‘The Voice’s’ Dez Duron Discusses His ‘More Grown’ Take on Justin Bieber’s ‘U Smile’

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'The Voice' Top 8
The singers cover classics, coaches' songs and Justin Bieber.
This past holiday weekend, The Voice Top 8 contender Dez Duron certainly had a lot to be thankful for. As the last man standing for Team Christina, he had his coach to himself all week long– to get extra, one-on-one attention and aid in picking the perfect song, crafting the most memorable performance, and planning for his future on the show and beyond.

But in addition to Christina Aguilera, the multi-talented ex-Ivy Leaguer told Celebuzz there was another very special woman in his corner to whom he owed his time on NBC’s The Voice.

“I decided I needed to come do this — it was the first concrete thing I had in the music industry; I didn’t really know how this whole thing worked, so I said, ‘I have to give this a shot.’ You’re only going to be judged on your voice, which I loved, and I think what made it easier was when I met with my Dean. She told me I could come back to school whenever,” Duron said of choosing to leave Yale in favor of the reality singing competition show.

“She just told me I had to chase this or else I would wonder for the rest of my life ‘What if…?’ It’s a special place; she’s a special lady, so I’m thankful for her,” he added.

Duron went on to admit that his situation was a special one, and he doesn’t widely advise aspiring artists to drop out of school without moderately concrete plans. However, he hopes his fans are inspired by him and his journey in a more general way:

“I think the broad thing that I would like everyone to take away is to trust your heart and don’t let being afraid be the thing that stops you,” Duron said.

Working with Aguilera has certainly afforded him the ability to make decisions that look risky to others but are just right for him. Last week, he talked about his love for, and adoption of, the crooner vibe. And though Aguilera said she wanted Duron to cover Justin Bieber’s “U Smile” to show a different side of him, Duron couldn’t deny he intentionally brought a little Sinatra swag to the track.

“I’ve always said that when I make music, it’s going to be pop, but that will always have an influence, no matter what I do. I think you definitely saw that [in the Top 8],” Duron said.

“Justin sang it when he was fifteen, so I felt I had to bring something a little more grown to it. But it’s a great song; it has a great melody to it!”

Staying true to the artist within him has gotten Duron this far, and he hopes it will take him all the way to the end– so he can make those very special women in his life proud.

“I try not to think too much about the pressure leading up to the performance, but it’s definitely something that, through the week, pushes me to work even harder,” he said. “[Christina’s] a great coach, and I just hope my performances reflect what an amazing coach she is. I want to keep her in this, but heck, I want to stay in this for myself as well!”

The Voice airs on Monday and Tuesday nights at 8 PM on NBC.

What did you think of Duron’s more mature take on Bieber? Let us know in the comments below!

Danielle Turchiano

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