Interviews

The Voice – Battle Round

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Q) I’d like to hear from the singers whose battles we didn’t see last night. I was hoping each of you could tell us what we missed, how you felt about the song choice, and what you think turned the tide in your favor?

 

Peyton Parker:  What you missed was me and Gina singing “Borderline” by Madonna. Think it was definitely an interesting song choice. It was super high energy and the crowd was really into it and it was super fun. And it was a challenge for me because it’s a pop song and I don’t do pop songs. I do country. But I did end up winning. And yes, it was really fun and I really enjoyed it.

 

Q) And were you shocked by the song choice? Was it a song that you were familiar at all with?

 

Peyton Parker: I was actually really familiar with the song. I do like a slow country version of it at some of my shows. But the way that we did it on the show was totally different from that. So, I was a little surprised that he chose that for us, because it wasn’t really in either of our genres. But it ended up sounding great, so yes.

 

Owen Danoff:  For my battle, John Gilman and I sang “Runaway” by Bonnie Raitt. And it wasn’t anything that either of us were expecting, and we weren’t so familiar with her version of the song so it took us a minute to kind of, you know, know that we knew the song from other sources. And we sounded pretty challenging. I know personally I had to perform without a guitar, so I just had to, you know, sing in ALTA mike, which is something that I’m not really used to or so comfortable with. So personally, like Adam and Tori Kelly helped me out a lot with that. And yes, both of us really worked hard on an arrangement and I mean, I think we really came up with a cool arrangement and did what we set out to do. I think it went really well.

 

Q) And anything that you think turned the tide in your favor?

 

Owen Danoff:  I’m not sure. I think for a battle it might have just been kind of the coach’s preference. Because John and I, I think the arrangement that we had and the song choice created a kind of a middle ground in terms of both of our styles. So we were pretty even I think in terms of the arrangement. So I just think it came down to what Adam was liking at the time and what he wanted to do going forward.

 

Q) Trey, I was just wondering how it felt to lose the battle and then have Christina to press her button so quickly to steal you?

 

Trey O’Dell:  It was onstage I mean, me and Brittany knew that, you know, we had put together something really special. So we had a really good feeling about, you know, how it was going to turn out. And we really just laid it all out there. And losing the battle was a – it wasn’t like I was heartbroken because, I mean, Brittany had put in just as much work as I had. And, I mean, there was still a steal left so we were hoping it was for us. And it happened to be for me, so I was super thankful for that.

 

Q) Joe, we didn’t get hear about your battle that we didn’t get to see. If you could talk about that a little bit.

 

Joe Maye:   Yes, absolutely. The song that we got was Aretha Franklin and George Michael “I Knew You Were Waiting” which is not like a super-popular song. And it was really interesting because we struggled with it a lot during rehearsals. And Patti Labelle said herself that the song itself was boring, so like it was like a really big challenge for us to like take the song and like make it exciting and turn it into a really exciting battle for people to watch. And I think we definitely did that. It was really interesting, I don’t know, like battles were really tough for me, just simply because it’s really hard like getting that close with somebody and rehearsing with them and we were with each other when the song was like nothing and our rehearsals weren’t going great, so we kind of went through a lot together. So when I was chosen as the winner and she wasn’t and I saw that she was going home, like it really like affected me a little bit, like just emotionally it was like sad to see somebody who I felt like was really talented go home. And I don’t even feel like we actually got like a super-fair shot to really shine the best we could, because the song wasn’t like necessarily what either one of us would’ve done. But I mean it shows what happened, so.

 

Q) Joe, I heard you talking about how you said that it was really difficult for you to like bring something to that song that you did with Aretha Franklin and George Michael. What do you feel like you brought to that song?

 

Joe Maye:  Well, Ayanna has like a really big theater background, and I myself more of a pop/rock. And the song was like neither one of those. So we brought those aspects. And I mean, if you listen to it on iTunes you will see that it’s nothing like the way the original song is sang. We just brought a lot of like soul and passion to it, and it’s, I don’t know. It’s just really – the original song was very like 90s pop so it’s weird. So it’s kind of hard to like take that and flip that into like a band situation where you’re performing, you’re trying to give a really good vocal performance because that’s not what – even though it’s Aretha Franklin, that’s just not what the original track was.  And one of the things they stressed on us, they really wanted us to like jubilee — that’s the word they gave us, which is basically where you kind of just like wail at each other. And the song wasn’t written like that. So we definitely had to bring that to the track on our own. And I think we did a good job at it.

