I'll be graduating in December. But you know, this process — it has been a process, I tell you that much. You know, working with the show, and also studying for exams. Some professors don't want to budge, but it's okay, you know. And at the same time, other professors did give me some grades, which I do appreciate.

CL: Why is graduating important to you?

VS: I didn't come here for no reason, just to throw it all the way right at the finish line. So I'm here. I'm basically at the finish line. So now it's time to finish. And education, it's just an important aspect of my life in general. I didn't grow up in the best — I didn't start off in the best schools. So, you know, education is important for not only me as a Black man, but I want to pass that down and pass that importance down to my children as well.

Below: Watch the full interview with Victor Solomon plus a conversation about applications to the Youth Reporting Institute.

Caitlin Leggett was WUNC's News Administrative Intern & Youth Reporting Mentor.
Grant Holub-Moorman coordinates events and North Carolina outreach for WUNC, including a monthly trivia night. He is a founding member of Embodied and a former producer for The State of Things.
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