Thunderstorm Artis has taken The Voice season 18 by, well, storm with his soulful performances week after week. He initially ended up on Team John Legend after his blind audition of “Blackbird” by The Beatles earned him four chair-turns.
Then in the Battle Round, he took on teammate Cedrice on the song “Stay” by Rihanna. Team Legend chose Artis to advance, though Cedrice remained in the competition because Blake Shelton saved her.
In the Knockout Round, Artis actually lost his face-off with Mandi Castillo, who sang Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” against Artis taking on Legend’s song “Preach.” But Artis was saved by Nick Jonas and that was the coach who guided him through the live shows.
Now The Voice is down to its final five contestants: Artist, CammWess, Micah Iverson, Toneisha Harris, and Todd Tilghman. Here’s what you need to know about Artis going into the finals.
Here’s what you need to know about this potential superstar.
1. Thunderstorm is a 23-Year-Old Hawaii Native With a Huge Musical Family
Born and raised on the shores of Oahu, Artis is one of 11 children born to Ron and Victoria Artis. His siblings include Ron Artis II, Stephanie, Victor, Stevon, PraiseJesus, Spirit, Martis, Kailua, American, and Artis. The family is extremely musical and eventually formed a band that would perform at their father’s art gallery, according to his profile on The Voice’s official site.
On Thunderstorm’s personal web page, he reveals that the Artis children come by their talent naturally. Their father was a Motown session musician who played keyboards for various Motown greats. And his mother was a Motown vocalist who performed with Lena Horne, among others.
The family band has released several albums and have been playing at their father’s gallery since Thunderstorm was little. On one of the family band’s YouTube videos, Ron writes, “Just stop and remember that God made you complete and perfect, so just be who you are, and you can always be free and help those around you.”
2. Thunderstorm’s Father’s Death Had a Huge Impact On His Singing
Sadly, Artis’ father passed away in 2010 when Thunderstorm was just 13 years old. He suffered a sudden heart attack at the age of 61. In a Star Advertiser article about Ron Sr.’s passing, it says he was a renowned local artist “who created 900 murals in the community and resurrected discarded surfboards to adorn his Haleiwa gallery.”
“His favorite thing to do was preach and take care of his family. He built a powerful legacy,” Ron Jr. told the paper. “He played with lots of musicians in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, like Michael Jackson, Van Halen, and Stevie Wonder. He gave up all of that to come to Hawaii and raise us kids.”
Thunderstorm started singing as a way to process his grief, telling The Voice coaches, “Music was one of the ways I was able to process what I was going through,” Artis said. “My mom was the first one who encouraged me to step out and really share that music with people … Writing from a place of pain (shares) some things that people can really relate to.”
3. Thunderstorm and His Brother Were a Duo
Before going solo, Thunderstorm performed as a duo with his older brother Ron. They even wrote some original music, like the above song “Say What You Feel.” In 2018, the brothers performed the song together at a TedTalk conference in Portland.
Ahead of the performance, Thunderstorm explained what the song was about, telling the audience, “It’s about when I was a lot younger and I shouldered a lot more depression and also just feeling like no matter what I had to say, it didn’t matter. It had no reason or purpose behind it. But later in my life, I grew to learn that everyone has something really special to say, something really special to share, and it can impact a life if we take the time to really speak it out and share it with someone.”
They also performed “Today’s Days” and “The Truth,” hoping to “evoke the Aloha spirit with family, love, affection, peace, compassion, and mercy.”
4. He Now Lives in Tennessee
In 2019, Artis moved to Hendersonville, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville, because he wanted to be immersed in the singer/songwriter culture there.
“(If you) want to get better at something in life, (you should) surround yourself with people better than you,” he said. So, he moved to Tennessee and “engulfed” himself in music, wanting “to be inspired” by other songwriters, reports The Tennessean newspaper. He also tells the paper there’s no better time than the present to start pursuing your dreams.
“I’m just an example, if you work hard at something in your life … you never know the response you’re going to get,” Artis said. “It’s been a dream, something I’ve been reaching for. … There’s no better time than now.”
He lives there with his wife, Faith, whom he just married on April 10, according to Instagram.
5. Thunderstorm Has Performed With Some Famous Musicians
In addition to performing with his family members, Artis has also graced the stage with Jack Johnson, Mick Fleetwood, Booker T, G Love, and Mike Love.
Before The Voice, he was touring with the “Wanderlust Festivals” around North America, where he was a featured artist. Those festivals gather “teachers, experts, musicians, and creators at stunning resorts for transformational experiences—each unique unto itself. Over the last decade, yogis have grown their practice, connected with community, and made life-altering discoveries. To celebrate our tenth year, we’re making our festivals accessible to all.”
Artis considers himself a versatile musician, jumping easily from folk to rock to soul to country.
“No matter what Thunderstorm sings or writes he does it from his heart,” says his official site. “His life experience has given him plenty of material to share. Thunderstorm does not consider his music as notes on a page but rather a window into his heart. He believes that through his music he can make our world a better place by lifting the hearts of others. Thunderstorm’s upbeat music and infectious smile bring people to their feet at every stop.”
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.