Since making Sir Tom Jones’s final eight on The Voice, the talented tenor Karl Loxley has built a loyal following – a far cry from being a young chorister who could ‘just about sing in tune’
Karl Loxley is not your average singing contest entrant. Sure, being a classical singer sets him apart, but it’s not just that. When he didn’t make it through to the live shows of BBC’s The Voice – he was knocked out in the battle rounds – Karl began preparing to make the most of the exposure he knew he would receive when the show was aired nearly a whole year later. He approached it with a business-like attitude, so as well as preparing mentally for the attention Karl created a website, got stuck into building a social media following and did a bit of opera busking, all while holding down a steady job. With his head screwed on about the whole TV experience Karl said: “Nearly 50,000 people entered and 55 were successful, with 45 were televised, so it was a massive achievement. You have to remember that it’s a TV show over a talent contest and you have to keep it in perspective.” For six months, the auditions and the process dominated Karl’s life, but in total he reckons about half-an-hour was aired. It’s certainly opened doors and Karl is able to sing for a living which was the ultimate aim. He’s released an album, performs regularly across the UK, on cruise ships and in panto which he loves.
Recording an album called Everything I Am with a 42-piece orchestra at a studio in Digbeth has been a big highlight. Investment through crowdfunding made it possible and the album has been positively received. It was named album of the week by BBC Radio Wales, plus Karl was hailed artist of the week by BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire. Karl came home to the Midlands last month to perform in Adam Hepkins Magic of the Musicals at Grace Academy in Solihull which has toured the UK to rave reviews. Alongside some big names in musical theatre and joined by a local community choir it was a dream gig for Karl. And he’s about to fulfil another of his goals performing at Symphony Hall this month. “It is a dream come true. Symphony Hall is such a special place,” he said.
Karl discovered he could sing fairly late in life when aged 17 he was cast as the lead in Les Miserable at his old school, Heart of England. Prior to that he’d been a classical chorister who could ‘just about sing in tune’. After his successful stint in Les Mis he got better and better, confidence grew and he entered a few singing competitions and got the bug. A full scholarship to Guildford School of Acting followed and then The Voice. While the prime-time TV exposure has certainly changed and enhanced Karl’s career, he accepts it wouldn’t suit everybody and the trick is not to get carried away with the hype. “It’s dangerous to enter these things thinking you might win and become a multi-millionaire. I used it as a platform to build on and it has opened doors. For instance if I go for a musical audition people know who I am.” Karl felt a lot of love from former contestants from similar talent shows who were super helpful. The day after Karl left The Voice he had a call from Rhydian of the X Factor fame who has carved a successful career in musical theatre. “Rhydian was so supportive and helpful,” he said. “Everyone has been lovely actually. There are days when I’d like a big record deal, but on the whole I’m doing what I set out to do. Singing is my career and that was the dream.”