Tje Austin and the Falling Giants
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Tje Austin and the Falling Giants

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States
Pop R&B




"The Voice: Where Are They Now?"

This Sunday, The Voice returns to NBC with the same panel of judges we came to love in season 1 and a whole new group of talented, unknown singers. As we wait to find out what the second season will bring, RealityWanted decided to check in on some memorable contestants from last year and find out how life has been since The Voice. Read on for updates in our exclusive interview with Dia Frampton, Vicci Martinez, Tje Austin, and Tim Mahoney!

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Dia, my favorite performance of yours during season 1 was "Heartless" - is that one that stands out to you as a favorite?
A. Dia: That performance definitely stands out for me. It changed everything for me. I remember getting off stage and someone told me that "Heartless" was "trending." I was pretty new to Twitter at the time so I said, "What does that mean!?" I was surprised that it did so well, and when I saw it on iTunes later on, I literally felt like I was going to faint! It was a really amazing experience and that song will always have a special place for me.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Vicci, I feel like your defining performance was "The Dogs Days Are Over". Do you feel that way as well?
A. Vicci: Yes, I feel like that was when I got to do something that was original. I love percussion and I love to dance around and be crazy. I got to do that all in one performance.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What has life been like for all of you since The Voice?
A. Dia: It has been really incredible. Being on the Blake Shelton tour has been a dream come true. Being able to perform in front of 7,000 people a night has been insane. Also, I got signed to Universal Republic, put out a new album, called RED, and have just been touring, promoting the album. I got to work with a lot of really incredible producers and writers on the record as well.
A. Vicci: Busy. The Voice was definitely a platform for me and it has taken my career to the next level. I was signed to Universal Republic, been flying across the world recording my album, and am now ready to release it and show it to the world.
A. Tje: Life after The Voice has been great! My fans have been very supportive and the fanbase continues to grow. My band and I have been touring colleges and gearing up for festivals while finishing up my album "Dreamin Big". I just released a single on iTunes, "Right For You", and it has been getting so much love. I am lucky to have left a large enough impression on folks that they not only remember my afro but they remember my voice. And thanks to The Voice, my international fanbase has increased.
A. Tim: Great, I would have liked to have gone further but it was great to be there.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What are you working on now?
A. Dia: I am pretty focused on touring on RED right now. I am trying my best to promote the album. The show definitely helped get my name out there. I have The Voice and Blake Shelton to thank for that.
A. Vicci: Right now I'm working on performing these new songs on my record live. Been doing lots of photos shoots, working on packaging for my album, and going to the gym so I can healthy. I'm also getting ready to shoot a video for my first single.
A. Tje: Right now, the goal is to play in as many cities as possible and introduce my music to anyone who is willing to listen. Between that and recording the album, I am staying pretty busy.
A. Tim: I have a new single, "Hey Adam Levine", a fun pop song about my experiences on the voice. It's available on iTunes. The Voice has mainly helped me by branding. It's like now I'm the guy from Minnesota from The Voice. I'll take that!

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What artist would you love to perform or collaborate with?
A. Dia: I already got to do a duet with Blake Shelton on my record called, "I Will" so one dream collaboration is complete! I would love to write with Tom Petty, The Avett brothers, Modest Mouse, or Regina Spektor!
A. Vicci: Well I already get to perform with the great Cee Lo Green, but would also like to collaborate with Jay-Z or Kanye. I think those guys are incredible.
A. Tje: Dream collaborations - John Legend, Keri Hilson, India Arie and Coldplay. A Coldplay and Tje Austin song would be incredible. And Adele. Wow, that would be really special!
A. Tim: For sure U2 or Bono. It would also be cool to write with Shawn Colvin.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: How can fans keep up with what you're doing?
A. Dia: They can find me on Facebook, on Twitter, or my blog.
A. Vicci: I'm always tweeting or on Facebook, so check it out.
A. Tje: I am addicted to all social media. It's the best place to hear firsthand what my fans think about the songs I am working on and to see where I am playing next. And of course I show off my nerdy side by sharing what tv shows, movies, books and games I am currently into. Find me on Facebook or Twitter. I encourage everyone to check out my website to listen to my iTunes single, "Right For You."
A. - Reality Wanted

"'The Voice' Premiere: Christina Aguilera Takes the Reins"

he Voice," NBC's heavily promoted singing competition with Christina Aguilera taking the focal reins, opens with the four celebrity "coaches" singing Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy." The performance is steady without being remarkable, competent yet hardly sparkling ­ an omen of sorts for the performances that fill the two-hour premiere tonight (Apr. 26).

