Pharrell Williams Begs Filipina American Katriz Trinidad To Join His Team On “The Voice” (Video)

 

Just a few weeks ago, we showed you the incredibly talented Clara Hong who blew everyone away during her blind audition for The Voice.

Well it looks like we have yet another Asian contestant to root for. Filipino American Katriz Trinidad took the stage to sing the classic Etta James song, At Last. Needless to say, she impressed the judges and had three of them turn their chair around in less than 20 seconds of performing (gaining the applause of her many, many family members back stage). The most incredible part of all this? Trinidad is only 15-years-old.

During her performance, celebrity judge Pharrell Williams was so taken that he got on his feet and remained there for the rest of the performance. Blake Shelton also let out an enthusiastic “Yeah!” before clapping his hands mid-performance and grew even more enthusiastic as she hit her final note with ease.

Celeb judge Gwen Stefani also turned her chair to try and get the young singer to join her team, making Adam Levine the only to leave his chair unturned. Despite this, Levine acknowledged that the other judges would have quite the fight for Trinidad. “Congratulations, they’re gonna lose their minds.” he laughed.

 

 

Pharrell wasted no time. “I never thought that I would find something that I usually look for for my own label,” he gushed. “I’ve been dreaming for an artist like you all my career.”

“Just remember these words,” he continued before kneeling down. “I want you on my team so bad. And I’ve never done this.”

Blake then took over and added that Katriz was born to be a star. Gwen Stefani followed this up by detailing the way Trinidad sang.

“You started out so soft and controlled and you just ramped, and ramped, and ramped ‘til the end where you hit a note that was so beautiful.” Stefani said.

She added some constructive criticism by saying the performance was almost too perfect and too rehearsed. In the future, Gwen suggests Trinidad strip down the perfection.

In the end Trinidad went with her gut and chose Pharrell.

 


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She Did It! Tessanne Chin Wins Singing Competition “The Voice”

We’ve been mesmerized by Chinese-Jamaican songstress Tessanne Chin on this season of The Voice ever since her rockin’ rendition of Pink’s “Try” turned the chairs of all four judges. She surprised everyone by picking Maroon 5’s Adam Levine over fellow diva Christina Aguilera — and good thing she did. Because with Levine’s guidance — which included brilliant song choices ranging from No Doubt’s “Underneath It All,” which showcased Chin’s reggae roots, the soaring “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” a superb rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” and their brilliant duet of “Let It Be” (with a dash of reggae thrown in) — Chin has remained on top of the iTunes charts, keeping her in the competition week after week.

But beyond her superior singing chops, Chin won our hearts with her seriously sweet and humble demeanor, her adorable Chinese father and sister Tami cheering in the audience, as well as her cutie-pie husband, Michael Cuffe, and her badass faux-hawk.

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So we are beyond ecstatic that after a two-hour finale, the 28-year-old former backup singer for Jimmy Cliff was announced the winner of season 5 of The Voice, the number one singing competition on TV right now. We are huge fans and want her on our cover! Tessanne, call us?!?

Photos courtesy of NBC.

MUST WATCH: Tessanne Chin Wows “The Voice” Judges

The Voice has found another amazing star. 28-year-old reggae fusion recording artist, Tessanne Chin, recently graced the stage of The Voice with her powerful vocals.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, this Half-Chinese beauty is most known for her hit singles “Hideaway” and “Messenger”. Both songs were featured in her 2010 solo album In Between Words.

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After only moments of showing off her vocals, Chin got all four judges to turn their seat in amazement. With a warm personality and a breath-taking smile, Chin quickly won over the judges, the audience, and viewers at home.

Sure to be a fan favorite, Chin has chosen to be on Adam’s team (he did give her a standing ovation afterall). Check out the performance yourself and be sure to keep an eye out. This one is definitely going places.

 

 

Exclusive Video Premiere: Sonia Rao’s “Little Blue Room”

In our Fall 2013 issue, we featured former The Voice contestant, singer-songwriter Sonia Rao, whose sophomore album, Los Angeles Part 1, dropped last week. Now we’ve got the exclusive video premiere of the emotionally charged single “Little Blue Room.”

“I wrote ‘Little Blue Room’ about time and love,” says Rao. “It was in writing this song that I figured out that it was time to end a relationship, a tough process, but I love songwriting for that reason. If I’m ever unclear about which step to take, I’ll start writing a song and by the end of it, I’m usually pretty certain about what I truly want. The video is a bit surprising, but I’m hoping that people will see the metaphor in it.”

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Watch as the soulful L.A.-based Rao tells the story of a woman coping with the end of a relationship — with an unexpected twist! Without further ado, the exclusive premiere of “Little Blue Room,” shot, directed and produced by Ron Utin Lalkin and Maddie Staszak.

Like what you hear? Pick up “Little Blue Room” and other tracks by Sonia Rao on iTunes — and while you’re at it, get our Fall 2013 issue here!

Judith Hill is Preparing To Release Her Debut Pop, Funk & Soul Album

The Japanese-African American singer who won over TV audiences with her performances on NBC’s The Voice is preparing to release her debut pop, funk and soul album. Story by Ada Tseng.

“The first song I [ever] wrote was a gospel song called ‘God Has Made,’” remembers Judith Hill. The singer/songwriter was only 4 at the time, but she still has a recording of it. “It goes, ‘God has made / the birds and the bees,’” she sings, laughing. “It’s pretty bad singing, but I guess for a 4-year-old, it’s not that bad.”

