Interviews

The Voice – Blind Auditions Night 5

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Q) Beth, you go up for your blind audition. Obviously, you don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m sure you were nervous. You get a great reaction from the judges. They fight over you like I don’t know that they’ve ever fought over anyone else I’ve seen on the show. I’m wondering as you move forward that into the competition are you more confident, are you excited, are you feeling pressured to live up to that performance or what’s that performance do for you as you move into the battle round that we’re going to see next week?

Beth Spangler: the performance that I gave I was under an immense amount of pressure. Of course the nerves were high and the song was big so I definitely gained a lot of confidence from the judges’ reactions and the feedback that they gave me. That was absolutely incredible. However I am my biggest critic and I’ve already picked apart that performance so that I know exactly what to do differently next time and how to better perform each song from this point on so I think I will definitely give a stronger performance each round as I go, I’m learning so much from everybody and it was an incredible opportunity and their feedback meant the world to me so definitely it boosted my confidence.

Q) Justin, you have quite a following on Twitter already. Do you feel like you have an advantage on the show because you already have such a popular following already?

Justin Johnes: I think that when it comes to live round and Twitter instant save that it could benefit me but honestly before we get to that point I don’t really think it makes much of a difference. I think it’s amazing obviously having support both in support obviously it’s very humbling and I’m grateful for it but until we really see the live rounds and stuff I don’t really think it gives me any sort of edge.

Q) Matt, you’ve obviously been doing this for quite a while teaching vocals and that type of thing. Why would A Thousand Years, why did you think that song would really do it for you? I mean, obviously we see why but why did you think it would work for you?

Matt McAndrew: For me I was interested in doing that song just from more of an emotional place. I wanted to pick a song that was really going to first of all resonate with me on an emotional level and then my hope was that it would not only move the coaches but hopefully people watching.

Q) Is it tough really coming up with a song that’s going to actually make it or break it for you one way or the other?

Matt McAndrew: Totally. I mean, for me I think of myself primarily as a singer-songwriter so going into this whole process the fact that obviously it’s covers. I was kind of at a loss for what I felt like could best represent me as an artist but yes, you kind of have to put all your eggs in one basket and say this is hopefully the song that is going to not only represent me faithfully in 90 seconds but also be impressive enough to get somebody to turn their chair.

Q) Brittany, “The Girl from Ipanema,” is a classic. Why was that song particular for you as special?

Brittany Butler: I’ve been singing that song now for a while. The rendition I performed was actually Amy Winehouse’s version. I love her and everything that I like to do stylistically as a vocalist I think that song helps showcase that. So I felt like it was a good representation of what I’m capable of, but just enough. I didn’t play my guitar or showed how I can change a song around yet so I thought it was a good prelude to me as an artist.

Q) For Griffin and Justin and Beth, kind of what went into your decision to choose the song that you performed?

Griffin Greenville: Going into this process I wanted to choose a song that I feel would sort of set me apart as an artist and at the same time would show my style, would be able to showcase my tone, my vocal range, that sort of thing. And I grew up listening to a lot of jazz music, a lot of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby so I kind of wanted to speak to that genre just to sort of set myself apart in the beginning and I felt really grateful that it ended-up doing that for me.

Justin Johnes: Yes, really my song came down to me. I’m big on changing as an artist and my sound is something that I would like to think has an element of pop and then more mellow  alternative music. So, I thought that it would be amazing to take “Let Her Go.” It was very different than the original. I think that that mental process that I usually go through for performing or writing an original is who I am as an artist showed in my blind audition.

Beth Spangler: First of all, I’m a huge fan of Beyoncé. She’s incredibly talented so it was a risk to take and do this song but I wanted to do something that would not only challenge me but also that would maybe be a little bit unexpected and it was very much a challenge but I really connect with this song and I really relate to it and I’ve always loved it. And I just love the ability to show my soulful side of myself and ultimately that’s why I went with that song.

Q) Matt, you had a three out of four coach turn. When you are auditioning, do you have a coach in mind like I hope this person turns around and how do you end-up picking like what was your process of picking a coach with so little time?

