No one loves talking about The Voice UK more than mentor will.i.am. And as this interview proves, once he gets started, there's no stopping him...
Voice UK mentor will.i.am on being part of the ‘best’ talent show in the world…
The Voice UK just wouldn’t be the same without the presence of US music producer and self-confessed Anglo-phile, will.i.am. The Black Eyed Peas star has been a mainstay of the coaching panel since the sho”s inception on BBC1 back in 2012 and he’s been entertaining us once more with his ‘Will-isms’ and witty anecdotes in the current seventh series on ITV.
As the blind auditions continue this week, Will, 42, reveals all about the challenges of working on show, the best career advice he’s been given, and why The Voice UK really is the best talent show on the planet!
Out of all seven series of The Voice UK… this is the best one. With this year’s singers, if the bar is set at 10, then it’s all nines and 10s, no sixes. This series has laughter, tears – and if the singing from the contestants isn’t enough, then the coaches start singing! I love new coach Olly Murs, Jennifer Hudson’s back and Tom Jones has got a brand-new hip. The Voice UK really is the best show on TV, phone and tablet… whatever you choose to watch it on.
The Fab Four… will.i.am is enjoying being on the panel, with new boy Olly Murs
Having a whole squad of awesome singers can sometimes be confusing… When you have five or 10 diamonds, which one do you actually polish? Having one diamond in the rough, and some rocks, is actually easier! Then you can spend the entire time polishing that one diamond and making it shine.
The most challenging thing about being on The Voice UK is… having to say goodbye to singers on my team when we get to the Battles and the Knockouts. You’ve got to be delicate with your reasons for why you’re letting people go but that honesty and transparency is the hardest. You really feel like you’re killing someone’s dream and that’s a horrible feeling.
I’m on The Voice UK to help, guide and be everyone’s coach… whether a singer is on my team or not, I just want everyone to be able to have a shot at success. After seven years of doing this show, I’d love to break the cycle and help these singers to start releasing music while the show is on-air. Why wait until the show’s finished? And I want to continue helping these singers once the cameras stop rolling, too.
Finding a star… will.i.am has his heart set on making one of this year’s hopefuls a success
The best career advice I’ve ever been given is… being told ‘no’. Most people will say: ‘When one door closes, another door opens’. But I would say that, when a door closes and someone says ‘no’ to you, don’t just wait for another door to open, build a new door yourself. The best advice ever given to me is: ‘You’re an architect, design your own destiny.’
The Voice UK is better than other talent shows on TV because… You’re getting high-quality performers and artists; it’s not about poking fun at folks that kind of want to sing and don’t really get it. If this was a farmer’s show, The Voice UK is the fruit, and the other shows are just the empty boxes. We make sure the oranges are nice, ripe and juicy for you. Or you could just buy a box – but who wants to buy a box?
I wouldn’t be a coach on The Voice US because… The Voice US is Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine’s ‘home’ and I like to consider The Voice UK my home. Every version of The Voice around the world has their ‘staple’ coach or coaches; myself and Sir Tom Jones are like the staples here in the UK, and Adam and country singer Blake Shelton are the equivalent in the US.
The thing that keeps bringing me back to The Voice UK is… just the UK, I love it here. I just like this country, Britain. Any excuse. Although for some reason when I do my British accent I sound like an old man!
The Voice UK continues Saturdays at 8pm on ITV.