Interviews

The Voice – Blind Audition Night 2

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Q) Reagan and Taylor Phelan, you reminded me a lot of the more successful singers that we’ve seen in past seasons. What did you think of your blind audition? And what do you think you need to do to be successful moving forward?

Reagan James: I was very happy with my audition. I had so many nerves yesterday it was crazy. I was so stressed, but after watching it, I was absolutely pleased with it. And I thought they did an amazing job. And I mean the band’s amazing and I felt like my stage presence was good. And it was all really great.

Q) And what do you think you need to do to be successful moving forward?

Reagan James: I think to be successful moving forward, I need to make sure that I work to the best of my abilities at all times and never, never slack. And I keep up my energy and positivity and mindset.

Taylor Phelan: Watching my blind audition was really great. I’m a hypercritical performer and artist. And so I was obviously viewing my audition through the lens of memory. And my memory was one of nervousness and just anxiety. I mean it’s a pretty intense process leading up to it. And it’s just a very like overwhelming and intimidating situation. Even though I’ve played hundreds of times, it’s such a very unique setting to be performing in. I obviously noticed a lot of my nerves coming out in my performance. But I was pretty pleased with it. I was pretty happy with the way that the actual show was actually put together. It was produced and edited together. I thought they did a really great job with that. And so for me to really progress and do well in this moving forward, I think that it is really going to be up to me to really just focus on what I know that I’m capable of and give in to my capabilities. And I think that in doing that I’ll overcome, you know, some of the nervous little hiccups that come with performing in that arena.

Q) Maiya, just wanted to ask you, you had everybody loving what you did. Why did you end up choosing Pharrell? Because that came kind of as a bit of a surprise. It looked like you were really kind of trying to decide.

Maiya Sykes: I was really surprised that all of them turned around and that I had options. So I hadn’t really gotten that far in my mind, but Pharrell made the most compelling argument. And it was a difficult choice because they all had such amazing things to say. And I’m really fans of all of them. So when he said that he recognized me as my own brand, that really solidified in my mind that okay, this is the person I should go with.

Q) And so far has it paid off?

Maiya Sykes: He’s been great. He’s lovely, and he has a lot of really insightful things to say. And he is a musical pioneer in my mind. So I’m always willing to learn from the masters if I get the opportunity.

Q) Joe, the same question for you but with Adam. Why Adam?

Joe Kirk: I picked Adam because family has always been important to me. I’ve always looked up to every single one of my family members. And I went into my audition with an open mind and kind of – I wanted to hear with that judges would say to make sure that I decided the right – I made the right decision. And Adam said that I was like his little brother. And when he said that to me, I kind of took to him. I wanted like a relationship with my coaches if he’s like my brother because I have great relationships with my brothers.

Q) DaNica, on the show, if I heard correctly, you’ve indicated that you had not performed on a stage for three and a half years. If that’s the case, how do you go from not performing at all to being on The Voice? How did you wind up on the show?

DaNica Shirley: Well, I actually ended up having a friend of mine, his name is Johnny. He lives in New York. He got me like a private audition that I went up to Shelly and did. So basically, it was kind of just last minute. And he had emailed me and asked if I had wanted to try again. And I was like absolutely. And so I just figured I would go for it and so I’m in. I was super nervous. But, it paid off. And it was really fun. It was exciting.

Q) Menlik, when we first see you singing and it seems like you have an instant connection with Gwen. Did you feel that instant connection? I mean was there ever any doubt that she wasn’t the person to work with you?

Menlik Zergabachew: No way. I’ve been like, as I said there man, I’ve been like a huge, huge, huge fan like from way, way back when, like middle school years and stuff. And yes, no there was – like, yes. I was definitely trying to go for Gwen 100,000%.

Q) Well, had you been a big fan of hers all your life?

Menlik Zergabachew: Yes, definitely, from her band No Doubt, I love them, man. From every single album, I love them, love them.

Q) Taylor Phelan, I have to say, “Sweater Weather,” was an incredible choice. Why that song in particular for you?

Taylor Phelan: I’ve been singing that song for a few years. And I was really excited when it started getting some – when it – when The Neighbourhood really started kind of picking up some traction and getting some notoriety and that song became a possibility to do on a show. I don’t know. I just really thought that it showcased a really unique side of my voice and my abilities. And so I don’t know. It just felt like a really great song for me. I don’t think that it’s a really normal song. I don’t think that as one could really sing that song. And so I just thought that I would kind of capitalize on some of what my strengths are and perform a song that just felt like I could do really well.

Q) DaNica, I was hoping you could guide me through your audition and tell me what was running through your mind and why you wound up choosing Pharrell as your coach?

DaNica Shirley: Yes. I mean honestly I’ve always been a really big fan of the show. And, you know, what was going through my mind is just to have at least just somebody turn for me because I’ve been trying for such a long time. And I haven’t been able to make it, unfortunately. And so I was just thinking that I just want somebody to listen to me and really understand me. And just see something good in me that I have seen in myself. And something that like my dad really was the one person that really saw that kind of goodness in me. I wanted somebody to back me up the way that my father has my whole life. And I just felt that support immediately. And I could just see it like on Pharrell’s face that he was very genuine. He was very interested in me and very passionate about me. In my heart I just felt like I know it was perfect. He is a tremendous, you know, producer and he works with all different kinds of artists in different styles of music and different genres. And honestly I enjoy singing so many different styles of music.And so I just feel like he was the best decision for me because, you know, he works with so many different styles of music and different things. And he told me I know what to do with your voice. And it was genuine. It was very confident. I knew that he does know what exactly to do with my voice. So I know I made the right choice.

Q) Sugar, “Chain of Fools,” Aretha. That must have been a really tough choice. Was it a song that you’ve grown up with all your life?

Sugar Joans: Yes. I have grown up listening to old school and R&B my entire life. And so Aretha is one of my heroes and biggest influences. It’s a song actually that I sing pretty much every weekend with my cover band. So I kind of already put my own twist on it a little bit. It was something that was in my wheelhouse. But always definitely very intimidating going up and doing a song that has that much history and recognition already.

Q) Taylor Brashears, I can’t believe most of the people on there didn’t know who “You Ain’t Woman Enough” was by. I mean God, Loretta Lynn, come on. It’s a simple song but it says a whole lot. What does that song mean to you?

Taylor Brashears: Well I actually know the back story of this song. I heard it from Loretta Lynn’s sister’s ex-husband. Loretta Lynn found her husband making out with another woman behind the Grand Ole Opry and punched this girl in the face. And then the next day she started writing this song. And I absolutely love that story. It’s so sassy. She completely stood up for herself in like the mid-60s, which that did not happen. And she paved the way of what songwriting is today for women. We’re allowed to say whatever we want to say and it’s amazing.

Q) So would you say you’re a sassy kind of female singer?

Taylor Brashears: I mean yes. There’s a bunch of sass for sure.

 

 

*CONFERENCE CALL*

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