Interviews From Last Night: Kat Robichaud

The Voice - Season 5

Okay, folks, here’s a bonus: you’ve probably seen my post-elimination interview with Kat Robichaud on TODAY.com (if you haven’t, here’s the link). There’s quite a bit that was in the original article that didn’t make print, however, and it’s some real food for thought, so I wanted to publish it here for you to enjoy.

Here’s what you didn’t read:

What did Kat believe kept her landing in the bottom three?

“Who knows?” she said. “I can only be myself. A lot of people said ‘Kat cares more about being a star than she does [being] an artist,’ and that’s kind of true in a sense, but also not really because I’m not willing to do a song just to get more votes.

“I have to be myself, and I think it’s really important that I remain myself,” she continued. “I think there are a lot of people in the world right now that think that they have to be someone that they’re not to fit in, and I think it’s really important for them to know that they need to just continue to be themselves and love themselves for who they are.”

In essence, Kat just summed up the entire premise behind The Voice: for artists to be who they are, and not try to be something that they’re not. Really beautiful words, in this writer’s opinion.

On another note – if you’ve read the TODAY article – it’s prompted a firestorm of comments regarding Kat’s opinion that performance should matter on the show. A lot of people are saying negative things that she doesn’t deserve; as someone who’s gotten to know Kat, however briefly, I can say that she’s a lovely person and not at all the “sore loser” that she’s being made out to be.

And I personally think she has a point. The show may be called The Voice, and vocals will always be paramount, but I do think that artists should also do more than just stand there and sing. When I go to a live performance, I go for the experience; if I just wanted the music, I’d stay home and listen to the album.

But what do you think? Agree or disagree with Kat? I’m curious to know. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Artist Update: Amber Carrington

The Voice - Season 4

The biggest surprise in Season 4 of The Voice was Amber Carrington, who started the show as an aspiring country artist and rose to become an amazing all-around performer under the guidance of coach Adam Levine. Not only was she talented, but offstage she was also one of the show’s most enjoyable personalities. BFTV recently caught up with Amber to talk about how her career and life have been after finishing in The Voice‘s top five.

“I got more than I ever imagined from The Voice,” she told us. “I learned so much about myself as not only an artist but as a person and I grew incredible amounts through out the experience. What I will take with me most is the fans that I gained and the friends – cast and crew – who I became so close to. Those relationships will go on forever. I love my fans!”

What was her favorite experience on the national stage? “The first thing I always think of is the moment I performed ‘Skyfall.’ It was such an epic peak in the show for me, and I will always wish that I could go back in time to that moment,” she said. “I felt so free and fierce – it was incredible!”

Almost immediately after her time on the hit NBC series ended, Amber’s career started moving forward. “The next morning after the wrap party and all the festivities of the finale, I woke up still in the same hotel I had been in for months,” she said, “only now with plans to travel right back to the Universal lot to participate in a show called Home & Family on the Hallmark channel. That was a pretty fun experience…very different from The Voice but I did get to perform and be involved in another TV show.

“Normal life after that was a bit of a drag for like a week,” she added, “but then I got right back up on my feet and started making small trips to Nashville and then finally decided to pack up and move here!” Nashville being the home to many former The Voice artists, including another Team Adam member, Season 2 finalist Tony Lucca.

Since settling in her new city, Amber has stayed busy. “[I’ve] been writing a ton – with a few Voice friends,” she said. “I got a booking agent finally to help me sort through all the inquiries. I feel so grown up now, because I even have an attorney. I have also signed with Fusion Music management group, and am being managed by the same man who managed Lady Antebellum in the past, Daniel Miller. I am building my team of people around me to represent my music and business when approached by record labels and [for] publishing deals!”

She’s lined up more than a few gigs, too. Amber is singing the National Anthem for several NFL teams during October, including the Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers. She’s playing several shows in those areas as well. so be sure you check her website (ambercarrington.com) to see when and where she’ll be performing near you.

What’s been the most memorable event that she’s been a part of? “The coolest thing that has happened to me since The Voice was definitely getting to sing ‘Crazy’ by Patsy Cline alongside Vince Gill and The Time Jumpers at 3rd and Lindsley for my first real live performance in Nashville,” she added. “That was just so incredible!”

Of course, fans always want to know if Voice artists will re-team with their coaches after the show is over, so we asked Amber if that’s in the cards for her, too. “I do have Adam’s number, you know?” she told us. “So I have texted him a bit about things that are going on in my career [and] about his recent engagement. Other than that, we have remained friends, but no plans to work together just yet.”

