CHS graduate is one-half of ‘Beat Frequency’

Striving to be 'The Voice' on national TV

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Shawn Lewis, a 1995 Camas High School graduate, and Natasha Neuschwander recently competed on the NBC singing competition "The Voice." The married couple, known as "Beat Frequency," was coached by Christina Aguilera. Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer of Green Day, served as a mentor.

A former Camas resident and his wife recently received national exposure on the NBC singing competition, “The Voice.”

Fans of Shawn Lewis, 35, and Natasha Neuschwander, 29, saw them leave the show after their coach, Christina Aguilera, chose a solo artist instead to move forward in the process.

Lewis said it was challenging to find and agree on the arrangement for the battle round.

“Trying to divide that to feature each vocalist and us as a duo, it was a laborious process,” he said.

The choreography also had to be determined so the three performers would not run into each other.

“We are big, expressive performers who engage each other,” Lewis said. “The stage does not feel that big when you are up there.

“I have no regrets,” he added. “We performed the way we wanted to.”

Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer of Green Day, served as a mentor before the battle round, in which Lewis and Neuschwander performed the song “Poker Face.”

“Armstrong said, ‘Be yourselves. Do the best you can with the gifts you have, and do not think of Lady Gaga’s version of it. Take the song where you need to go,’” Lewis recalled.

He described himself as a rocker and Neuschwander as a cheerleader. Together, they form Beat Frequency.

Lewis said he enjoyed being around Aguilera and Armstrong, describing it as a “dream come true” in a room with a white piano.

“It was a weird version of musical heaven,” he said. “There was white chiffon and crystal decorations. It made it feel like a dreamland.”

One of the couple’s favorite moments on the show occurred when Armstrong signed Neuschwander’s foam earrings after he attempted to try one of them on.

After Aguilera chose the solo artist in the battle round, Lewis and Neuschwander thanked her for selecting them in the blind audition.

Lewis said she advised the couple to keep being themselves and hone in on what makes them unique.

“It felt like she was letting us go, and we will be fine,” he said. “We’ve been at it long enough. She is interested in coaching people with far less experience.”

Lewis started playing guitar in a band at the age of 14, while Neuschwander has been performing since the age of 10.

The couple auditioned for “The Voice” in Portland in the spring of this year. The show was taped this summer at Universal Studios, in Los Angeles. There was approximately one month in between the blind audition and the battle round.

They were provided with food and lodging.

“We are grateful for the opportunity,” Lewis said. “Beat Frequency is in its infancy. It’s made some huge progress. It’s a toddler now.

“You can’t buy that kind of exposure,” he added. “A million hits on Youtube is a lofty goal. The blind audition has received 430,000 hits.”

While they have one album on iTunes, “Love Is All I Need,” a second album is in production with a scheduled release in early 2013.

Beat Frequency is scheduled to perform Thursday, at 9 p.m., at Top Shelf, 600 Main St., in downtown Vancouver.

“We hang out for three hours and try to lighten the mood,” Lewis said. “It’s been a great way to keep our chops up. It’s nothing huge — performance wise. We feel like we’ve proven to ourselves and others we know how to perform.

“We’re busy writing and recording songs,” he added. “In 10 years, we want to say we created a body of work.”

Some of the area performances turn into reunions for Lewis, a 1995 graduate of Camas High School. Many of his classmates have children now. Lewis’ graduating class had 116 students.

While at CHS, he participated in the jazz choir, theater, marching band and wrestling.

Neuschwander graduated from Battle Ground High School in 2002.

Lewis and Neuschwander have sung together at Living Hope Church, in Vancouver. While they were taping “The Voice,” other worship leaders were scheduled.

“We are getting recharged,” Lewis said. “It took a lot out of us. We sang two songs on TV. There is so much more that goes into it.”

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