The oft-used catch phrase of singing from the soul is directed at many vocalists, but sometimes, as with the case of The Voice artist Anita Antoinette, the shoe simply fits.
She didn’t receive a chair turn during her first run on The Voice, but that disappointment drove her to higher creative ground, and now Antoinette has made it to the Live Playoffs with some aid from Gwen Stefani’s coaching.
As you’ll see from the following Q&A, the amicable and articulate Antoinette talked about being a Team Gwen member why taking risks is one of life’s more important elements.
You initially tried out during season 3 of The Voice but didn’t get the chair turn. But if you don’t succeed the first time, the story isn’t over.
My mom is a Capricorn (laughs), my sister’s a Capricorn, (and) my dad’s a Capricorn. They’re very driven. My mom’s a single mom who raised us all on our own – four of us. Being able to do that – to carry your children from one country to the next and give them a life that they can be proud of – it’s definitely a testament to determination.
I think innately I have that from her – not taking “no” as a final answer. “No” is just a no right now. It’s what sets people apart, being able to fall down and how you get back up is (part of) life, you know?
Gwen Stefani is such an iconic and established performer. Did you feel an immediate connection? Or has that connection grown and strengthened during your run on The Voice?
Yeah it has grown. It definitely has strengthened as well. She sort of gets me (laughs). I knew that from the Blind Auditions. She said there was a connection going on and that’s very, very true. She’s an amazing performer and that’s what I needed help with – being able to get out on stage and be comfortable and free and know that everything would be okay. She’s been instilling that confidence in me.
She also has a great repertoire (in regards) to reggae music. She’s also a songwriter and so am I. She was grooving and dancing when she turned around in her chair for the Blind Auditions and that was so amazing. If you can groove with me, that’s perfect.
The Voice live stage looks a bit intimidating. Are you excited about performing on a bigger space?
The stage is a lot bigger (laughs). I did get to do my blocking and figure out what I’m going to do on stage. It’s definitely a little nerve wracking to go from that stage to the (live) stage. Because everything is so much bigger. My performance has to be bigger. My voice has to be bigger. Everything sort of has to match the stage.
But I’m still excited – that’s the whole point of developing and growing – you just take it to that next level every time.
I’m sure the workload has been intense. Have you been able to take breaks now and again with your hectic schedule?
Yeah. A lot of media stuff. Believe it or not, social media has been a huge part of it. On the schedule, it may look like we have a break, but we have to stay on top of connecting with people – because it’s important.
Being able to connect with people other than with music, but in real life – that’s also something that can take time but it’s definitely worth it. The wonderful feedback that we have received through social media and from our fans really do help us as well. That’s a huge part of what we do.
Just being able to go through the day and get everything done. Our interviews and press shoots – it’s a lot of work but l wanted to make sure I was ready for the blood, sweat and tears that would go into this.
Also being able to take that break is important as well. (Taking a break) is a part of working as a musician. Especially as a singer, you need that time to rest your voice. It’s an instrument and a part of your body.
Is connecting with the audience one of your most important goals?
As an artist, my #1 goal is to always keep that human element within music – that connection. Making sure that people can see what it means to dream and how important it is to go after your dreams.
I definitely want to inspire people because not a lot of – I’ll be honest there are not a lot of people in television that look like me. A tiny little black girl with dreads (laughs) that’s doing her thing. I think it’s important that a lot of people who look like me – or even don’t look like me – get to see me. For them to not be afraid to dream big and go after their dreams.
That’s the root of life – is being able to take risks and explore. That’s what I’m doing it for. I’m doing it to inspire people to just dream big.
Well thank you so much for your time. A great interview and again, thanks!
Absolutely. Have a great day.
The Voice begins its Live Playoffs Monday night on NBC (8 pm et/pt)