by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
HEATHSVILLE—Terry “TSoul” Pinkard wrapped up performances on the live shows of “The Voice” season 12 two weeks ago and couldn’t wait to get home to the Northern Neck.
“Literally, the first place I wanted to come when I was done was here,” he told a group of about 100 last Saturday in Northumberland High School’s auditorium.
Pinkard, who performs as TSoul, flew from Los Angeles to Richmond Monday, did an interview for NBC WWBT 12, then stopped off Thursday morning for an hour long interview on Tappahannock’s WRAR radio station before a meet-and-greet with his “TSouldiers” at NHS over the weekend.
“Thank you a thousand times for your support,” he said.
He planned a day of events to show his appreciation for his Northern Neck fans, including the four-hour ceremony with a performance, food and autograph session at NHS. Saturday night he joined the audience at Lizzy’s Place in Heathsville to enjoy local musicians.
He told fans at NHS: “I want to keep the Northern Neck on my schedule. My goal is to bring myself and friends of mine here too.”
He plans a performance at the amphitheater at Kilmarnock’s new town park and a performance at Westmoreland State Park. And, of course, he’ll be back in his native Northumberland County at Christmas time for his annual holiday concert.
TSoul advanced to the Top 8 on this season’s The Voice as a member of team Blake Shelton. Although he didn’t advance to the semifinals or finals, he did perform on those shows, including a performance with the legendary Gladys Knight in the finalé.
“I was able to get the maximum exposure,” said TSoul, who will be leaving soon for several months of performances in Sweden.
“We all became a family. I’ve been in the Voice show process since last July, so almost a whole year. I stayed with these people for months in hotels and we really became a family.”
A graduate of Northumberland High School and lifelong resident of Burgess, TSoul said he’s been performing professionally for about 10 years and his career has “finally taken off.”
Both singers/songwriters Adam Levine and Shelton “turned their chairs” in the blind auditions but TSoul chose to join Shelton’s team, somewhat of a surprise move since he’s a soul singer and Shelton’s a country music star.
“A lot of people wondered why I picked Blake and not Adam, but I think that became obvious. Blake’s my man.”
He said the best advice he received while performing on the show was from Shelton, who told him to “be yourself. He knew when he had an artist that knew who he was, he didn’t try to change him.”
TSoul’s love of music started when his grandmother taught him to play the piano and he began singing in the Shiloh Baptist Church choir. He took a chorus class at NHS, where he sang the national anthem at ball games and played football. At Virginia State University in Richmond, he joined the gospel choir, which took him around the world. At 20, he decided singing was his calling and he made it a full-time career, traveling to Japan, France, Italy, Canada, Hungary and across the U.S.
But it really was only after his stint on The Voice that his name has become a household word and his face recognized by fans across the country.
“I have a very recognizable face,” he said. When I and other Voice contestants would go out in LA, people “would say hey, it’s TSoul. And then they’d slowly recognize everybody else.”
Last Saturday, he was praised by members of his church, his family and the community and was presented a resolution of recognition as a hometown hero from the Northumberland Board of Supervisors.
“The Voice allowed me to be in front of a lot of people and be accepted by a lot of people and it’s allowed me to do this for the rest of my life.”