“The Voice – UK” hits our screens on Saturday 24th March 2012.
25,000 singers have now auditioned from all over the United Kingdom for the latest singing reality show.
Jessie J, will.i.am, Tom Jones and The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue take on the role of coaches rather than judges.
Vocal coach Juliet Russell has been working behind the scenes at “The Voice” and reveals aspects of the show that apply to all singers.
Tell us what we’re going to find different in this new ‘take’ on the reality genre.
What attracted me to the show in the first place is that the focus is on the voice. The celebrity coaches can’t actually see who is singing. They have their backs turned and if they like what they hear, then they hit a button and their chair turns around.
Will this be a more constructive process for singers than some other shows?
Personally I think the show has a great heart. The singers who make it as far as the blind auditions get a lot of support in terms of vocal coaching, performance and preparation and that’s fantastic. The celebrity coaches are all highly individual and each one has created a personal and unique place in the music industry. The singers can and do learn a lot from them.
We know about the celebrities, but tell us about the role of vocal coaches in the show.
My role is as a vocal coach on the national auditions tour and I coached singers to prepare them for the televised blind auditions, which is the stage where the celebrity coaches choose their teams and have their backs turned to the performer. It’s very exciting!
It sounds like you’ve heard a lot of singing.
25,000 singers applied to audition for the show, which is amazing for a first season and the national audition tour involves a huge team. We toured for most of November and travelled throughout England and visited Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in search of amazing voices and we definitely found them.
Have you set a new record for vocal coaching?
It could have been arduous, but everyone who I have met through being involved with The Voice has been great – really easy to work with and I think the show’s format is refreshing. The whole team wants artists to do well and for true talent to shine through. The show seemed to have a strong spirit and ethos from the start. I really hope this comes across on screen and I’m sure it will.
As a vocal coach, what qualities are you looking for from hopefuls?
Of course you want the singers to be in tune and to be technically secure. I like character in a voice; singers who have a unique and individual tone.
You hear a lot of singers – can you give us more inight about what makes a ‘voice’ soar above the rest?
Above all, it’s the emotional connection that wins me over every time. I want someone to mean what they are singing, to connect with the lyrics and make me hear them as if I’ve never heard the song before. I want to believe them and for them to move me. For me, that’s the difference between a good singer and a great singer.
Juliet Russell is a founder and Artistic Director of Sense of Sound, a company that creates and produces amazing ways to celebrate singing. She has performed with some of the UK’s most illustrious artists including Damon Albarn, Brian Eno, Paloma Faith, Seal, Imogen Heap and Ringo Starr. She has coached vocalists from Grammy award winners to X-Factor finalists and is passionate about developing artists and helping people to achieve their creative and vocal potential. www.senseofsound.org
Bio Photo credit Geraint Davies
Original Photo for feature image, CocteauBoy on Flickr