Tony Lucca w/Andrea Nardello

“It’s hard to imagine after twenty years in the entertainment business that this is just chapter two,” an excited Tony Lucca says of his first music post his game-changing run on the hit NBC series The Voice. For Lucca chapter one included seven albums in a more than 20-year run in show business that started on the Mickey Mouse Club. Lucca firmly believes all of those experiences led him to teaming with coach Adam Levine on The Voice. “The further along in The Voice contest I got it felt like there was no denying my whole life’s work led me to that moment. I know that sounds extremely cliché, but for me specifically it really was kind of that, everything from the former relationship, having worked with Christina [Aguilera] on The Mickey Mouse Club to just the experience of having spent a lot of time in film and television and getting on a big stage and knowing what things like camera blocking and hitting your mark meant. Just little things that all add up to an easier time on the show like that,” he said. “That being said, it also felt like after the show, whatever was next, was supposed to happen.” What was supposed to happen is a new beginning for Lucca, who is signed to Adam Levine’s 222 Records, and set to release his first EP, With the Whole World Watching, July 16, right before he hits the road as one of the support acts on Levine and his Maroon 5 band mates’ sold-out run across America on the Honda Civic tour. By the time the tour kicks off July 29, Lucca will surely have had a hit with the EP’s radio-friendly lead single “Never Gonna Let You Go,” which starts with a soft acoustic vocal and then slowly builds into an up-tempo pop gem, laden with energetic hooks. For Lucca, even having the chance to get his music heard on this scale is a significant moment, “This is quite a milestone in my career, just to even be a signed artist with a budget, kind of a first for me, and having a song go to radio with legitimate radio play, these are all firsts for me and that’s a pretty exciting place to be,” an excited Lucca says. Understanding the focus that would be on him having signed to Levine’s label and having scored a hit with Hugo’s daring interpretation of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems,” which hit number three on the iTunes chart, Lucca knew it was time to make a stylistic change going forward musically. “I knew that working with Adam was gonna shine a pretty sizable spotlight on what I was doing and that meant I wasn’t gonna go make another coffeehouse singer/songwriter record, that this was gonna probably have to be something with a little more commercial modern pop element that I hadn’t been so quick to embrace or felt any real need or value in pursuing,” he says. “So this marked a big change for me, like, ‘Okay, let’s make a big record, let’s make a pop record.’ As we got into it, taking all these writing trips and writing with different people the initial impetus or creative clean slate was really just a continuation of my trajectory on The Voice.” To create the sound he was looking for he turned to a stellar group of musicians, led by producer Eric Rosse, whose credits include Tori Amos’ Little Earthquakes and Under The Pink, Sara Bareilles’ Little Voice and works for Gavin DeGraw, Chris Isaak and Lisa Marie Presley among others. “I worked with Eric Rosse, he’s phenomenal and we clicked super well. We knocked out basically six weeks together while I was in L.A. getting all the vocals and all the guitar tracks I was gonna lay, and we started with Matt Chamberlain on drums and Mark Browne on bass, so the bedrock was firm and solid. We didn’t bring a ton of guests on the record, I half thought we would’ve, but once we got into it, between Eric and I, we both had most of the bases covered. We brought in Alex Dezen from the Damnwells, he came in and co-wrote a couple of the songs and then helped us out with some background vocals.” Ultimately when Lucca listens to the EP he hears music that encapsulates where he is right now in his life. “I think we wound up with a really great set of songs that are representative of where I’ve been and where I came from since I’ve been on The Voice.”