Chances are you recognize Noah Guthrie.
Either from his popular You Tube channel, or his role as Roderick Meeks on the final season of the hit show “Glee.” Or maybe you cheered him on during his semi-finalist run on the 13th season of “America’s Got Talent.” Whether you’ve heard him before or not, Noah Guthrie is a voice that demands to be discovered.
Born and raised in Greer, South Carolina, Guthrie began posting You Tube videos covering popular songs when he was 16. Guthrie slowly amassed a following until he struck viral gold with a bluesy rendition of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It.”
“I recorded that cover because I was behind schedule and really needed to put something out there,” Guthrie recounted. “I was just trying to have a little bit of fun and did that bluesy version of it and it took off.”
To date, the video has reached 26 million views. “Even a few years later, I’m still in shock that that even happened,” Guthrie said. “You never know which one it’s going to be.”
Guthrie still occasionally slips “Sexy and I Know It” into his setlist. “It’s a fun song to play,” said Guthrie. “I definitely pull it out when I do acoustic sets because it’s kind of part of my story and that’s something that really shines with the more stripped-down acoustic shows.”
Besides his two albums and numerous singles, Guthrie’s Spotify page features five volumes of covers, so far.
“I think doing so many covers for so long — I was also writing music at the same time — you learn from a lot of the best songs out there,” said Guthrie. “I would rework songs to make them my own, but you do learn what is the best part of each song..., but, as far as my writing goes, it’s a different world, a different approach.”
Thanks to the success of his You Tube videos, fate pulled Guthrie to Los Angeles where he earned a role on “Glee” and soon after impressed judges on "America’s Got Talent."
“I got to play some good songs and I made some really good fans from it, and I’m happy I did it,” Guthrie said.
After achieving some success in Los Angeles, Guthrie returned home to South Carolina so he could focus on his own music. “I liked the pace of life a little better than L.A.,” said Guthrie. “It’s more where my head is. It’s got that small town vibe and I’m close enough to Nashville and Atlanta, so it works good.”
Guthrie released his debut album, “Among the Wildest Things” in 2013, but really found his sound with 2017’s Americana heavy “The Valley,” which he self-produced with his brother. “When you self-produce something you get closer to it,” Guthrie explained. “You tend to spend a little more time, which for me is kind of my downfall. I tend to take a little too long for my liking, but you really get attached to the song and you find the pathway that it should go down... I think ‘The Valley’ is the best representation of me.”
Although he is currently touring with a full band, Guthrie will be performing a more intimate acoustic show, with a second guitarist, at The Roasting Room on Thursday. Whether he is playing acoustic or with a full band, covers or his emotional originals, Guthrie’s gritty, soulful voice is his greatest strength.
“I guess I was born with this very rough, weird, kinda older-than-my-years voice,” said Guthrie. “I’ve always leaned on it and I’m glad it can move people, and it attracts them to my music.”