Alessandra Castronovo, a 21-year-old singer who’s on Team Adam, had a memorable battle round last week versus Joe Kirk thanks to their spot-on rendition of the Rihanna hit “Stay.” During our phone interview, Castronovo talked about her experiences on The Voice and discussed her decision to move from New Jersey and pursue her singing career in Los Angeles.
A lifelong R&B fan, Castronovo was praised during the battles by new coach Pharrell, who noted, “You just see a diva on the stage.”
How has your experience on The Voice been thus far?
It’s been a really good experience. It’s been really cool, and I’ve learned a lot.
Specifically, what have you learned from Adam Levine that you will carry with you past the show?
He taught me a really good tip – just to make sure when you sing that even if it comes out easy, you still have to remember you’re a performer. You have to get into it, even if the note isn’t hard for you to hit. Throw your head back, use your arms, use your body because you want to entertain people. You don’t want to bore them with just standing there and singing.
How emotional was that battle round between you and Joe Kirk?
Oh my gosh. It broke my heart that he had to go home. He was crying and we were crying together because you work so hard and you want it so bad. He reminds me a lot of my younger brother. It just really killed me that he had to go home.
What is it like balancing your own life and your time on The Voice – how surreal has this been for you?
It has been a dream come true. Now I’m just focusing on doing my music and I’m actually staying in L.A. So it’s great that I can actually focus on what I love and what I need to do for myself.
Did it take much convincing for you to come to Los Angeles and pursue your career?
It didn’t take a lot of convincing – it took a lot to convince my parents! I did the whole New York scene with singing and going there for years – I just wanted to try and go out to L.A. and see what happens. Then The Voice happened and it’s been a really positive thing so far. I don’t plan on going home anytime soon.
When did you know you wanted to pursue music?
I’ve been singing since I was four. I’ve always loved singing, but I remember when I was 14, (I thought that) this is what I wanted to do forever.
Were there specific artists that inspired you along the way?
Growing up there wasn’t a day when music wasn’t playing at my house. Music was on from morning ’til night. I listened to more music than watching TV or playing with toys. Mariah Carey was always on. Luther Vandross. Stevie Wonder. Celine Dion. Andrea Bocelli. All good music, and that’s what inspired me to love music and sing.
Is there a specific music genre you want to record in? Since your voice sounds so diverse, I’m sure it can fit into many different genres.
Thank you. I love to sing a little bit of everything. But my heart, what I love singing the most is R&B music. That’s my favorite.
Are you working on music right now?
I am working on my own original music, (and will) hopefully release an EP with my own stuff. It’s just a whole mix of music so far, and it comes down to narrowing it down. But yes, there’s going to be some R&B in the mix because that is what I love the most.
What advice would you give singers who want to purse a career in the music industry?
Well, it’s not easy. Especially if you have stage fright like me and that makes it ten times harder! But you just have to push through it and just remember why you’re doing it. You just want to touch people with your gift and if you could touch one person’s life, then you’re job is done. And that’s what I always keep in mind.
How gratifying is it to know that you have fans who have supported you on the journey?
Oh my gosh, it is so amazing. I smile all day long with my Twitter (@Alessandrafans) and my Facebook (feeds) and see these beautiful comments. I’ve had fans that have been following me for years. I’ve never really done that much besides singing locally. They have stuck by my side – supporting me since back then. Now on The Voice, they are so proud and supportive. They tweet me all day long and it’s so amazing.
Thank you for your time Alessandra, good luck moving forward.
Thank you so much.