Amber has also stayed in touch with her longtime supporters, especially the folks at LaRue Chic Boutique in Texas, where she worked prior to her appearance on The Voice. “LaRue Chic Boutique is one of my most favorite places to go and shop! I love the atmosphere and the people who work there. It’s just full of energy and color, which both make me very happy!,” she enthused. “They have become my clothing sponsor and also my merchandise designers. All my merchandise plus other super cute items can be found on their website at iShopLaRue.com.

“I am so excited to be a part of LaRue’s very first annual Pinktoberfest,” she added. “This is a breast cancer awareness festival with tons of raffles, auctions, a traveling mammogram truck and a live concert!” You can find more information on Pinktoberfest, which happens this Thursday, October 24, by visiting the official event page on the LaRue website.

From there, the sky’s the limit. “After October my schedule will slow down a lot!” Amber continued. “I am going to be focusing on writing great songs and getting a publishing deal. Then [I’ll] gather up all the right songs and take [them] to record label showcases to look for a record deal, and finally get new music out for all my sweet patient fans! Whether this will all happen before the year is out or in ten years, no one knows.”

Empowered and energized, Amber is excited for her future, and continuing to share her positive energy with everyone around her. Asked what advice she’d pass on to our readers, “Be confident in the person that you are!” she enthused. “In any career path or life challenge that you face, you have to look at yourself and love what you see. Everyone could use a little tweaking ,but overall, love the person that you are and see yourself for greatness. As soon as you can find that happiness within you, then you will attract beautiful things.”

You can keep up with Amber by visiting her website (ambercarrington.com) and following her on Twitter (@ambercarrington).

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Season 4 Finale Interviews

The Voice - Season 4

The rest of my Season 4 finale interviews are now posted across the interwebs:

Artist Update: Josiah Hawley

The Voice - Season 4Josiah Hawley is not only returning to The Voice for the finale – but he’s also got new music of his own to reveal today! BFTV caught up with the Team Usher singer to talk about his now-available EP, plus returning to the hit NBC series and how he plans to make the most of his national exposure.

“I’m really happy exactly as it happened,” said Josiah, who left The Voice after his live show performance of Coldplay’s “Clocks,” and will be returning to sing with the rest of Team Usher for the finale. “I feel like it’s been a great stepping stone for me to step into the next phase of my career. It’s helped me to be seen and be known enough to have meetings with some very cool people.

“The good thing is too, because I got [voted] off when I [did], it also helps not to be pigeonholed,” he added. “I’m super-grateful for the show, but at the same time, you don’t want to be known as ‘the reality show person’ for the rest of your life.”

He told us that after you leave the show, “Two things happen. The first thing is, you can just kind of breathe for a second. You don’t have the stress. And then it hits you real quick that ‘Now I’ve got to do this on my own, and I’ve got to get out there and make something of myself, because that was just step one.’ Then it becomes real. And it’s exciting.”

Step two for Josiah is the release of his EP, plus a corresponding YouTube web series. “I definitely had some music in the works already, but I finished a brand new song that I’m really excited about,” he revealed. “It does have influence because of the show and what went well, and the response I got on certain songs. It’s one that I think will have good reception with people.” That song is called “Beautiful To Me” and you’ll be able to get it on Noisetrade for free, along with his other new tracks, starting today.

“It’s kind of a love song and it just highlights my musical influences. I’m a pop-rock artist,” Josiah explained. “We stuck a little bit of jazz in there. It’s just a smooth song and it’s really fun.”

He has a plan to keep connected with the new fans he made through his TV exposure, staying active on social media including YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, so that you can see fresh videos and behind-the-scenes photos. “Twitter, I wasn’t very huge on it before the show,” he admitted with a laugh. “I had 700 some followers and now I have over 61,000. The same with Instagram. The goal was, I spoke with my lawyers right after the show and they’re like ‘Your social media’s blown up, that’s great. You’ve just got to keep going, get yourself out there in front of everybody.'” Now he’s definitely in the spotlight, and he’ll hopefully stay there.

Although he found himself as the heartthrob of The Voice, Josiah wants fans to know that he’s more than just a good-looking white guy with a guitar. “When the show started, they always have a story that they want to start with, to reveal a little bit about the artist,” said Josiah, whose on-air story focused on his modeling career.

“What I wanted people to really see is I grew up in a huge family – I’m the second of six kids – and it wasn’t a small town but it wasn’t a big town. I grew up doing concrete construction. That was my whole life. Every time I go back home to visit, that’s what I do. [I’m] just a hard worker in that sense, and an athlete, and I’ve been able to take those principles and apply them to music. If you want to be successful in music, you’ve got to work hard every day, all day.”

You can check out Josiah’s new music on his YouTube channel and download it on Noisetrade today. Also be sure to follow Josiah on Twitter (@JosiahHawley). The Voice crowns its season-four winner tonight on NBC.