Matt McAndrew: Before my audition I was leaning towards Adam. And then but I really did want to give everybody the opportunity to win me over. I mean, I would have been happy to work with any of the four coaches so I really did try to empty my mind when I was up on stage and wanted to put any kind of prior preference aside and just listen to their pitches. So I mean, and I don’t know if that shows watching my audition but I was like I was so nervous during my audition and then further pitch like that all just kind of fizzled away and I was just like laser-focused staring directly into them just trying to like kind of look into their soul and just be like what do you got for me. I’m just trying to feel out because these are obviously these are people that you never met before and trying to feel them out not only like how they received your performance and how they sum you up as an artist but your first impressions of them and what it would be like working with them just even on a personality level. So, for me, it was great that I got three chairs and Blake was a little more laidback with his approach and it was kind of a fight between Adam and Pharrell for me. They’re both amazing. They both had fantastic pitches that charmed me for sure but I think Adam has that Type A personality just come on, come on, come on and just would keep going, keep going and that’s really I felt like personally and maybe that was just his approach but I felt like personally he was the one who wanted me the most and he was who I initially went into the process kind of hoping for so that’s how it all played out.

Q) Brittany and Matt, are there any past Voice contestants who you look at as an inspiration for what you want to accomplish on the show?

Brittany Butler: I don’t know. I mean, throughout the whole experience I’ve been told that there wasn’t really ever a female vocalist like myself on the show before getting up and performing a jazz standard. I’d been told that this was the first time so I don’t know. I’m just happy if that’s the case to have paved a way, broke down that barrier of, representing that genre on the show. I don’t know. I mean, in past seasons, I mean, I’ve definitely been a fan of certain contestants like I loved Melanie Martinez. She was super original. Yes, I don’t know. I really only started seriously watching this show the last maybe two seasons.

Matt McAndrew: For me, I was a little bit late on The Voice bandwagon watching the show but from catching a bit of last season, Christina Grimmie for me really was the first time just from her blind performance I saw that, that was plastered all over Facebook and everything when it came out and I was honestly floored. I was like I never seen anybody give that caliber of a performance on the show and that kind of really piqued my interest as somebody who does like to try to have a good stage presence and so that was really what I looked up to going into this process was her blind performance.

Q) Matt, a lot of singers that we speak to tell us that they come on The Voice because they want vocal training, they want to work with a coach. It’s sort of a unique situation with you in that you’re already a music coach so I’m assuming that you probably know a lot of the technical things that maybe some of the others might be learning. So what was sort of the appeal for you about this show and what do you sort of hope to gain from it that maybe you wouldn’t have another opportunity to gain had you done something else?

Matt McAndrew: Well for me going into the process, I’m a singer-songwriter. I write my own stuff and I play my own gigs and I try to promote myself on my own and I going into the process I saw this as a unique opportunity for me to just shine a spotlight on the stuff that I was doing on my own but now having gone through the audition and be involved in the process, I’m not seeing them as separate entities anymore. I’m really seeing my journey on The Voice as being one in the same with my own personal journey through music and I’m just really excited to be a part of it and I honestly I would love to win the whole thing as I’m sure everybody would but really just still have the opportunity to have my voice heard by a bigger audience. And too, I mean, there’s always so much to learn vocally. There’s so much that I’ve learned just going through the audition process and I’m always an eager student.

Q) Beth, your coaches who are big celebrities, but what’s it like getting the attention from other celebrities online that you may not have imagined would pay attention to you?

Beth Spangler: It’s incredible to get attention from people experience those that you have followed, watched and admired for so long. I appreciate every single opinion whether it be complimentary or constructive opinion just because that’s going to make me a greater artist and a better person. But I think it’s incredible to see how people who have already developed in their artistry or have already become big names in the entertainment world to take notice of us in our journey and to be a part of it. As far as the overalls and (you see some others) a lot of people who really liked the overalls and there’s a lot of people who are very vocal about how much they didn’t so this is an opportunity to just kind of be yourself and take chances and develop your style and develop your artistry and it’s difficult doing that in front of the entire nation. And so people are going to have their opinions but it’s really exciting nonetheless to be a part of something so great and to have an opportunity to grow and learn and in the meantime having such incredible people in the entertainment industry take notice of you and what you’re trying to do.

Q) Griffin, now that you’ve had a chance to meet Blake and actually I think had a chance to work with him a little bit, what would you say is the most surprising thing about him that you didn’t know that maybe we don’t know that you were like, “Wow, I would have never thought this about Blake?”

Griffin Greenville: Well, Blake is obviously a phenomenal artist and has done so much in the music industry especially for country music. I feel that The Voice has sort of propelled his career and he’s a really cool guy. I’ve actually had the opportunity of meeting him about two years ago. I had a friend that was opening up for him and so I was able to meet him and he’s just a phenomenal guy and very humble, very down to earth, had really encouraging things to say to me during the blind audition and sort of kept talking about wanting me to be on his team for different reasons. He then talked about being friends with Michael Bublé and it was just a really cool opportunity to sort of speak to him and have that interaction with him for sure.

