Interviews

The Voice – Battles Night 3

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Q) Katriz, I think the coaches pointed it out that the song choice in your battle seemed a little bit more suited for Blessing. Can you explain how you think you managed to succeed with it and actually win the battle?

Katriz Trinidad: Well first hearing that I was going to be single a Stevie Wonder song, I realized that I have never sung a Stevie Wonder song, so it was a huge challenge for me. It was out of my comfort zone so I did my homework; really tried to get the melody down like Alicia Keys said for me to continue to listen to it and get really comfortable with it, so I did that.And I just told myself, when I get out there on that stage to have fun and do my best.

Q) Ryan, do you think you had an advantage over Jessie because you had such formal training. You already were in an Acapella group.

Ryan Sill: Well I think that Jessie is incredibly talented, so I don’t think I really had an advantage going into it. Maybe a little bit with like I already knew a lot of warmups and things to do with my voice. But other than that, like I think it was a pretty easy match.

Q) Jessie and Blessing, what was it like to be stolen by another coach when you think that you’re going home?

Jessie Pitts: I was completely shocked because Blake – that was the only steal I could have gotten. I know that he was really holding out for something that he was passionate about. And I saw my parents to the right and I was just like oh, my goodness. And I went to say goodbye to them. I just can’t believe this is over. But I was so thankful and I never expected to hear that buzzer and like the lights turn on that said Blake was stealing me. And so I was just really grateful. And honored to be able to work with two coaches. I feel like that was just the best gift ever because I can take what I learned from Gwen and use Blake’s new coaching and really just make myself better.

Blessing Offor: I mean honestly, it was the first time I ever played a show without a piano or like any other instrument. I’m a songwriter instrumentalist. And so for me I was just like wow, I did that it didn’t suck. So I was just happy, period. And Katriz winning was honestly – I mean me and this girl, we spent so much time just hanging out, and she’d be nervous and I’d say, “Katriz listen, like it’s going to be okay one way or another.” And I remember I said to her, “If I go home it’s okay. If you go home it’s okay. And this is the journey.” And so I lost the battle and I thought, you know what, this is okay because I just – I don’t know, I was at peace. And then I was saying my good-byes and then the things went off – the bam, bam and I was like oh boy. So I was happy with the conclusion and happier with the conclusion that I didn’t expect. So I feel like things just kind of happened and it’s okay.

Q) Toia, what was it like to be out of the competition one minute and then in the next? And what do you think that you can gain from your new team?

Toia Jones: It was absolutely a surreal moment. I could not believe what was going on. I thought I was literally going home. But I guess my performance really showed that I deserved to be there and I was so grateful. I think going to Adam’s team, I think that everyone on his team they are totally incredible. So I think I could learn a lot from each and every one of them because they all possess something that’s great. If they didn’t they would be there. So I’m just along for the ride and wanting to learn all I can from each and every last one of them.

Q) Jessie, there was some contention about your song choice that they gave you. Some judge’s kind of thought that it was suited for you and others kind of thought that it was suited for your competitor. What did you think and how did you make that song your own?

Jessie Pitts: I think that at first I was like this is great. It’s Ellie Goulding. People say I sound like Ellie Goulding. I should be able to make this work. But then as they started practicing I realized it’s kind of like a – it’s harder because I have to prove that I’m not like Ellie Goulding. And so I have to sound completely different. But I get told all the time that I sound like her, so it was just a challenge to really break away and show myself. And I feel like I did put more of myself in there and Blake saw that and that’s why he stole me. But I think it ended up being more of a challenge than I thought it would just because you don’t want to sound similar to the original. You want to show someone that you’re different and you’re the first of your kind. And so it definitely became more of a challenge for the end.

Q) What advice did you get that you felt was spot on, from either your coaches or from the quest mentors?

