Preston Pohl recently jumpstarted his music career as a contestant on The Voice. The only judge that didn’t turn their chair around was Christina “Xtina” Aguilera. I know. Preston, who chose Adam Levine as his mentor, says of the experience:

“In the very beginning the process is pretty crazy,” Preston tells during our chit chat. “There are hundreds of people. When you walk around you think ‘man, I don’t have a shot at this.’ Everyone is a great singer.”

There to calm his nerves were his parents, who never heard their son sing until they found themselves sitting in the audience at NBC’s hit show.

“To have them there and see me sing and do my thing and those chairs turn around, it was just a highlight of the whole time that I had on the show. Nothing tops that feeling or that excitement.”

Watch his cool cover of “Electric Feel:”

One thing Preston regrets about the show is not showcasing who he is as a singer. He was labeled a soul singer, which is “completely not” him.

“Once you’re on television, America kind of feels ownership over you and places something on top of you… I’m not a soul singer.”

“Once you’ve been labeled something it’s kind of hard to shake it… I’m more of a pop guy.”

Preston’s plan to shake that image forced upon him through his five-song EP rapping up the first week of August.

His latest single, “Livin,” showcases a vibe listeners can expect to hear. It also features a ballad and his skills on the guitar.

Preston is a new artist to most; breaking into the industry is tough, but that doesn’t define him. He knows he’s competing against artists in the digital age where Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can help catapult a singer to superstardom.

“10 years ago times were different. People still went to Walmart and Target to buy records. Artists now are so accessible through social media nobody’s buying records. People are buying singles.” He notes Robin Thicke’s statistically horrid figures for ‘Paula.’ “But if you go on his YouTube, there’s millions and millions of plays. That’s just how the game is played now. It’s not necessarily people going to get hard copies or downloading on iTunes… you have all these sites that fans can go to to be able to access their artist.”

BreatheHeavy Livin For Preston Pohl

On the flip side, Preston admits social media gives artists immediate access to their fans.

“If I was to record a song in 20 minutes, and I’m like ‘wow I really want people to hear this…’ To be able to send it out to thousands of people with a few clicks of a button – that’s really cool.”

Justin Bieber randomly shared 11 clips of new music he’s recording on Instagram Wednesday night.

Speaking of social media, I noticed Preston shared a #TBT of Michael Jackson.

“I think every artist looks up to Michael Jackson, and if they don’t they should probably go back in time and dive into Michael Jackson. He was incredible – who knows what went down in his life, but you have to respect what he did to the music industry. I think every musician strives for that.”

Preston adds Michael Jackson wrote a lot of his own music – something he respects about an artist.

“Do I have more respect for somebody that writes their own music? Absolutely. But if you have somebody that doesn’t – they’re still an awesome entertainer on stage that can control a whole room, can create a whole vibe? I have a lot of respect for them. But you have somebody like Michael Jackson that had both sides of the spectrum – that’s magical. If you’re making a living off someone else’s song then more power to you, but if you’re writing your own songs you’ve got a lot of respect from me.”

BreatheHeavy Livin For Preston Pohl

Preston has plans to take his music on the road this year. To the fans wanting to attend his shows, he has a special message for you:

“Thank you so much for your patience, love and support. I’m so happy to have the fan base that I have right now and I can’t wait to grow with them.”

– Jordan Miller,