In Tuesday night’s blind audition episode of The Voice Season 3, we were introduced to former race car driver, Benji. His wail-happy rendition of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” had coach Adam Levine declaring that the 24-year-old could win the entire show.
But the singer hasn’t always been met with positivity when it came to performing. He formed a band with two of his best friends called Built to be Broken, which he describes as “three Indian dudes on a stage.”
When Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with the musician yesterday, he talked about the hardships he’s faced when trying to break the barriers and what The Voice has done to improve his situation.
“The things that we went through as a band and the things that I continue to go through as a musician, it’s a bit of a tough spot,” Benji admitted. “I remember September 11 and being at a Wendy’s. There was this lady [who] walked up to me … kind of muttered under her breath some expletives, and I didn’t say anything. And she was like, ‘What are you going to do? Kill me, too?’”
“Sometimes we’ve been heckled on stage for the color of our skin and what we do,” he continued. “So that was what was really important to me about [The Voice]. I was excited to see that people weren’t just going to look at the color of my skin.”
Benji admitted he’s been fighting stereotypes his entire life, even from his friends and fans.
“We hired actors to do parts in our music videos. They were two very awesome Caucasian people, and everyone always thinks that they’re the band until we come in the frame,” he said with a laugh.
But Benji is putting the racial profiling behind him and focusing on beating out the others on Team Adam this season. Do you think he has what it takes? Watch the music video he was referencing below and tell us what you think!
Rachel McRady is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @rachelmcrady.