© 2016 Sarah O'Connell. Get in touch!
How did you get started in music? Was it always something that you wanted to do?
I started in music properly about the age of 17 but had entered myself into a few talent competitions aged 9 and won..so the fire was ignited at an early age and I knew that was going to be my career. I didn't have a good childhood,lots of unhappy memories and I was bullied constantly because of my skin colour and the fact I didn't have a lot coming from a large family we never had the latest anything,another reason I swore to myself at a young age I wanted better for myself.
Can you tell us how you got involved with The Voice?
I got involved with the Voice by accident as I found out at 44/45 that the man I believed to have been my father(name on birth certificate) was not my biological father...it was a secret that my mother had kept from me for all those years..I had over the years wondered why I was so different to my siblings but was too scared to question her for lots of reasons but it was my mothers older sister who encouraged me to question her so I did and she confessed to me he wasn't my father..to say I was hurt and sad is an understatement. It broke my heart to finally know this and all the bad stuff that had happened to me over the years began to make sense to me...I began a quest to find him with very little information other than a name and a possible place of birth. After many years and lots of money,total dead ends I gave up...I couldn't afford the money needed to invest in a PI etc and shelved my search until one of my friends said why don't you audition for the Voice it could be a platform to begin your search with some help and publicity...my response was no because of my past experiences of trying for the X Factor and being told No...your not what we are looking for today being treated like a herd of cattle with a number stuck on your chest and basically herded into a huge room and given 20/30 seconds before being dismissed feeling so rejected and questioning your own abilities!
Anyway I applied and got offered an audition in Glasgow,so even on the day of going to Glasgow I nearly didn't go I thought it would be a waste of time but I went and boy was I so wrong...it has been one of the best experiences of my life and a journey full of love,great people,confidence givers and now Boy George....
By Sarah O'Connell on16th February 2016
The Voice has a fantastic panel of judges this year, including Will.i.am, Boy George, Paloma Faith and Ricky Wilson. Did you have any favourites before entering the show and anyone that you hoped would turn around?
When I found out I had been offered a Blind Audition,I never thought that for one minute I would go any further but if I did I told the the Voice team I would love Boy George or Will i am as I felt any of those two would be good for my style of vocals and where I wanted to go as an artist.
How does it feel to be on the team of the legendary Boy George, and what is he like to work with?
When George turned I was on cloud nine. I felt like a super special important person and at last someone recognised that I did have talent and loved being on stage performing...A lot of people don't know George is a very clever artistic guy...he is a great DJ,written books,a musical and was part of one of the most icon pop bands of the 80's so for me fantastic. His musical tastes and inspirations are wide and varied and that is reflected in his team members,he loves voices and he hears that something special or unique in an artiste...I'm super happy to be with him and he has told me he is going to take me out of my comfort zone and give me songs I probably would never imagine...scary
Who are your musical inspirations and how would you describe your style?
My musical inspirations are very mixed. I grew up with 70/80's music. I love Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music,David Bowie but then I loved big glam rock bands...Boston,Free,Van Halen,Doobie Brother. My biggest love is Soul/Philly/Motown.. Great era great music for me ultimately Mr Luther Vandross had the most amazing voice along with Aretha then came Whitney,Mariah and Celine with big beautiful voices...my style would be soul/pop mix I suppose.
There's a wonderfully diverse range of performers and even a few familiar faces this year. Who have been your favourites so far?
One of the great things about doing this has been meeting some of the most talented beautiful souls I have come across in a long time...To be one of the final 48 people out of over 40.000 is amazing and I have a few that I love but all in all they are very very talented individuals each with their own qualities to hard to choose...
What can you tell us about the day of the audition? Were you nervous beforehand and how did it feel to be on stage?
The day of the Blind Audition was something I will never forget for eternity...When the moment arrives to get your Mike pack fitted and your told 5 mins...my heart started to race my mouth got so dry and I started to talk myself into having a sore throat. The corridor appeared and as I walked down it to the stairs I stopped at the bottom and hesitated to try and compose myself and slow my heart rate down,climbed the stairs and appeared at the start of that stage!!! it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop so I started my walk down the stage to wait for the music to start and in that few seconds time stood still and I felt I was in the audience watching me,my mind was racing but the music started and it was like I'm home doing what I love singing and performing so I forgot about the chairs till I realised George had turned..woooo
I absolutely LOVED your incredible rendition of 'Rescue Me' (and had to watch it back to sing along!) How did you go about picking it and has it always been a favourite?
Rescue me has always been a face of mine I used to sing it years ago in a band and I thought it's a great tune a feel good tune and I felt confident singing it..with a fantastic house band and a great chap called David Tench who is the musical director for the Voice I knew he would do a great job and he did...
When was the audition filmed and has it been difficult keeping it all a secret since?
The Blinds were filmed back in Sept/October so yes it felt like such a long time to keep it secret and I was bursting to tell my best friends as they kept asking me why I was disappearing off to London and Manchester..so when it came out I felt I was going to explode!!
Are there any other songs that you'd love to sing if you get the chance?
There are lots of stuff I would love to sing too many to mention but I will be putting tracks up on my music page on FB TheCharleyb1 regularly no doubt you will get to hear soon on The Voice...
How has life been since your blind audition aired on TV? Do you know when we'll next see you on The Voice?
Life since the episode aired has been manic...in a really great way though my Twitter,Facebook,Instagram YouTube has been going crazy and for me it's wonderful I never expected this at my age I'm so humbled and happy that so many people love my voice..I get a bit emotional now and then when I think about the enormity of it all but also so blessed to be part of a great professional show..
Next appearance will be for the Battles and I'm not giving anything away...it's going to be explosive trust me so much talent..I hope you enjoy watching it...
Finally, where can we follow you for all the latest updates and do you have any messages for your fans?
Just to say to everyone: I am so happy that you love to hear my voice and if it makes you feel good even for a short time,I'm doing what I want to do and that is bring a little joy n happiness your way...