In the summer, many teenagers spend their time off from the daily grind of school by participating in the daily grind of work.
For country singer Chevel Shepherd, that daily grind does not include scooping ice cream, busing tables or babysitting: The season 15 winner of “The Voice” has spent her free time touring the country, filming a movie in Oklahoma and getting songs together for an album.
And for the high school senior, her work is anything but a grind, she said.
“It’s so much fun. I’m very thankful that I have this opportunity,” she said. ““I’ve met so many amazing artists that are in the music industry – a whole bunch of country artists. I’ve headlined my own shows, opened for multiple people such as Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne, Lee Brice. I’ve gotten so many opportunities – the whole performing and touring thing is just amazing and probably my favorite thing – I love doing it; it’s a dream.”
Shepherd will also be making a stop tonight in Durango, where she will perform at 8 p.m. at the La Plata County Fair.
Since winning the “Voice” a little more than six months ago, Shepherd said her whole world has changed.
“It’s still sinking in. Things have changed immensely – it’s crazy how much things have changed,” she said. “I do school online now. I travel constantly, I go into public and people ask to take pictures with me – it’s crazy, but I love it; it’s amazing. “
Along with performing, Shepherd said she also has to keep up with everything that comes with being in the spotlight. Her social media accounts have sky-rocketed since her win, with about 60,000 followers on Facebook, 120,000 on Instagram and about 30,000 on Twitter.
“It has exploded a ton,” she said. “I keep up with it – I post, I like my fans’ comments, I respond to them. I keep up with it pretty well, I think.”
She’s also balancing her professional life with that of being a teenager, Shepherd said, adding that because she took care of most of her senior-level classes last year, she only has one more core class to complete and then she’s done. She said she will still get to go to school occasionally to visit with friends and teachers.
And don’t forget the fun stuff.
“Hopefully, I’ll go to prom if somebody asks me,” she said. “I went to prom my junior year with my dad and my best friends. I get those chances, but I love what I’m doing. I could travel and perform every day of my life and I would be perfectly content.”
While some teens entering senior year may still be figuring out what they want to do as a career, Shepherd said she has found her path.
“This is what I’m doing. I’m not going to go to college, I’m going to focus on this and sing for my whole life,” she said.