Encinitas high school grad advances on ‘The Voice’

Kat Hammock is on Team Blake in this season of "The Voice."
(Chris Haston/NBC

Kat Hammock, who grew up in Encinitas and recently graduated from La Costa Canyon High School, landed on Team Blake in the NBC singing competition “The Voice,” following her rendition of Billy Joel’s “Vienna” in an episode that aired Sept. 23.

The show, in its 17th season, begins with blind auditions. Contestants perform in front of the four judges, who have their backs turned to the singer. Judges can push their buttons if they want that singer to be on their team. If multiple judges press their buttons, the singer chooses which team to join.

“I was calm and I was able to fight the nerves and perform,” said Hammock, 18, recalling the moment before she took the stage a few months ago at the filming of the episode, with her family looking on.

“I felt totally at ease with it,” she added.

Judges Gwen Stefani, who said Hammock is “going to be magic,” and Blake Shelton, who said he was “desperate” to add her to his team, both pushed their buttons. She chose Shelton. The judges on “The Voice,” which also include Kelly Clarkson and John Legend, will work with their team of singers throughout the competition’s multiple rounds. In the final round of live performances, one winner will be selected by the viewers, who can vote via text message, the show’s website and iTunes purchases of each singer’s performance. The grand prize is a recording contract.

Hammock began singing in fourth grade for a church choir, and starting learning piano. Her singing has taken her to New York City, where she has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She said representatives from the “The Voice” asked her to be on the show after seeing her YouTube channel, where she posts videos of herself singing mostly cover songs.

“It just seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to pursue music,” she said.

She has almost 600 subscribers and her 11 videos, with covers including “Mother” by Kacey Musgraves and “Whoever He Is” by New Hope Club, have accumulated about 31,000 views.

“Nothing big,” Hammock said, “but that kind of helped me continue to grow my music.”

Hammock will attend Villanova University in Philadelphia, but took this semester off to accommodate the show schedule. For more information about this season of “The Voice,” visit