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Artist Update: Paulina Cerrilla

The Voice

She may not have made it through the battle rounds in Season 3 of The Voice, but Paulina Cerrilla is keeping busy, not only as a musical artist but also as an actress. The Team Christina singer is now one of the stars of the musical short film String Theory, which is currently trying to pull together production funding on Kickstarter. BFTV recently phoned Paulina to learn all about String Theory and talk about her life after The Voice.

“It’s been a wonderful journey,” she enthused, “because ever since The Voice, I have more people recognizing me. It kind of gives you more credibility. It’s helped me a lot in my music career and also my acting career.”

“When I heard about String Theory and how amazing it was, how music is such a big part of it, I read the script and I was like ‘I really want to do this,'” continued Paulina, who plays the character Aurora in the film written and directed by Jonathan Pezza. “Music is intertwined in every single character’s life.

“What really attracted me to it was you have three main characters and they never meet necessarily. Their stories are completely separate. I meet Patsy [played by Abraham Benrubi, ER] once but I never meet Yun [Thien Nguyen]. And we all unknowingly influence each other throughout the film. Everything comes in a full circle. It’s brilliantly, brilliantly written and the music is all [woven] in there. It’s very real and from the heart.”

The film’s creative team is so passionate about the project that they’re taking some pretty big steps to pitch it to the public. On the movie’s official website, you can view the entire screenplay, so that you know exactly what you’re investing into. They’re also planning to release a corresponding EP of the film’s music on iTunes. And if that’s not enough, Paulina teased that select Kickstarter backers who pledge a mere $3 will get a digital download of the song “About Home” that won’t be included on that EP.

“I loved my fans so much that I just really wanted to do a fully produced version,” she said. “So for a limited time, during the Kickstarter campaign, we’re actually offering the fully produced song that you won’t be able to get on iTunes.” You can pledge through Kickstarter until June 29.

String Theory isn’t Paulina’s first venture into acting. “I’ve been acting for a really long time. I got my start in musical theater when I was like nine years old,” she told us. “But the main reason why I haven’t been doing a lot of acting was I literally looked the same way for the past four years. Here I was a 14-year-old looking like she was 19. So it was a little bit difficult for me to get 14-year-old parts. I’ve kind of grown into my age. I’ve gotten a chance to get more acting jobs.”

She’s hoping String Theory will also boost her resume: “It’s so different from who I am [and] who people know me to be,” she continued. “It’ll show that I take acting very seriously because I’m playing a completely different character.”

Yet even she dives into acting, Paulina told us she won’t let go of her music career, either. “I’m going to do both,” she said. “I’m super-excited about String Theory and I’m planning on continuing my acting career [but] I’m totally not going to let the music drop. I’m working it out on recording. I’m just now starting to kick it up back on YouTube. What’s really cool that [The Voice] didn’t talk about, I’m Mexican, so I plan to use my Hispanic influences in my music. It shows a lot in my YouTube videos.” On Paulina’s YouTube channel (itsmepaulina), you can find all her videos, including a performance of “About Home.”

With the movie in front of her, she added that she also appreciates the show that came before. “The Voice has sent nothing but positive things my way,” she  told us. “I’m so grateful I did it.” Now Paulina has the opportunity to bring her positive energy and can-do attitude to the rest of the entertainment world, and we’ll be watching to see what she does next.

If you’re interested in supporting String Theory, you can visit the film’s Kickstarter page or official website. You can keep up with Paulina via her website (paulinaworld.com) or on Twitter (@itsmepaulina7).

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Artist Update: Chris Cauley

Chris CauleyChris Cauley has been hard at work since joining Team Adam in season two of NBC’s The Voice, and now he’s close to a brand-new EP. With just days to go on a Kickstarter campaign, Chris joined BFTV to tell us what we can expect from his new music and how he’s been since we saw him in the Voice battle rounds.

“This EP has really consumed everything. We’ve been working kind of on and off since November to be honest,” he explained of the five-song project. “Basically what we did, we kind of went back to Michael Jackson, the King of Pop and who I’m just the biggest fan of. The whole theme when recording was ‘What would Michael do?’ It’s a very, very musical EP, but a five-year-old could sing along to it because it has the hooks that pop music does. It’s kind of got a Michael Jackson meets Maroon 5 meets The Jackson 5 sound.”

The Georgia-based singer made a big move when he signed with Red Light Management, which also represents heavyweight artists like Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews Band, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Luke Bryan. “They’re one of the biggest management companies in the world,” Chris said. “We went all or nothing in this. We’ve got a full string section orchestra, live horn. Having Red Light on my side and having people waiting on it, we were like ‘We gotta go big for this.'”

