Travis Pratt, season eight contestant of “America’s Got Talent,” wooed the audience as well as judges with his voice in 2013. Pratt joined MSU’s Black Voices Wednesday evening to celebrate Black History Month.
The event titled “A Night with Travis Pratt” showcased Pratt’s many vocal talents.
Parkman: At what age did you began singing?
Pratt: I’ve been singing as long as I can remember. I come from a singing family. I’m the baby of five and everybody sings. It was like talking, it just kind of happened.
Parkman: You currently live in New York, how is it different from where you are from?
Pratt: Tifton, Georgia is a very small town, very much like Starkville. I’m used to nature. I’m a nature boy. I love the weather, swimming and camping. In New York there’s not any trees, not any [bodies of] water. There’s just a lot of buildings.
Parkman: There’s a lot of opportunity in New York though?
Pratt: That’s the tradeoff. I perform weekly in New York. It’s so many people. It’s like another country.
Parkman: How long have you been singing opera?
Pratt: My mother was a singer and she would collect all types of stuff. We would listen to everything in my house from Diana Ross and the Supremes to Mississippi Mass to Leontyne Price. She brought home a couple of tapes from a yard sale and it was Leontyne Price, and I listened to it as a kid and I was smitten with it at that point. Of course, I didn’t understand the languages. I didn’t speak Italian at the time.
Parkman: How many languages can you speak?
Pratt: French, German and Italian. I’m currently learning Spanish.
Parkman: So, is opera your favorite genre?
Pratt: I might be on the fence with that. I can’t really say it is my favorite. I’ve always been really attached to gospel. I’ve directed gospel choirs. I also like jazz. I’m in to a little bit of everything.
Parkman: Favorite artists?
Pratt: I’m a huge fan of T.I. and K. Michelle, strangely. She’s good. Her music is hot. I’m also a huge fan of James Hall and Worship and Praise. My favorite opera singer is Renee Fleming.
Parkman: How do you prep for a performance?
Pratt: I warm my body up by listening to a lot of Kirk Franklin or something hype to get ready to move. It takes a lot of energy to perform.
Parkman: Most memorable performance?
Pratt: I would have to say “America’s Got Talent” because I got engaged all in the same time. I proposed on air.
Parkman: Were you nervous that day?
Pratt: I was nervous about the proposal, but singing is what I do, so I wasn’t nervous about that part.
Parkman: Would you have auditioned if your wife would had not put you up to it?
Pratt: I honestly would have not. She actually tricked me into it. She called me and was like come ride with me to San Antonio. We were living in Houston at the time. So she comes to pick me up and what was strange about it was she volunteered to drive, and I drive this woman everywhere! She never drives. I thought it was weird because she didn’t stop at none of the places we usually stop at, so things started getting real fishy. Before I knew it, we pulled up at the Henry B. Gonzalez Auditorium and it was literally thousands of people in line. She said you are about to audition for “America’s Got Talent.”
Parkman: Where was the weirdest place you have performed?
Pratt: I did this series on my YouTube channel called Opera in Strange Places where I would just pull up anywhere and sing full out operatic arias. I’ve done it on the airplane once, on buses, even the drive thru at Chick-fil-A.
Parkman: Any other hidden talents you have?
Pratt: I can walk on my hands. I can do a standing back tuck and full twist. I’m kind of an acrobat. I like to paint, and I love to swim.