The 16-year-old folk singer, who hails from a farm in upstate New York, said that he’s looking forward to returning to work as a farm hand following his season eight win.
“I’m really just excited to be able to get back to work on the farm and just really take in the open space and the nature around my home is just amazing,” Fredericks said at a press conference Tuesday.
Fredericks, who said he doesn’t think he’ll “ever” get used to his new celebrity, was still thrilled about the win, although he isn’t jumping at the idea of a Hollywood lifestyle.
“This whole thing has been amazing and I think the best part has been meeting all of these new people and just making all of these great connections with all the other contestants,” he said. “They have so many great ideas. They’re all very original and just meeting them and hearing their voice and hearing what they have to say is amazing.”
The teenager, who was on Team Pharrell, said he wasn’t nervous going into the evening and was grateful to his coach for shaping him into the artist he’s become.
“I couldn’t ask for a better coach,” he said about Williams. “I feel like he’s really helped me through all this and really wanted me to be true to my self and that was the biggest thing he wanted me to be. Just stay true to myself and enjoy the music.”
Williams, who plans to be right by Fredericks side when he begins recording music, said allowing his mentee to embrace his musical preferences was crucial in their win.
“The whole season was him just saying ‘This is what I like to do. These are the kind of songs I like.’ I never interfered,” the “Happy” singer said. “I just feel good that like I was able to sit back and watch this guy just do his thing. Be himself. That’s a pleasure to me, to not change him.”
Williams also advised aspiring artists to “stick to [their] guts.”
“Don’t change for anyone because right when you think it takes one thing to make it, or you have to be this or you have to sing this kind of song or if you have to dress this kind of way or if you have to talk this kind of way, here’s a guy that possesses this ability to tap into something that we all know is bigger than all of us,” he said. “He’s humble and he’s proud of being a farm hand and he’s named all of his animals, believe it or not. Straight up. He has this amazing life that he wouldn’t trade for anything.”
• Reporting by CHRISTINA DUGAN