By MIKE CHAIKEN
Not every teenager gets to travel the country opening up for a music star.
But then not every teenager wins “The Voice,” NBC’s music competition series.
Brynn Cartelli, 15, however, is proving to be an atypical teenager.
Cartelli was crowned the winner of the 14th season of “The Voice” as a member of Team Kelly named after its mentor “American Idol” winner and national recording artist Kelly Clarkson.
Cartelli finds herself opening for Clarkson in a tour that arrives at the Mohegan Sun Arena on March 14 and 15.
In a phone interview, Cartelli said her life would have been different, yet somewhat the same, if she had never become a musician and won “The Voice.”
“I would be living in Longmeadow, (Mass., her hometown) playing lacrosse and field hockey all the time,” said Cartelli. (“I do miss playing sports. I’m hoping to do sports as long as I can.”)
However, Cartelli said, even if she wasn’t playing music, she still would be a fan of music.
“There would be no way of keeping me away from it,” said Cartelli.
“I always loved music since I was little,” said Cartelli.
If she had not been on “The Voice,” Cartelli said, “I’d be a crazy music fan, playing sports.”
Even though no one else in her family is a musician, Cartelli said she started playing piano at age 5. She loved it and suddenly it became her life. She then learned to sing, learned to play the guitar, and she even learned to play the ukulele.
Soon enough, the teenager began playing live gigs in the Longmeadow, Mass.
“It was a whirlwind,” said Cartelli.
Suddenly, “The Voice” came into her life.
“The Voice” wasn’t something that Cartelli gravitated toward, instead, she said. “The Voice” gravitated toward her.
Cartelli said she had posted a video on YouTube of her singing. A blogger on Nantucket reached out and encouraged her to try out for “The Voice.” That same video also attracted the people at “The Voice.” They asked Cartelli to come in for a private audition.
She did just that.
“One thing led to another,” said Cartelli.
Initially, Cartelli explained, she appeared on television for the blind auditions for season 13 of “The Voice.” But, none of the judges turned around their seats, a trademark move on “The Voice,” to invite Cartelli on to the next round.
But the producers weren’t ready to let her go and she was invited back for season 14, Cartelli said.
This time, she said, when she did the blind addition for the judges all four judges turned around to ask Cartelli to be on their team.
Cartelli said she opted to become part of Team Kelly, mentored by singer Kelly Clarkson.
Week after week, Cartelli said, she was surprised as each judge pushed her forward one more week.
Finally, Cartelli said, she found herself on stage as one of the last two contestants.
“I didn’t think I was going to win,” said Cartelli. As she waited for the final judgment, said Cartelli, “I was nervous… but I was more focused on what the future would hold.”
And “The Voice” – as helpful as it has been – is in the past. Cartelli is now looking toward the future.
With the tour opening for Clarkson, Cartelli said she is trying to frame the next phase of her career.
Cartelli has a couple of singles out, such as “Last Night’s Mascara.” But she also is preparing her first full-length record. She said there have been a lot of songwriting sessions already and discussions of what songs to include.
The show at the Mohegan Sun Arena represents a full circle for Cartelli’s career. She said she attended her first-ever concert Ariana Grande – at the Sun for her 10-year-old birthday party with friends. And since her home, Longmeadow, Mass., is just an hour away, many of her family and friends will be found in the audience.
Kelly Clarkson with Brynn Cartelli opening performs Thursday, March 14 and Friday, March 15 at the Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville. Both shows begin at 7 p.m.
For tickets and more information, go to MoheganSun.com.
Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver.com.