PAXTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Gina Miles, the 19-year-old Paxton native, is taking the world by storm after winning the hit singing show “The Voice” over the summer. Now, she’s back in her Ford County hometown to perform two sold-out shows at the Cadillac in downtown Paxton.
WCIA 3’s Amanda Brennan sat down with the singer on Friday:
Q: How does it feel to be back in Central Illinois?
A: “I am very, very happy to be here. I’m happy to be home. And just like being able to do these shows, I’m just super excited.”
Q: What are some of your must-see spots in Paxton?
A: “It’s mostly restaurants I really love Monicals. It’s like my favorite since forever. So I’m definitely going to be there a couple of times and get some pizza.”
Q: How are you feeling ahead of the performances?
A: “I’m really excited. I’m very flattered. Like, I think it’s so, so cool that we got to do these shows both days. I’m very, very happy to do it. I am really excited.”
Q: When the tickets were selling out so fast, what was running through your head?
A: “I was just nervous that I wouldn’t sell any, no one would want to come. But then they did. And I’m just happy that I could do both things.”
Q: When we talked over the summer, you said Niall Horan, your coach, helped you combat some of your nerves. How does performing in California on “The Voice” compare to now?
A: “It’s definitely been an experience. It has not been as difficult after the show as it was on the show. It was just really hard to get over those hurdles so quickly. But now it’s like a lot more fun.”
Q: Have you kept in touch with Niall? What’s that relationship like?
A: “Yeah, he’s great. We’re still great friends and he’s very still involved, but he’s a busy, busy guy and I’ve also been like really busy these past weeks since the show, so it’s been super fun.”
Q: What’s keeping you busy?
A: “Just been doing a lot of shows and a lot of really fun, fun things. Like, I did a 49ers versus Cowboys game, I sang The National Anthem for them, so that was insane.”
Q: What are you performing this weekend?
A: “It’ll be so my songs from my EP that I released in 2021. Also songs from the show that people loved. I also will do some covers that I really love because I want people to party it up and have like a lot of energy. And then some unreleased originals that I’m going to perform too.”
Q: What’s the difference between performing a song you’ve performed a million times versus an original?
A: “It’s difficult because it’s like it’s a diary for me and especially these songs are very close to me, so obviously it can be a little bit vulnerable; but I’m excited that I’m going to share them. Like anywhere, this feels like the nicest place to do it. It feels so warm and welcoming, and everyone, even when I was on the show, was just unbelievably supportive of me and what I’ve been doing.”
Q: Your signs are still all over town!
A: “I know that’s so nice. I feel like it’s just like the sweetest thing ever. And I just want to be able to do these shows to show how thankful I am back.