After a rules explanation that eats up a healthy chunk of time, about a dozen singers take the stage and run through hits by the likes of Faith Hill, Adele, Nirvana, Aretha Franklin, Bruno Mars, Janis Joplin, Estelle and Rascal Flatts.

Host Carson Daly explains the concept: ­Aguilera, Maroon 5's Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton will have their backs turned while performers sing a single selection. They do not know the singers, names, ages, backgrounds; ­ they are forced to trust their ears.

Each coach will create teams of eight singers each ­-- they get about half way there in the debut -- making their selections known by hitting a large red button that turns their chair around to face the performer. If more than two coaches spin around, which happens often in the first episode, the singer gets to choose their coach. Each coach takes a slightly different tack to entice a singer: Levine and Aguilera go thick with compliments; Green plays things cool; and Shelton uses aw-shucks country charm. If none of them turns around -- and this occurs three times on the premiere --­ the singer returns home.

Not surprisingly, "The Voice" borrows more than a few tricks from "American Idol," chiefly the stationing of Daly with the contestants' families during each performance so he is there to greet the singers once they know their fate. Lots of tears, lots of hugs.

Storylines that involve a troubled past are dispatched quickly. One girl tours the country in her 1992 Toyota and has no home; one guitar strummer has six children and a few years of sobriety; and a married couple is living in the basement of the wife's parents' home, hoping for their musical break.

Then there's the one story that does not quite click with a sympathy vote: A pretty girl who has spent her life being known as "the pretty girl with the good voice." She has had enough of it. She just wants to be known as a singer. Green and Levine, who clearly like her singing, are none to shy about expressing how happy they are that she can sing --­ and is quite pretty. Seems like that fact won't go away.

One singer after another is as professional as the next one. Fear gets a hold of some of their voices, especially at the start of several songs, and when the coaches weigh in on instances where they did not buzz in, it is usually the lack of a unique quality in the singing.

Two performers stood out for taking chances with their interpretations, former Capitol Records artist Javier Colon and Rebecca Loebe. More than the others, they arrive with shaped musical personalities, but there is no telling whether that will help or hinder in the coming weeks when they are put in head-to-head matches with other singers.

A couple of performances do get all four coaches to buzz in and in one case it is for a singer who may have been discounted based on his physical appearance. The producers have gone for a few singers that may have been pre-judged for their looks. There are shaved heads and Afros, neck tattoos and beer bellies, teens and fortysomethings, and at least one bad hat selection. More than just Colon will be familiar faces to some: ­ "American Idol" dropout Frenchie Davis, Texas troubadour Tje Austin, who has three albums to his name, and musical party girl Kelsey Ray, whose "Masquerade" video has been played 1.4 million times on YouTube, are in the competition.

While America waits to see which singers will quickly emerge as favorites, there's no denying that right now this is Aguilera's show. She takes control whenever possible, blending congeniality, glamour and sass in attractive package. And the cameras can't help emphasizing her either -- her cleavage is given much more air time that any of the men's assets.

- Billboard

"'The Voice' Recap: The Shtick Succeeded"

On American Idol, looks matter. Take the Idol crop this season: No bald ladies made it to Hollywood.

During the premiere of The Voice last night, however, the bald, the "tall" (the show's euphemism-of-choice for overweight) and the painfully shy waltzed through on merit alone. One hot girl got scratched. Another hot girl cried happy tears at making it through for reasons other than being hot. A giant boy with a baby face sparked a bidding war between all four judges – the shtick here being that each celebrity judge blindly assembles a team of musicians to then coach to victory. Could this concept be the best Dutch import since tulips and Eddie Van Halen?

Then there was the bald lady, Beverly McClellan, a proud, 41-year-old lesbian who said that in the past she has shocked "teenagers and grandmothers" who hadn't realized bald ladies can sing. (Teenagers and grandmothers in question: Bald ladies are just ladies who don't have hair. They can sing. Pass it on.) At the topsy-turvy Voice studios, where up is down and bald is Pantene model, Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera fought hard to woo Beverly, who ended up buzzing off the high of getting to pick Christina.