Ryan Sill: so think that the best advice that Gwen has given me has been about emoting the message of the lyrics for every song that I try to sing. And before the show I’d never thought about singing a song – like whenever I would approach singing a song I would like about the technicality and like trying to hit every not perfectly and what I was going to do with the melody. And she really like taught me to – like the first thing that I need to do is to look at the lyrics and really understand the message and then try to sell that to the audience in my performance. So that was probably the best advice I’ve gotten from her.

Blessing Offor: Pharrell and Alicia Keys in particular — from Pharrell — he said something that I was like, what? At first when I heard it I was like, what are you talking about Pharrell? But then on second thought I said, okay. He said there’s no such thing as tempo really, and I thought, that’s interesting, because he was talking to Katriz and he said, “This is kind of up tempo and you’re kind of like a ballad girl.” And he goes, “You know what, there’s no such thing as tempo really.” And at first I was like, yes there is. Like I hear a clip track right now which is a tempo. And when he – the further point he alluded, he said like if you take a fast song and you slow it down or you drop the tempo, it becomes a ballad. And I thought okay. So for me it just kind of loosened up my concept of rhythm. And Alicia Keys, when we were doing the band rehearsal, I just remember her directing her band. There wasn’t even anything she said, she was just commanding the band in the most polite way possible. And I just thought you know what, if I don’t know what I want, my poor band is lost. And I just learned from here first and foremost, direct and clear communication because she says hey, I want this like this and I want – she’s just the band director. And I feel like as a performer and a singer, sometimes we forget that we are also by default, band director. So I learned a lot from the two of them.

Q) Matt, obviously we don’t know how far you have or will go in the show, but the judges seem super sold on your talent and have been saying some amazing things to you and about you. And I’m wondering, what does that and the experience that you’ve had thus far with the show; what does that do for you as you’re trying to break into this industry?

Matt McAndrew: I mean it’s a huge boost of confidence. It’s really affirming. It just feels really great. I mean I personally did and I think both me and Ethan really laid our hearts out on the line for our battle. And yes just listening back to that coach feedback that I got, I was really – I got choked up on stage listening to it. And then when it had kind of sunk in that I was going to stay, I got off stage and I just started crying when they were doing the interview with me. So it was really like a super emotional time for me and I was – I think that was the best part about it was getting that kind of feedback from those people. It’s really a dream come true.

Q) Have you been watching the shows that you’ve been on? Have you been listening to what they said when you were off-stage, and what do you sort of make of the chatter that they’ve had amongst themselves about how talented you are?

Matt McAndrew: It’s incredible. It’s great. I mean kind of like I was saying, it’s really – it’s what any artist would hope for. It’s the kind of things that I would – that I’ve always hoped that people would say about me. But the fact that it’s those people saying them is incredible. And because they are so amazing in their own right, their words really do have weight. And I just think it’s awesome. It’s really, really awesome.

Q) Damien and Matt, talk a little bit about working with Stevie. Damien, besides what we saw on television, was it something that Stevie told you or talked to you or you heard her say that really kind of sunk in and made you think a little bit differently about the way you performed and worked?

Damien: When I was in rehearsal with Stevie Nicks and Adam, I think the thing that they – that most stood out was the – they mentioned me learning the songs just like Otis Redding and not changing anything at all. And I’m not usually that type of artist. I will – the way that I approach learning a song is listening to the song just to learn the lyrics of the song to get the feel of the song. And I just had myself – eventually I just sing it whatever way I feel like singing it and I guess kind of creating my own style to it. But they mentioned that to me and I didn’t get it at first. And the whole idea of them saying that to me was basically trying to make me stay true to the song. And so when they did – when they said that to me I thought about it. I went home and I just thought about it and continued to like contemplate on what they really meant from it. And eventually I got it. So that’s what I tried to do and that’s what stood out the most to me from Stevie Nicks and from Adam.

Q) Matt, and on TV you mentioned of course Stevie is a rock legend – an icon. What’s the most surprising thing that I think most people would want to know about Stevie, a rock icon that kind of surprised you?