Now 29, Hill has been recording albums with her parents, both professional musicians, since she was a kid. Her mother, a Japanese American classical pianist, and her father, an African American bass player, met while playing in The Chester Thompson Band, a funk band in the ’70s. Rufus and Sly and the Family Stone were regulars in the Hill household.

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Judith Hill made a name for herself when she was chosen by Michael Jackson to be his duet partner for his “This Is It” comeback tour, originally scheduled for 2009. When Jackson passed away prematurely, Hill sang a memorable rendition of “Heal the World” at his televised memorial. In the next few years, Hill performed internationally, recorded a song with Japanese American singer Ai, composed songs for Spike Lee’s film Red Hook Summer, and sang back-up for Stevie Wonder — keeping busy, but not quite ready to step back into the mainstream spotlight.

When she decided to audition for NBC’s The Voice in 2013, Hill was aware of the stigma of entering a prime time TV singing competition.

“In the beginning, whenever I told people that I was going on The Voice, they were like ‘What are you doing?’” says Hill. “At first, I felt that way about reality shows too, but then I looked at it objectively. In this day and age, the music business has changed so much, and we, as artists, have to find different ways to get ourselves out there. And television is the strongest thing right now.”

Most importantly, Hill wanted to show the world her artistry. To prepare for her audition, a cover of Christina Aguilera’s “What a Girl Wants,” she jammed with her mom at the piano until she discovered how to make the song her own.

“The original melody is very percussive, and I basically took the lyric and created my own soulful melody,” says Hill. “Then I sang the chorus as everyone knows it, and I knew that was what was going to sell it. As a soul singer, I have to have the freedom to play, so that’s why I slowed it down and loosened up the phrases and melodies. Then that’s when my voice shines the most.”

This type of musicality ended up defining Hill’s signature style on the show, whether she was in her comfort zone covering Nina Simone’s jazzy “Feeling Good“ or completely transforming songs such as Will.i.Am’s up-tempo “#thatpower.”

While reality shows can come across as packaged, Hill was pleasantly surprised at how much freedom she was given to compose her covers each week. “I had almost 100 percent creative control,” she says. “That’s what made it so good. The music department really respected me, so I was able to bring in my arrangements and charts, give it to the band, and they played it exactly how I wanted them to play it.”

Hill, a lover of fashion, was also able to work with the wardrobe department to make sure the visuals of her performance had the same knockout quality as her vocals. Because of these supportive collaborations, even after her much-contested elimination after her Top 8 performance, Hill emerged from the show more confident as she moves forward with plans to release her debut solo album.

“The stylist from The Voice really helped me understand myself more,” says Hill. “There’s something I love about looking elegant but also edgy, and I think this describes my music, too. All my music is a very classic soul sound, but it’s also edgy with the funk, the dance music, and the ethnic sounds. There’s also something about coming onstage with a fierce, exotic and high-fashion look that helps empower me. It’s a part of who I am and what I love.”

This story was originally published in our Fall 2013 issue. Get your copy here

The Voice’s Judith Hill dishes about her style

Judith Hill: Those are my own clothes! I actually found that fringe at a store in Sherman Oaks. It’s a fun, poppy, nice introduction. Because it was my first performance on The Voice, I wanted people to know that I’m into fashion, textures and patterns.

 

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Judith Hill: That was for the Nina Simone song “Feeling Good.” To me, that song is one of the most powerful songs in music history. I wanted to feel like I was this woman that represented all women in the world. I could be from Asia or Africa or any part of the world. I wanted to be like Queen Aphrodite in a long dress with the Asian hair coming out, [singing] a down-to-earth, soulful, bluesy cry from the soul.

I loved the long neck coming up. I wanted it to feel very exotic and high fashion at the same time. That’s always my thing: runway styles interpreted in artistic ways. And then when I came out of the audience, spotlight on me, all a capella, I wanted it to feel like a hush came over the room and it’s quiet. But because it was The Voice, everyone was screaming. [laughs]

 

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Judith Hill: This was the Michael Jackson “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Again, I wanted to strut that high fashion, structured look, but also have it be very fun, edgy and unique.  That hairstyle was something I emailed to the wardrobe department.

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I saw it on the runway, and I really loved it because it was so avant-garde. There were these two circles. And that’ s my thing: I love shapes in fashion. I love weird shapes and weird cuts anywhere. Any time I see a circle or triangle, I’m excited.

 

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Judith Hill: [for her performance of "#thatPOWER"] That was the most epic. That thing was so hard to wear! It was made out of hard material that bendable but very tough. It was all silver feathers in a cape that went all the way down. We found it in a showroom. I told them I wanted this to very tribal. High-fashion tribal. I wanted to be the Queen of the Amazon jungle. I wanted to feel like I was a goddess that was putting on this crazy rock concert in the middle of the ancient ruins.

The hair came from a picture I found online of that exact thing with the cornrows on the side and a huge afro. This is actually more tapered down. The one I sent was even crazier. I figured it was also very tribal and African, but rock star at the same time.

 

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Judith Hill: This was my last week [on The Voice], when I sang “Sweet Nothing” with Michelle Chamuel. That was just a simple classy look. It’s my natural hair look, how I usually wear it, plus a simple structured suit.

 

And an extra photo from Judith Hill’s Facebook page.

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Judith Hill: That’s me and my brother. He looks so much more Asian than me in this picture! [laughs] We look the same now. He plays the drums, but he’s an engineer. He’s the one in the family who decided to get a real job.