They were the adversaries of the entire night: Adam and Christina, male pop vs. lady pop, brunet vs. platinum blonde. They secured their teams like dogs peeing on trees. Adam was crafty – a "wheeler-dealer," said Christina – stepping up his charm when it was clear he'd fallen behind the others' pace in collecting eight protégés. Meanwhile, Cee Lo Green cruised on the strength of his rep. He swiveled in his chair like a wise gnome, smiling when he lost a prospect, pleased when they came to him. The quietest of the celebrities – country sweetheart Blake Shelton – steadily racked up a solid cast of folksy, twangy types who knew what they wanted.

By the end, the coaches were tied at three apiece. Blake had recruited Patrick Thomas, a country crooner who proved his authenticity by wearing a cowboy hat; a folk duo called Elenowen who live in their parents' basement and look like models; and the adorable 16-year-old Xenia Martinez, who whispers her words with serious indie potential. Assessment: v. strong. Cee Lo won Vicci Martinez, powerful despite her tiny size; Kelsey Rey, the hot girl who wants to be judged only on her reed-thin voice; and Tje Austin, who, with his smooth control, reminded the judges of Cee Lo himself. Assessment: strong, but possibly boring. Adam, despite exuding the shakiest know-how of the bunch, managed to walk away with Jeff Jenkins, the kid everyone wanted; Rebecca Loebe, she of a Tori Amos disposition; and yet another singer everyone wanted, Javier Colon. Assessment: unbelievably strong. Adam is clearly a clever guy who deserves all the credit for the inexplicable success of Maroon 5.

As for Christina, for whatever reason – and gender theorists can probably supply plenty – she fell flat with the guys. She landed an all-woman team of Tarralyn Ramsey, Idol Nudie-Pic-Hall-of-Shamer Frenchie Davis and Beverly McClellan, the first two of whom sing a lot like Christina except not as well. Beverly, on the other hand, sings entirely like herself. She's raspy, loose and a proud, bald symbol of why this show could easily trump the others.

- Rolling Stone

"Tje Austin Sings Bruno Mars’ ‘Just the Way You Are’ on ‘The Voice’"

Tje Austin performed a dazzling rendition of Bruno Mars‘ ‘Just the Way You Are’ that had one coach on ‘The Voice’ regretting not turning around for a chance to work with him.

The 27-year-old performer from Austin, Texas, describes himself as a “goofy guy” who “likes to read sci-fi books and play video games.” He says that most people are surprised by his vocal ability when they hear him sing for the first time.

About a minute into Austin’s rendition of ‘Just the Way You Are,’ coaches Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine both struck their approval buttons at the same exact time. After the performance, Christina Aguilera turned around and realized she had made a mistake. “I’m mad I didn’t pick you!” she exclaimed, obviously digging his look. Cee Lo told Austin, “I heard myself listening to you,” while Levine remarked, “I think there’s something special about the whole package.”

Austin appreciated that Cee Lo and Levine both turned around at the same time, but ultimately chose to go with Cee Lo as his coach.


"Meet new artist Tje Austin"

Tje Austin first got his chops performing at coffee shops throughout the Lone Star State and on Myspace, with his Stevie Wonder meets Raphael Saadiq styled crooning. Fast forward two years, after sharing the stage with some big name acts (Trey Songz and Dwele), you'll find the laidback Austinite is now comfortable in his own skin, exposing himself without fear on his new release Xperience.

The sophomore return plays like a romantic novella that parallels real life, portraying one of those should have been, but burned out type relationships and the struggles endured to gain closure-think Love Jones and Brown Sugar for inspiration.

The album moves from chapter to chapter depicting the various phases of a break-up: the shock of feeling lost (Left Behind); reminiscing on the good times (Sunshine); learning that your love has found someone new and making a last attempt to salvage the relationship (Breathe); and the frustration of realizing that the love is officially dead and the pain of moving on (The Attention to Love).

Tje's smoky voice is soothing and confident. There is an honesty and openness in his lyrics that allow listeners to connect to his songs, rather than just listen. He speaks to his audience. It would be unfair to attempt to categorize his style because his sound is diverse and unconventional. It is a melting pot of influences incorporating acoustic guitars, R&B, neo-soul, pop, and electronic fusion, giving each track a different flavor.

The music is alluring to the ear, with synthesizers and digital horn sections growing and sinking throughout the tracks. The vocals are layered in whispers and echoes, giving the appearance of more than one person singing at a time, while adding strength and clarity to the lyrics.

