'The Voice's Carter Rubin on Inspiring Others & What's Next After His Big Win

Carter Rubin The Voice Season 19
Q&A
Trae Patton/NBC

The Voice continued to entertain in its 19th season at NBC, and along with its cast of coaches, viewers were introduced to a talented bunch of contestants, including Carter Rubin.

The 15-year-old stole hearts with his stunning renditions of fan-favorite tunes such as "The Climb," "Before You Go" and "Rainbow Connection." So, it was no surprise when America chose the young hopeful as this season's winner.

We caught up with the talented Carter Rubin following his big win to discuss how he hopes to inspire others, what it was like working with his coach Gwen Stefani, and so much more. Below, Rubin fills us in.

How are you feeling after that big win?

Carter Rubin: I'm feeling pretty good. I feel victorious. It still hasn't hit me yet. I'm still in shock, but so grateful and blessed to have gotten to this point. I'm still trying to comprehend what just happened.

Do you have any special plans to celebrate your victory?

Well, my family, I called them [on finale night], and they're just so happy for me and proud. I'm so lucky to have them in my corner and when I go home, I think I'm just going to hug them all and we'll celebrate together. We'll all be seeing each other for Christmas, so that'll be really nice.

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Your final performance on the show was with your coach Gwen Stefani. What was it like preparing for that?

It was definitely a dream come true because I grew up on her music and now I'm actually doing a duet with her. That's insane, and I'm so honored that I was able to do that song ("You Make It Feel Like Christmas") with her. I know it was very sacred to her because she did it with Blake [Shelton] and it was on her Christmas album. We had so much fun. We just wanted to make it a very joyful and lighthearted number and I think we were successful in doing that.

You also performed your first single "Up From Here" on the show. What was process like for selecting a song and making it your own?

It was a very exciting experience because I've always done like covers. That was the first song I presented as my own original. And the first time I heard it, I was so mesmerized. It was very pop contemporary and it completely sounded like a song that I really wanted to record. It was tons of fun.

The Voice Season 19 Carter Rubin

(Credit: Trae Patton/NBC)

You're also the show's youngest male winner. What does it feel like to know you've set a bar of sorts for future competitors?

I don't really want to set a bar. I want to inspire because I want some of the younger singers out there to realize that they don't have to wait to showcase their talent. If they love what they do and they have their hearts set on this, just go for it and follow your dreams. Just enjoy the journey and trust the process.

How do you hope to inspire future contestants with your story and journey on The Voice?

I just want other people to do what they love and do whatever makes their heart happy, because you don't want to look back and regret anything that you did or didn't do. Like I said before, if your heart is set on something, chase your dreams because that's what I'm doing and it worked out. I want other people to have that same feeling as well.

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Were you able to bond with your fellow competitors behind the scenes or were there restrictions due to COVID-19?

Luckily, I was still able to make lifelong friends, even if we had to wear masks the entire time. The older artists are such incredible role models for me; they're so skilled and seasoned and they know exactly what they're doing. I'm so honored to learn from them. And then the ones that were closer to my age, I've become so close with them. They're my new best friends, and I'm always keeping in touch with them and we're making plans to visit each other. I've definitely made relationships on this show that I could have never imagined.

Speaking of learning things, are there any lessons you've taken from this experience that you'll always remember?

I think one thing I'll take away from this experience... it's actually something that Gwen told me, it's just to be myself. Because Gwen was always her own unique individual in this industry and she's thriving and everyone knows and loves her. That's what she encourages me and her other artists to do. I think that's very important because there's no one else like you in the universe, so just own it and be your true, authentic self.

the voice season 19 carter rubin

(Credit: Trae Patton/NBC)

Any plans for what you'd like to do next?

Well, Gwen has encouraged me to start writing some music, and that's definitely what I plan on doing. I have some songs in the folder that I want to record. I definitely want to get in the studio and start putting music out there for people to hear, and then, once COVID is over, I want to perform in front of live audiences again.

Looking back on your time with the show, was there a specific performance that you enjoyed the most?

I think my favorite performance this season would have to be "Rainbow Connection" because I just remember feeling really proud of myself after and happy. Gwen loved it, she was moved to tears and she said it was perfect. I was just really happy that week, and that is the performance that got me into the finale, after all.

The Voice, Season 20, TBA, NBC