Cape Town - The Voice UK returns to ITV Choice (DStv 123) on Sunday, 26 January at 19:00 and this time with a brand-new Coach.
Meghan Trainor joins the superstar panel alongside Sir Tom Jones, will.i.am and Olly Murs, who all return to their big red chairs following a summer spent entertaining audiences around the world on their respective tours.
Emma Willis is back to host the competition with solo singers, duos and trios once again singing in the hope of turning chairs.
Trainor burst onto the music scene with the worldwide smash single All About That Bass in 2014 – a song that made her one of only five female artists to achieve a Diamond certification.
We sat down with Trainor and asked her a few questions:
How does it feel joining The Voice UK?
It’s been a really big dream of mine for a long time now, since the day I found out I had the opportunity to do more with my career aside from putting out music as a pop star and travelling the world.
I was like oh I can help other people and be on television and make a difference that way too. This has been one of my biggest goals in life to accomplish and I did it! It’s pretty amazing. And I was really nervous they wouldn’t pick me…
You seemed really comfortable in the chair from day one, it’s like you fitted right in straight away…
There’s a passion and a fire in me that always knew I’d be doing this so when you get your dreams you’re like ‘okay, I need to prove to everyone why I need to be here’ and deliver so you kind of wake yourself up.
And I believe someone once suggested to you when you were 17 that you should audition for The Voice…
Oh yeah! My publisher, she’s my biggest fan and supporter and she always told me you should be the artist. I would just write songs and she would have me pitch them and then one day she just told me 'I’m going to sign you up for The Voice, we’re going to get you on there' and I panicked. I was like 'NO! Absolutely not. I’ve never been on television. How am I going to do that? How am I going to go out in front of my favourite superstars and hope that they turn around!’ I think that’s the scariest thing ever and at the time I just wasn’t ready.
I was, like, 18 and I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I was afraid of taking pictures. I was just learning how to be comfortable with pictures of myself. And that took many years of being in front of the camera and practice and learning who I am to really understand that career and that life and now I’m here and I’m like 'LET’S GO! PUT ME IN!'
So, you must really consider these contestants very brave to be stepping out on that stage…
They’re the most brave and I respect them so much for their bravery. Even the auditions where we don’t turn around I feel like ‘you won because you got this far and you were brave enough to do something that I was too afraid to do.’
How have you found it listening to singers without having the visuals as well?
It’s weird because I guess you listen to music like that too at times but I guess if you know the artist you have a face and you have a story of who they are but not knowing anyone…it’s kind of like when you go to a restaurant and they have a singer on stage with a band and you’re like ‘she’s pretty great, I wonder who she is and what her life is like.’ It’s like that over and over.
What do you think makes the perfect song choice for you?
Something that highlights a singer’s voice perfectly. It shows off their capabilities, their cool tones or their range or their skills with their riffs and their control. That’s when you’re like ‘oh that was the perfect song for you!’ Or if they’re similar to the artist but they don’t sound EXACTLY like the artist and they make it their own – that’s when I’m like WOW, that was a perfect audition and you know how to use your voice.
(NEW VOICE: A promotional image of Meghan Trainor for the new series of The Voice UK. Photo: The Voice UK/ITV Choice)
And is there one perfect song from all time that makes you go ‘damn, I wish I wrote that!’?
Oh thousands of them! Oh Like A Prayer by Madonna, What Hurts The Most by Rascal Flatts, everything Phil Collins did on the Tarzan soundtrack, You’ll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins, ALL of Abba’s songs.
Tell us about your team, how’s it looking?
My team is looking pretty good! We’ve got a lot of females but I’m loving the girl power. I’ve got dudes too and they’re adorable. I’ve got twins. I have vocalists who not only are very talented but have the whole artist package and could go way beyond the show and be real superstars one day. That makes me feel really confident.
Your team stand to learn a lot from you, what’s been the greatest piece of advice someone has given you?
I don’t know where I got this from but the best line I tell myself everywhere I go is ‘prove to everyone in this room why you deserve to be here.’ And that’s what I want to teach all of these talented artists.
Tell us about your new album
My album is called Treat Myself. I’ve been promoting it for three years. I wrote three albums basically and I thought I might release this earlier but I have a great support team around me. My team don’t just agree and say ‘yeah, it’s good!’ They said ‘it’s good…but you could beat it. You could outwrite this as a songwriter.’ So, I returned to it and I went back in and wrote a bunch more songs. I honed it and I got songs that I didn’t even think I could write or produce.
Next level stuff and when I got to that level I began to think ‘okay, everything on my album needs to be this level or higher and let’s wait and make sure it’s perfect.’ Because I’ve never done that. I’ve never been patient with it. With my first album they were like ‘you have a month – go!’ And the second album I was just anxious to put it out. But with this one…I have taken my sweet time and I’m ready and I can’t wait to get it out.
So, there’s a few New Year’s resolutions – release the new album, win The Voice UK!...
Oh I want to be the first person to win The Voice on my first try!