The slow jams are sexy and the occasional wah wah effect of a wandering guitar leaves a silhouette-like seduction to the imagination. The waifting sound touches the senses and creates mystery to the overall music. It's not hard to tell Tje's instrument of choice. Twangy acoustic solos come off just as powerful as some of the more heavily produced tracks, showing that he can perform just as well alone, as he can with a band.

Tje Austin may not fit the playboy poster model stereotype of most R&B singers, with his southwestern bohemian look, but what's the fun in being the same as everyone else? Tje's deviation from the standard is what makes his sound organic and relatable, enabling him to emotionally share in the same experience as everyone else.

- Jarrod Miller-Dean

"Sounds from the heart of Tje Austin"

Meet Tje Austin, if you have not heard of this sweetly melodic songbird yet, now is the time. This charming local singer/songwriter with a voice often referred to as infectious, has enough depth to pull his listeners in and keep them completely engaged. Captivating and moving, charming and almost infectious, some might say Tje is Austin and I’m hooked like a neo soul junkie! Ever since the first time the sweet lull of his voice hit, this gals vestibular system has been on overload.

This once Hawaiian native and his guitar originally made their way to Austin to attend UT (the guitar often slept in). Tje, started out by making just a few humble recordings, and uploaded them on MySpace. From that, Tje gained an incredible fan base, which has afforded him a strong following throughout the Austin area. His musical influences include artists like Ben Harper, India Arie, Brian Mcknight, and Craig David.

It’s hard not to listen… Gaining popularity at a rapid pace, Tje answered the call of his fans by recording his first album, Love Me Knots in 2008. Now, Tje exposes even more depth and passion through the songs and lyrics on his brand new album, Xperience released just this year. “Shooting Star,” a track featured below off his album Xperience really showcases the amazing depth of this talented artist. Tje is also featured on the brand new Austin Music Vol. 9 disc along with several other Austin artists. Admittedly, Tje’s latest effort is an intriguing listen — full of sultry and soothing lyrics, effervescent and somewhat dreamy. Definitely straight from the heart…

In between time in his super busy schedule, Tje took a moment to chat about his new album, what inspires him, the direction of his music, and some of the challenges he faces as a musician in the Live Music Capitol of the World. Here is what he had to say:

Listen to Shooting Star by Tje Austin

What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?

Tje Austin: R&B. But its just a small part of what I do. I like to call it Awesome. Awesome is for everybody. Major influences would be Brian Mcknight, Craig David and India Arie.

What can you tell me about the instruments you play?

Tje Austin: I play the guitar and the piano.

Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?

Tje Austin: I have performed in L.A., Miami, and all over Texas. My favorite venues have awesome sound systems and great sound guys. The least favorite venues are places that don’t have great sound systems and even worse sound guys. I have a lot of shows coming up, and those can be found on or you can add me on facebook under Tje Austin and I have my shows listed there as well.

Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers? Which covers are your favorite?

Tje Austin: Right now I am promoting my new album Xperience, so the bulk of my show is songs from that album, though I do toss in some throwbacks from my first cd. I like to play covers because that gets the crowd involved with songs they are extremely familiar with. Favorites would be “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon and “Hey Ya” by Andre 3000.

Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?

Tje Austin: I write my songs. I try to take what I see in my life, whether its through first hand experience or viewing what happens to someone who is in my inner circle and I try to tell that story. I sing a lot about love and loss. I think those are the basics that everyone can relate to. As I grow as a person, I think some things may change.

Could you briefly describe your music-making process?

Tje Austin: That’s a hard question. Sometimes it’s a melody that is stuck in my head that is begging to be released, and other times it’s a simple guitar progression that inspires me. And I just play/sing it over and over until the right concept is formed. A song can be finished in an hour or it could take me months to finish.

What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?

Tje Austin: Full band rehearsals are generally once a week. Playing with other people, I am learning I have to cater to everyone’s schedule… haha.

How has your music evolved since you first began playing?

Tje Austin: I am able to do more now than when I first started. I picked up a guitar because it was easy to carry around and perform. Now I have more than just a guitar at my disposal and my songs are becoming more complex.

What has been your biggest challenge as a musician?

