Pharrell Williams on The Voice’s latest season
What started as a regular TV programme in 2011 has grown to become one of the most popularly followed shows; it even bagged an Emmy on its way to popularity. Season nine, which premiered on Sunday, has already seen a fair share of social media likes, and not just because of the new faces on the show. History was made during the Blind Audition episode as Juba Lee Young, of Tulsa-based singing duo Jubal and Amanda, asked Amanda Preslar to marry him. Not many can say that their engagement was witnessed first-hand by music biggies like Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams — the judges this season. New on the sets but not in the industry, Grammy award-winning artiste Williams gives us an insight into the reality TV competition’s latest season. Excerpts:
On Sawyer Fredericks’ win in the last season, the 16-year-old whom you coached.
That was not my win, it was Sawyer’s. I was just happy to be a part of his guidance.
On your style of coaching.
I don’t know if I have a signature style; all I know is any way the wind is blowing is cool with me. Everyone is different so my style is not to get in the way of it. My intention is to protect the artiste from unnecessary change and anxiety. The most I do is hold up a mirror so that they can see who they are.
On tips to winning over the other judges on the show.
Adam (Levine) is a strategist and he doesn’t like to lose, so his mode of coaching is very thought out. Gwen (Stefani) is all about doing things differently, so her way is always going to be left of centre which is cool. Blake’s (Shelton) approach has a lot to do with the way he performs and you can’t move him if you don’t operate from the heart chakra.
What makes The Voice special, even after eight seasons?
If I had to attribute the success of this show to anything, it’s NBC’s willingness to have a show that is all about lifting people up. And when you lift yourself up, people at home realise that they can lift themselves, too, and it has a cool domino effect.
Saturday, 8 pm, on AXN