At age 19, Sawyer Fredericks already is killing in achieving life goals.
The contemporary folk-rock singer won the eighth season of NBC’s “The Voice” in 2015 as a 16-year-old, has made four albums and is touring the nation.
Fredericks will perform Friday at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts in Palmer Lake.
He has a big stage presence and a distinctive, soulful voice that goes beyond his years. He will perform songs from his repertoire, many from his latest album, “Hide Your Ghost,” which he wrote and produced. It is sold exclusively at FYE stores or by streaming.
Fredericks’ ambitious tour keeps him from his family’s farm in upstate New York for at least a five-week stretch. This month alone, he plays 20 shows — three of them in Colorado. He’ll be at Downtown Artery in Fort Collins on Saturday and at Denver’s Soiled Dove Underground on Sunday.
“The work isn’t the problem for me; it’s mostly being away from home,” Fredericks said last week during a rare day off. “I miss the place and also my family, but the main person I miss is my girlfriend.”
The softspoken Fredericks said he’s pretty shy in person, but his personality changes once he takes the stage.
“I’m comfortable on stage. I’m not nervous when I’m up there. My calmness when I’m on stage comes from me playing farmers markets when I was younger. You’re playing for people who are just walking by. They’re not stopping and listening. You’re really just playing for yourself, so you’re not too worried about what the audience thinks.”
Fredericks learned to play guitar from his uncle at age 11, had his first show at 12 and started performing at farmers markets in Amsterdam and Gloversville, N.Y., when he was 13.
“I’ve been singing my entire life, but before ‘The Voice’ I never actually thought about it as a business,” he said. “My favorite part of performing is when I really feel the songs that I’ve written. When I’m really into the stories, it’s just an emotional release. That kind of stuff doesn’t always happen, which is why I like it so much when it does.”
Fredericks can channel nervousness into his performance.
“There are times when he gets louder. That’s when he gets a little nervous, and it’s amazing, it’s flawless,” said Pharrell Williams, his coach on “The Voice,” in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Fredericks cites as his biggest inspiration singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne, who gave him a song, “Please,” to sing on his “The Voice” finale.
He has a loyal fan base and takes audience requests at his shows, though he reserves the right to refuse.
His most requested original song is the stirring “This Fire” from his 2016 album “A Good Storm.”
The most requested cover is Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man.”
He spends his free time on tour playing video games such as “Ark: Survivor Evolved,” going for the occasional run and listening to music that lately ranges from Bob Marley to Tool.
“If I get the inspiration and the opportunity, I’ll find that place of comfort and write music,” he said.