Spokane resident Jan Oliver answered questions over the phone after her son, Liam St. John, 29, joined Gwen Stefani’s team on the new Season 19 of NBC’s “The Voice” on Oct. 20:
How proud are you of Liam’s debut on “The Voice”?
All our family is incredibly proud of him and so excited for his dream coming to reality.
Were you nervous watching his first national performance on “The Voice”?
Yes. Oh my God. My daughter and my granddaughter were also watching, as well as our family throughout the western side of the world was watching, too. My phone blew up after that. It’s been a ripple effect so that everybody feels connected and everybody has gotten an uplift and a shot in the arm from it. We all needed that right about this time.
When did you discover that Liam had a musical talent alongside sports?
All my kids play musical instruments. Spokane has a music program, and every kid could play an instrument. Liam played trumpet in fourth or fifth grade. He was good. He was in the first chair, so he was pretty good. He sang in church when he was 13 or 14. That’s when I knew he could really sing. Everybody loved his voice then, too.
For his senior project in high school, he formed a band, and he actually taught himself how to play the piano just for that. He looked it up on YouTube and learned.
Who do you watch the show with here in Spokane?
My daughter, granddaughter, my daughter’s boyfriend and his kids. We don’t all get together because we have to distance. And my other daughter is at home, as well. Liam has two sisters.
Is there a favorite song or two that he performs that you absolutely love?
He has some original songs. I play them on my iTunes. I really like his song “Grandfather Collar,” and he does a good “I Put a Spell on You.”
How long have you lived in Spokane?
I was born here. I did a stint in Southern California for four years, but I came back.
When will you see Liam next besides on television?
Good question! It’s kind of all up in the air right now. I know he really misses being home this time of year, but we keep in contact via texting, Instagram and FaceTime.
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