 

Q) I’d like to hear from Caity, Brittany, and Laith. I was wondering if each of you could talk about any advice, pointers, or lessons you learned from the battles round that you think will help you further along in this competition or in your careers?

 

Caity Peters:  I think I know that I learned a great amount during the battle rounds, especially because the song I got was also a pretty big challenge from my partner and I. And I learned that with the help of Diddy and Pharrell that no matter what song you get, you can always put yourself in it and you can always give your heart while you sing it.  And my battle round song was a challenge, and the fact that we were able to sing it and make it our own and kind of overcome that challenge was a big lesson that I learned, to learn how to find myself in songs that I don’t necessarily feel comfortable with. So I feel like if I bring that for my song with the knockouts and just keep trying to show my heart and show who I am through the songs, then it will be good to go.

 

Q) That’s not something you normally would’ve picked.

 

Caity Peters:  No. I actually was not familiar with the song. I’m a Billy Joel fan but I did not know Honesty.

 

Laith Al-Saadi:  I would pretty much echo a lot of what Catie said. In my case, I think it was really interesting because, you know, the battles in the show obviously are really not battles. They’re heavily orchestrated duets. And because we like each other so much and there’s such an atmosphere of everybody wanting each other to shine, I don’t think anybody wants to see anybody not perform well. And so it really comes down to wanting to make your performance musical. And I think with Matt and I, we really had like no wont to be competitive. In fact, we wanted to really bring something unique to the show. And I think that groove-wise the arrangement is probably something that’s closer to a New Orleans or Little (Feet) type feel than they’ve ever had on the show. And I think for us as guitar players, we were trying to find the ways to fit it in because we’re not going to have the chance to play guitar solos, so I think the way we broke it down and kind of gave each other a chance to do some call and response stuff was really nice. And it was an absolute honor and pleasure to play with him. And I of course was also sad to see him go because he’s incredibly talented and a super-good guy. So I think the biggest learning experience from the battles was that — that it’s not battles and I think in the whole scheme of the show, everything’s so subjective, by the time it gets whittled down, that like, you know, all you can do is be the best version of yourself that you can be. And who knows what people are looking for. I mean, we’re all cut from so many different cloths that it’s like I just think that everybody just wants to see everybody shine. And I don’t think anybody would want to succeed over somebody else because they made a mistake. Anyway.

 

Brittany Kennell:   So for me, the biggest thing with the battle, The Chain, against Trey, for me it was just the vocal performance. I truthfully have never sang like that, and I think a lot of that had to do with Trey because he was bringing so much power in our rehearsals and just doing such a great job with his vocals. And it inspired me to want to just try to reach that level that he was at. So I really pushed myself vocally during the battles, and I think that’s something that I really learned going forward in my career and just with the knockout rounds is to not be afraid to use power and it just, the battles really gave me a lot of confidence. So that’s what I learned from the battles.

 

Q) Joe, I hope this isn’t repetitive, but I wanted to know what you learned this week and how do you think that will change your approach in future weeks of the competition?

 

Joe Maye:   What I learned this week – it’s really weird, because like I hope this doesn’t sound like cocky or anything, but like you forget — like what Laith was saying — like we forget that we’re like it’s like a competition. And we don’t even want it to be like that, because we actually really like, we’re all like friends and stuff.  And it was like such a struggle for me like during battles because it was almost like Christina was just like I want you to do more, like I want you to give more, but it was like my partner wasn’t doing more so it was kind of hard for me to just completely like wail over the top of her. I think what she wanted from me was what she got from me at blinds. And it was really difficult to produce that again because I wasn’t singing with her. So it was like a struggle because like Laith was saying, you want the whole thing to sound good.  You don’t want to just like completely just like sound way better than the other person because then it’s just like, you know? It’s supposed to be almost like a duet, like you wanted to both sound good. So what I kind of got from it was like it just kind of put my head in a different space. It was just like you have to like bring that fire that you originally brought. The reason why she wanted you on her team is because I brought a certain fire and you know that’s what she wanted from me. So I literally just have to just be at that mindset, like every week and just continue to bring what I brought originally at the blinds.

 

 

*CONFERENCE CALL*

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