Courtesy of the Brothers Walker
By Abby Holman
Coty and Clinton Walker had no intention of auditioning for NBC’s The Voice. A friend signed them up for season five auditions in Chicago, but they couldn’t attend, so the brothers felt it was only right to audition for season six in St. Louis. The Bernie natives were selected by popular R&B artist Usher to vie for music glory on the hit show, though they were not selected to advance and left The Voice on March 18, 2014. But that hasn’t phased their music ambitions.
The twins grew up playing gospel and worship music, but when they started writing and performing, their style came out a little bit country.
“Country is in us, period,” Coty says. “We just wrote a song, and it was a country song. Some people are just raised in that place, and that is definitely our case. Our love for it is authentic, and it means a lot to us.”
Active on their Facebook page, Coty and Clinton, also known as the Brothers Walker, interact with fans, who helped the duo choose their name to avoid confusion with a 1960s group, The Walker Brothers.
Brothers Walker also hold an annual contest called “Think You Can Sing?” where undiscovered artists create a one minute performance of their own music and post it on Facebook. A panel of judges votes on the ten videos with the most “likes.” The winner receives cash and the opportunity to record a song and music video at Top Shelf Audio, the production studio the twins run in Bernie, a town with a population of fewer than two thousand. Coty runs the day-to-day studio operations while Clinton teaches music at Bernie High School.
“Whether we do things in other places or not, we love staying local, and we are always going to be here,” Coty says.
Clinton agrees, saying that even with bigger successes, Bernie is the root of it all.
“We will never close the doors of this place no matter how much we grow,” Clinton says.
Top Shelf Audio is located at 117 W. Main Street in Bernie. Brothers Walker can be reached at 573-293-6035 and on Facebook.