As Season 3 of The Voice rolls on, there are some artists who were great enough to make a team, but that we didn’t get the pleasure of getting to know. Team Adam’s Adanna Duru is one of those folks, and she recently connected with me to catch Voice fans up on everything we missed out on.
If your only exposure to Adanna is looking up her blind audition version of Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory”, then you’ve got a lot to learn about her. Besides being a talented singer, she’s got the right personality for the job: she’s young enough to enjoy the ride, but also mature enough to appreciate it, too. While she’s honest about her time on the show not quite working out the way she’d hoped, she’s not bitter or even upset – she’s easygoing, full of laughter and excited for whatever might come next.
Adanna’s road to The Voice was a long one. “It was not easy,” she said. “It took a good two months or so. I auditioned first in March and then I just kept auditioning. I’ve auditioned for so many different shows and I never made it past the first round in any of them – so this was such a surprise for me.”
Once The Voice called her back, however, everything changed – and things began to happen much quicker. “Being a part of this entire experience, it all happened so fast,” she explained. “It was really nice meeting everybody there and making so many new friends. All the other artists were becoming like a big family. I thought that was really nice. I loved that. I really did enjoy myself. Being there, in the moment, it was the greatest experience.”
This particularly held true when it came to her coach, because Adanna describes herself as a huge fan of Maroon 5. “I love Maroon 5. I thought [the band's 2010 release] Hands All Over was like the best album ever, honestly,” she gushed. As for her favorite Adam Levine story, that’s something else you didn’t see. “[It was] the interview I was having with him and [Team Adam advisor] Mary [J. Blige],” she explained. “When the cameras weren’t rolling, Adam like just jumped onto the floor and started screaming. Everybody just started laughing.”
While her vocals were good enough to impress Adam Levine, one of the things you might not know about Adanna is that she’s a double threat. “I really, really wanted to show off my performing skills, that I can dance and sing. I wanted to really like perform and just get in there,” she said.
Adanna was particularly unlucky when The Voice began to air; she had both her blind audition and her battle round performance (in which she lost to Michelle Brooks-Thompson) edited down for broadcast. Of the cuts, she said, “I had absolutely no idea. They just said ‘There’s a possibility some of you guys are going to be montaged.’ That was extremely disappointing.”
She called it “really hard” not to let slip the results of the pre-taped auditions and battle rounds. “Everything with the battles and the blind auditions, what you see on TV isn’t at all what you see in terms of who went first and who went last,” she explained. “I was actually on the very last day [of battles]. There were no more steals – but America doesn’t know that. It was really weird.”
Don’t worry too much about her, though, as Adanna is doing just fine despite the relatively brief airtime she received on the show. “I have gotten a lot of exposure since,” she said. “I’ve gotten a lot more gigs and such. I was expecting to get more exposure than what I got, but what I did get was cool. It’s a lot easier for me to book gigs and I’m getting a lot more respect.”
When it comes to future plans, “I’m starting a Kickstarter to record a new EP and a new music video,” she continued. “That’s going to be my next step – and lots of performances!”
And at the end of it all, Adanna looks at her The Voice experience for what it gave her, not how long she was in the competition or how many minutes she was on television. “I was on national television at the age of fifteen, which was the coolest thing ever,” she reflected. “I got to talk to Adam Levine and Mary J. Blige. I love them both so much and I look up to them both so much.
“It was such a great thing to do. If I could go back, I totally would. It was so fun being there and I made so many great friends. But just because I’ve already experienced it, I just want to move forward. I just want to keep learning.”
While we may not have seen much of her on The Voice, Adanna is another example of what the show is about: someone with clear talent who was overlooked in the past but who now has doors open to her that weren’t before – and with a great head on her shoulders, she should have a wonderful journey ahead of her that we’ve all had the chance to be a part of, no matter how brief.
You can keep up with Adanna on Twitter (@adannaduru).