Stevenage teenager Tai appears on ITV's The Voice and gets coaching offers from Sir Tom Jones and Will.i.am
PUBLISHED: 12:37 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:37 23 January 2018
A teenager from Stevenage appeared on ITV's The Voice UK on Saturday, winning a place in the next stage of the singing competition.
R&B singer songwriter Tai was scouted by the show’s producers when they visited Hertfordshire College of Music in Letchworth, where she is a student, in May last year.
Tai, 18, has been singing ever since she can remember, and writing music since she was nine. She said: “My teacher encouraged me to go for the audition. I had another audition after that and a callback in August, before being told I would be doing the blind auditions in September.”
The Voice features four coaches – Sir Tom Jones, Will.i.am, Olly Murs and Jennifer Hudson – looking for a talented new artist, who they can only hear and not see in the blind auditions.
Asked what it was like to appear on the reality TV show, when she sang the Lion Babe version of Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up, Tai said: “It was amazing – incredible. I was really nervous, which is natural, but I have learnt how to control my nerves so my family were more nervous than me!”
Sir Tom Jones and Will.i.am both turned their chairs at the end of Tai’s performance, indicating they wanted her on their team, and Tai plumped for Will.i.am as her coach.
She said: “When I finished singing and opened my eyes, I realised they had both turned and it was amazing. I have always known that Will is right for me because we are both quite quirky.”
Will.i.am said: “When you hit that falsetto up there, that was fresh, and that attitude – that was smooth and enticing.”
Sir Tom added: “Your presence came through when you sang, so I had to hit my button. You look cool, you sound cool and you have a lot of attitude. Love it!”
Tai said: “Music has always been my dream. I didn’t think I had it, but obviously...” before Olly Murs interrupted and said: “You have it. I’m slightly annoyed now I didn’t turn round – you’re great.”
There are five stages to the show – producers’ auditions, blind auditions, battle phase, knockouts and live shows. The winner receives £100,000 and a record deal with Republic Records.
Tai, whose performance on Saturday has attracted more than 154,000 YouTube views, has said she has already filmed the battles – so stay tuned for her next appearance.