Voice fans remember Chris for the different arrangement of Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” that landed him on Adam Levine‘s team, as well as the battle round where he sang U2’s “Beautiful Day” with eventual Team Adam finalist Tony Lucca. What you might not be as aware of is that he’s been a touring musician for a decade.

“What I want people to know I was on The Voice, but long before that I was grinding it out for 10 years,” he continued. “All the years of grinding and having nothing to show for it is kind of coming down to this. It’s been 10 years in the making.” To that end, Chris wants fans to see each Kickstarter pledge as not just a one-off donation to the new record, but “more of an investment into a career.”

With two seasons having happened since Chris was a part of NBC’s hit show, it’s no longer a huge part of his life. “I embrace it when it comes up, but it’s been awhile since I’ve used it to my advantage,” he explained. “Even during the show – I know producers hated hearing this – I was just being honest [and saying] ‘This isn’t life or death for me. This is just a fun, incredible experience. I’m content.’ Even my exit interview, I said ‘Tony deserved it.’

“Tony and I got to be really good friends. We weren’t out for blood like they want you to be on TV,” he continued. The two still keep in touch, and Chris also opened for Tony on one night during his “Chapter Two” tour last year. He’s highly complimentary of his former teammate. “Without me even asking, Tony’s been typing about my Kickstarter,” Chris told us. “Someone asked a question, and obviously Tony has so many likes on Facebook, [but] I noticed he responded. He went way out of his way to get that one person to pledge, which was cool. I’m so happy for him.”

Chris also took the stage with another Team Adam alumnus, season one winner Javier Colon, recently in San Diego. The two share a mutual close friend, keyboardist Matt Cusson, and had met before but were surprised to find they were sharing the stage. “We didn’t even know each other was [scheduled for] the show,” Chris told us with a laugh. “It was booked through our separate college agencies. Javier didn’t even know I was going to be there. I didn’t even know I was opening for him. He’s doing really well.”

Now he’s hoping that he can enjoy some of the same success his colleagues have. “It’s been awesome,” he told us of the ongoing process to get his EP to the finish line. “I’d love for it to be a warm and fuzzy success story.”

You can pledge to Chris’s Kickstarter effort by clicking here, keep up with him on Twitter (@ChrisCauley), and check out him performing “Ordinary People” with fellow Voice alum Mathai below.

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Excerpts appear at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @bigredchairs.

Photo credit: Dash Photography

Meet Team Blake’s Holly Tucker

The Voice - Season 4

Blake Shelton has his dream team on The Voice this season: a final three loaded completely with country artists. BFTV recently caught up with one of those artists, Baylor marching band star Holly Tucker, to get to know her better.

“I always expected big things because I’ve seen the show on TV and it just looks larger than life,” Holly said of her Voice experience so far. “That’s exactly what I got and more.”

Speaking of big things, America has watched Holly blow the doors off the Voice studio with her powerful performances of LeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live” and Martina McBride’s “Broken Wing.” How does she prepare her voice to be able to hit such amazing notes every time she takes the stage? “It takes a lot of warm-up,” she explained. “You just have to sing scales and make your voice be able to hit those notes with ease. And breathing. Breathing is very important.”

Breathing is something that Holly has learned to do over her time on The Voice. Her coach has pointed out to her that she is sometimes too hard on herself, and that he wants to see her have more fun. Now that America has voted her through into the Top 12 and later the Top 10, it’s given her more confidence in herself.

“I feel incredible,” she said. “Just being able to go up there and feel so strong and so confident. I should’ve been feeling this way the whole time. And now I finally feel like I’ve grown into the [belief] that I deserve to be here and it’s a really good feeling.

“Getting that validation from America, as well as my coach, is the best feeling in the world.”

Has that affirmation meant that she’s stopped being so self-critical? “I do feel like I’m getting there,” Holly continued. “When I start to do that, I just think to myself, ‘Holly, back up. You’re fine. It’s okay to be imperfect sometimes. It’s all right.'”

Whereas many artists on The Voice go out and find new identities through the course of competition, she has decided that she’s already found the genre she wants to remain in. “I want to stick to country,” she explained. “Even if I may go out and experiment with some other genres, I’m always going to be country and I love my country fans. That’s just who I am.”

No matter what happens, to her, being on the show has paid off. “I already feel like a winner,” she said, “because I’ve gotten to learn so much throughout this experience and have Blake coach me and teach me everything he knows. Of course I want to move forward, but I will never count this as anything I regret.”

Although she’s now facing the best of the competition, Holly isn’t dwelling too much on if or when she might go home. “No point in worrying. That’s what I say,” she told us. “America is going to vote on what they like, and what happens happens, and it happens for a reason.”

Holly performs for your vote tonight as The Voice continues at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC. You can also watch her and all of Team Blake rocking out on “Play Something Country” with this article.

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Excerpts appear at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @bigredchairs.