Q) Matt with Adam, is there something about him that kind of blew you away that you didn’t know about?

Matt McAndrew: I had kind of hoped that all of them would have been cool and they’ve all been awesome but Adam, he’s great. He’s super laidback, he’s really funny and he does a really good job and kind of breaking the ice and making you feel like you’re just kind of hanging out and you don’t freak out that, like oh this is some big celebrity. He’s really chill, he almost be like dude, that was awesome, man. So it’s like that definitely kind of spoke to me like he’s not like posturing, like he’s very casual, down to Earth guy who I felt like I could relate to.

Q) Brittany, what about Pharrell?

Brittany Butler: Oh gosh, Pharrell, I mean, growing up I was very aware of him. He was always on the radio collaborating with all these different people and going into it I had kind of hoped that he would turn around because I thought that he would understand what I was about the most. And he totally was everything I expected so intelligent, kind, humble, he was just so knowledgeable about everything and I was like yes, this is why I wanted you as my coach so it was perfect.

Q) Is there a point where you stopped being starstruck or are you always starstruck no matter how personable and friendly you become with him?

Brittany Butler: it was it still hasn’t like sunken in, like I was standing up there like even watching the blind back it’s just like it’s like an out-of-body experience. I’m like did this happen, like I can’t even remember a lot of stuff. It’s just like it’s crazy and when you’re there, you’re just like, like I know when Gwen first turned around, I thought she was a was figure. She just looked so perfect so I what is happening like it was just crazy and you’re up there trying to take it all in and make the most of it but it’s so hard to make sense of it as it’s happening so I don’t really think I have gotten used to it.

Beth Spangler: I definitely think that each one of them are so much more relatable, down to Earth and even humble than people may think from the outside looking in, especially when you get an opportunity to get to know them but I agree with Brittany it’s even in his moments where you’re relating one-on-one with your coach or with them when you’re on stage, it’s just mesmerizing. It’s just a real experience and when you grow up loving each one of these artists and learning from them and they’re part of the reason you’ve developed into the artist that you are, I don’t think I would ever get used to that. It would never it just would never be just like a casual you’ll always be a little bit starstruck.

Q) Matt, we know you’re a fan of tattoos. Did that at all play into your interest in taking to Adam?

Matt McAndrew: That’s a good question. I don’t know. As dumb as it sounds, there was a moment where I was like just so torn between Adam/Pharrell, Adam/Pharrell and I was like well, they all have tattoos, that’s cool. I’m like wait, no, that’s not the most important thing but I don’t know. I just on a kind of a non-music-related note, I definitely have always been like a fan of Adam’s, got do’s in his image and I think he has good taste in ink so I guess it’s cool to work with him on that level.

Q) Justin, there was a while there where it looked like you might not get a turnaround. What was going through your mind before Blake turned around? Were you thinking, “Oh crap, I’m not going to get a turnaround?”

Justin Johnes: It was so weird because I definitely like thought I went through my song and I got to the end and it was really that last chorus because the song ends on the like the chorus and I reached that point where my arrangement kind of mellowed out and I was like well, all of my big vocal moments are gone. There’s nothing else that I am prepared to do to really wow them, like I gave it all I had already. It’s hard to plan these things – like if I were to perfectly plan out when the coaches would have turned, it would have been at some other bigger part of my song. And so but it was so weird, like I had this feeling of instead of like disappointment and I didn’t get worried, I got so like excited just because I was like honestly in my head I was like look at what I just did. I’m standing on The Voice stage. I am in front of four iconic people and I’m hopefully to be aired on national television. I don’t think I was ever prouder of myself in any moment until Blake turned and it’s the most honest response I can give and you can even hear it in my voice once I reach that part in the song, you can hear me kind of like accept the fact that obviously, I thought it was over and you can hear I get a lot more comfortable and yes, I don’t know. That’s was going through my head. I wasn’t like okay we didn’t make it. It was kind of like in the moment really excited and really happy for what I just did because I’ve never performed in front of an audience or anyone for that matter so, I mean friends and stuff but no crowd and add a crowd plus America plus four insane artists and you have nervous Justin and excited Justin.

Q) So would you say then performing that that moment on the stage is probably one of the most exciting times of your life?

Justin Johnes: Definitely. It was Blake turning and just even walking out on that stage was one of the high points of my life so far definitely.

 


*CONFERENCE CALL*

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