Tje Austin: Overcoming unwanted negative criticism. I know it comes with the territory being a songwriter, but its challenging to decide whether or not to keep smiling when someone tells me they dislike something about my music or do - Launch787

"Anthony David, Kevin Sandbloom & Tje in Austin"

12/12/2007 13:17

The Third Annual Mahogany Affair starring Anthony David (with Kevin Sandbloom and Tje Austin)

On Wednesday November 21, 2007 at the Monarch Events Center

The Third Annual Mahogany Affair started with a magnificent set from Dallas’ own DJ Frances Jaye who treated the crowd to an eclectic mix of mellow neo-soul and hip hop that seamlessly transitioned the audience between each performance. At the end of her first set, we were primed for singer-songwriter and Austin transplant, Tje Austin (his real name), who is honing his skills at several venues around town. Tje introduced the audience to his brand of acoustic soul with three original soon to be classics: ’Emotions,” ’How Long,” and ’Calling Me.” Everyone who has had the pleasure of listening to him live thinks that he is an artist to watch; you read it here first!

Los Angeles’ own talented singer-songwriter, Kevin Sandbloom, was the next artist to touch stage. I must confess to being completely amazed by his vocal ability when I saw him for the first time a few years ago. Over the course of that time, he continues to improve, no nothing has diminished and songs like ’Baby Maybe” and ’Made up My Mind” showcase his range and musicality. His set included a crowd pleasing rendition of ’Let’s Stay Together” which made even those of us who are not blessed with the gift of song join in; I must remember to apologize to him for that blunder; even I got caught up!! Most notably, his version on Sade’s ’Is It a Crime” should not be missed as it just transcends what a ’cover” usually tends to be.

When the headliner and Austin favorite, Anthony David, was introduced, those of us who have been able to catch him live before knew everyone was in for a treat. Anthony has been a regular at the Urban Music Fest (in both rain and sunshine) and has the enviable ability to effortlessly dialogue with any audience regardless of its size. With his guitar in tow and after some humorous banter with the fans, he started with the aptly titled ’Yes” off his debut ’3 Chords & the Truth” which morphed into ’Something about you” and Bill Withers’ ’Lovely Day.” Of course no Anthony David show would be complete without my favorite ’Cold Turkey,” ’Georgia Peach” and honestly I almost yelled, ’Stop Playin’” when he surprised me by singing the (unfortunately always) socially relevant ’Krooked Cop.” During his performance of ’Part of My Life,” the song he penned for India Arie, the audience was called upon to add harmonies and the ’weak side” was humorously chastised for not putting forth enough effort. I really thought the ’strong side” was peppered with ringers because they sounded extremely good.

In a set that was infused with hit singles, award-winning songs, covers, and a witty, startlingly good rap by his hip hop alter ego, I wasn’t the only person who realized that this was about more than reciting ’Words” and I hoped the night would go ’On & On.” After countless chants for an encore there was an impromptu performance of ’Smoke One” which was so heartfelt by some among us that this asthmatic feared she might have erred by not squeezing my inhaler into the black clutch!!

The evening closed on a musical high as DJ Frances Jaye took her rightful place behind the turntables while all the artists met and greeted the stylish crowd that braved the frigid cold to see the positive side of the much maligned music industry.

Tje Austin is planning a tour in 2008 to coincide with the release of his debut CD ’Love Me Knot.” Kevin Sandbloom will resume his US tour schedule in January 2008. Anthony David continues to tour internationally and plans to put out a new CD in March 2008.


Still working on that hot first release.



Adopted at just four days old, Tje grew up in a large, multi-racial, Mormon family and counts his eight siblings as his best friends. The son of a United States Marine, he's lived in five different states and in Japan but currently calls Austin, Tx home. Living in the "music capital of the world" Tje Austin is determined to make a mark in the music world. With his truth running deep, his chilled-out vocals that caress the soul have caught the attention of Grammy level artists, paving the way for Tje to open for the likes of Anthony David, Dwele, and Trey Songz.

He released his first album Love Me Knots in 2008. A film producer happened upon that album, a connection which resulted in his song “Today Tomorrow” being on MTV’s indie hit movie Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom and “In Every Woman” being played on the Today Show. Tje Austin then released his second album Xperience in 2010, featuring fan favorites such as "Sunshine" and "Shooting Star."

In April of 2011 Tje Austin auditioned for NBC's smash hit The Voice. He made it past the Blind Auditions, singing Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars, landing himself on Cee Lo Green’s team. Tje Austin, “with his smooth control, reminded the judges of Cee Lo himself.” He quickly made a big impression, not only with his voice, but with his large afro and stark contrast to his adoptive Mormon parents. He was later eliminated during the Battle Rounds after a hard fought rendition of Ne-Yo’s Closer.

Tje Austin's third album titled "Dreamin Big" is now available on iTunes.