Today we feature an artist on Unsigned/Indy Artist Thursday that has been in America's spotlight before, when he was one of the Voice's final four in its first season. An artist who began writing songs at very young age, named to his home state's choir before becoming a teenager, but became a professional songwriter for a few extra points.

First Annual Delta Country Jam - Day 1
Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for the Delta Country Jam

Jared Blake was born and raised in Star City, Arkansas, and was very musical early in life. He wrote his first song when he was just five years old, but really began to get serious about music when he joined his middle school choir, and by the time he graduated to high school, he was named a member of the Arkansas All State Youth Choir. His dreams of performing on stage were further fueled when Blake began playing piano and guitar at age 15.

In 1993, Jared began performing locally, competing in talent contests and playing local venues. He would take second place in his first couple of competitions, as well as placing well in several state competitions. Blake began to realize the difference between himself and the competitors he was coming in just behind: song writing. Many of them were performing their own original songs, getting extra points for originality. Blake began to concentrate on that aspect of the business, and in 2006 he signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music. The singer would work night and day as he was writing with Sony, recording demos of his original songs, performing every chance he could, and paying the bills by running his own concrete company.

photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

The publishing deal expired in 2010, leaving Blake without an outlet for his music. In 2011, calls went out to performers to audition for a new reality television singing competition, and Jared answered. He went to the audition and became the final contestant selected to fill Blake Shelton's team on season 1 of the Voice. He would prove to be strong competition, making it to the inaugural final four, before bowing to the season 1 champion Javier Colon of Team Adam.

Blake would release his first single, "Don't Mind" in November of 2011; the song failed to chart. In 2012 he signed with Skiddco Music and two singles followed; 2013's "Countryfied" and 2014's Stomp" failed to crack the top-60 on the country charts and were included on his 2014 debut album, 'Til Morning Light. Jared signed with Lucky Diamond Music in 2013, and has had Curtis Grimes and Trent Willmon take his compositions to the top of the Texas Country Music chart.

"The Voice" Live Finale After Party
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

We have Blake's latest single in our spotlight today. Brought to you by All American Super Car Wash of Lawton, Jared Blake and "Don't Let Her Be Gone" is our Unsigned/Indy Artist Thursday Catch of the Day, new music you haven't heard, but you'll want to hear it again.

Text today’s key word to 580 353-1013, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card from All American Super Car Wash of Lawton, presenting the Catch of the Day on Oklahoma’s Best Country KLAW101.

Today’s Key Word: “INDY”

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