'The Voice' Favorite Thunderstorm Artis Reflects on Meeting His Soulmate on New Single 'Surprise'

The singer-songwriter was inspired by his wife Faith, whom he married just four months after they met

Thunderstorm Artis hasn't always been a fan of love.

Growing up, the Hawaii native watched as the people around him entered relationships for the wrong reasons, often resulting in a whole bunch of heartbreak. And through the years, Artis had begun to consider the idea of love as just a big waste of time.

"I didn't feel the need to open myself up emotionally to someone because I was so afraid of being hurt," Artis, 27, tells PEOPLE in a recent interview. "And I just didn't want to date anyone, you know? Unless I thought I was going to get married, I didn't see the need for it."

Add that to the hardship that Artis experienced having lost his grandmother when he was just 10 years old and his father when he was 14 years old, and it's no surprise that Artis had built up walls to both "preserve" and "protect" himself.

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Thunderstorm Artis. Alison Segura

But then, his soulmate walked in.

"My wife Faith first came into my life right when I had just done my blind audition for The Voice," explains Artis, who back in 2020 ended up as the second runner-up on Season 18 of The Voice. "We met randomly at a concert. At the time, I didn't think that true love really existed. And to my surprise, she came into my life and tore down a lot of these walls."

The couple married just four short months later.

It's this "crazy, insane" story that ended up inspiring Artis' new single "Surprise," premiering exclusively on PEOPLE.

"We wrote 'Surprise' together in Nashville during the middle of last year," says Artis of the song he penned alongside Gabe Simon and Elsa Curran. "I knew I wanted to write a song about my wife. When you listen to the song, I just want people to be able to picture real love and how it enters your life."

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Thunderstorm Artis. Alison Segura

Sonically, Artis says he also knew he wanted to go in a different direction than some of the other music he has put out over the years.

"My other music is very deep and very heartfelt and emotional," remarks Artis, who has toured in recent years with the likes of Jack Johnson, Train and Jewel. "I've always written from a place of pain and turmoil and deep, thought-provoking things. But with 'Surprise,' I wanted to go the opposite way. It was the first time that I was able to write about something that I'm super happy about."

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Thunderstorm Artis. Casi Yost

Granted, Artis admits that the song has also come to describe the love he feels for his 7-month-old son Ezekiel.

"I wrote 'Surprise' before we were pregnant, but yes, my son is the best thing ever," says Artis, who is still in frequent contact with his Voice coach John Legend. "I hear a lot of people in my generation talk about the hardship of being a parent or bringing a kid into this world. But I think it's an honor and a responsibility. This kid has changed my life in so many amazing ways and has made me so much more focused and mature. He's the sweetest, cutest little kid."

And time with his adorable little boy is already moving far too fast for Artis.

"I blinked my eyes and he's 7 months old!" Artis says with a laugh. "That has been a huge surprise. My wife taught me to love and then having a kid taught me to love in ways that I didn't know that I wasn't. I've watched [parenthood] bring me and my wife closer. When you look into a child's eyes, you see everything."

He also sees his own reflection in a whole new way.

"When we look at ourselves in a mirror, we see mostly all our flaws and shortcomings," Artis says quietly. "But when someone truly loves you, they see the beauty. They see all the things that we don't really see when we look at ourselves."

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