Matt McAndrew: I mean she’s just super, super sweet. She was really helpful I think with all of us. And I think my favorite thing about having her working with us was you could really tell that the most important thing to her was the emotion of the song. And she really wanted to make sure that we were absorbed in the lyrics. And she want’s looking for technical perfection from us, but she was looking for it to be real and genuine. And so I think that helped me get my heart in the right place for the song and not stress too much about having everything be perfect.

Q) Toia and Blessing, can you both talk about the reaction that you had from family and friends and from social media for your experience on the show?

Toia Jones: For me the response was crazy; it was bananas because first of all they had no idea that I had even auditioned for the show. Let alone they had not a clue that I was actually on a show – on the show and had gotten picked up by Pharrell. And basically when they saw everything play out on last night and they saw that Gwen and Adam turned around for me, it was like my phone is still going crazy right now. And so I’m just living the dream and I’m just so grateful for it and I’m grateful for them for how they have really rallied around me. And not only do they love what I do but they believe in me as well as I do.

Blessing Offor: For me I’m always flattered when people say a lot of really nice things. As a kid people would be like Blessing, you’re so arrogant. People would tell me I was arrogant. And I never thought I was really arrogant. I knew I wanted to be a musician and I guess I – maybe as a kid I exuded that confidence a little too much. But it’s funny because when people tell me how amazing it is, it’s actually like no, no, no guys stop, stop; stop. And it actually humbles me a lot which you’d think would be the exact opposite. You’d think I’d be like yes, I’m pretty great. It just like floors me because honestly I just – I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve been practicing. It’s not fun always to practice by yourself and no one is going, good job, good job. And there’s certainly not 15 something million people watching you. But to know that all that time pays off at some point is a really great satisfying feeling. And it just makes you want to work more I suppose. And I can’t believe that there are people who’ve worked harder for longer and who haven’t gotten this far. And I don’t know, it just makes me feel like I don’t deserve any of it. And it makes me really grateful for all of it at the same timer.

Q) Damien and Jessie, are you enjoying a newfound celebrity or just kind of enjoying all the positive feedback from people generally?

Jessie Pitts: Yes, I’ve really enjoyed the positive feedback and my family has been so supportive. And my goal when I was performing each time, is to do my best and for it to pay off and all the hard work to pay off. And I have little girls like telling me that my story is an inspiration because they’re dealing with a certain thing that’s similar. It just – I can’t express how grateful I am and how flattered I am that I can – my voice can have such an impact on someone.

Damien: Yes, I’m actually just truly grateful and just thankful to God that I even have an opportunity to be on a TV show like this. For years I’ve been doing this and I don’t know if it’s resonated – I now it’s resonated with me, but I don’t know if people get it. But I have really been doing this for a long time and I have heard no so many times. So I’m just really and truly grateful for the opportunity. And when people come up to me I’m really thankful because there are plenty of people out there who are dying to be in the spot that I am. And I remember just what a couple of months ago. Just a month ago nobody even knew who I was other than close friends and stuff like and maybe some YouTube people or whatever. But I’m just thankful for the opportunity and I appreciate it so much, and it really means a lot.

Q) Toia, your performance last night with DaNica, obviously rehearsing for it was emotional for both of you because of your connection – the way you were able to connect to the song. Can you kind of talk about that rehearsal and what it meant for you to sing the song?

Toia Jones: Well that rehearsal for me, it meant the world to me only because I was with Pharrell and the great Alicia Keys. But in that moment I started thinking of everything that had gone on throughout my life and all of the no’s and all the people telling me, oh you’re too this; this you’re too gospel, you’re too this, you’re too that. So when Pharrell pretty much just told me live in the moment; be in the moment. Don’t run from those feelings I just – I lived in that moment and I just – there were a lot of emotions that were running through me honestly. And I could feel my father; I could feel his presence, and I could feel my mother and everyone who has told me forget what the naysayers say. You can do this. And I definitely dropped the negativity and I took in what he said and I just gave it a go and you all seen it play out on last night.

 

 

 

*CONFERENCE CALL*

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