Home > Lifestyle > People
Thursday October 3, 2013 MYT 6:55:00 PM
Thursday October 3, 2013 MYT 7:04:49 PM
by corrie tan
Cilla Chan will be mentored by US country superstar Blake Shelton. – The Straits Times
Singapore-born Cilla Chan makes it to The Voice.
SINGER Cilla Chan, 22, has put a bit of Singapore on the musical map as the first Singapore-born performer to make it onto the reality singing competition, The Voice.
The Singapore permanent resident and American citizen was picked by country music superstar Blake Shelton, a coach and judge on the show, to be part of his team. The episode containing her audition will air on Sunday on AXN.
Speaking to Singapore’s The Straits Times, she says: “When he turned for me, I was just like, ‘No way, this is actually happening right now.’ It was the most thrilling moment of my life.”
On The Voice, singers are judged solely by their vocal performances and not their looks. The four coaches – music industry heavyweights Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine – have their backs to the stage and turn their chairs to see the performers only when they hear a voice that inspires them or moves them.
For her audition, Chan sang a stripped-down arrangement of Selena Gomez’s Come & Get It. She attended the auditions in New York a week after she graduated from the prestigious Stanford University in California earlier this year with a degree in human biology and a concentration in economics.
She was offered a job at the tech start-up Dropbox, but has put that offer on hold to be in the fifth season of The Voice.
She says: “Stepping onto the stage didn’t feel real. It was a very surreal moment for me, to see those four chairs in front – I mean, even if there was no audience, I would still have been totally terrified because those are four of the biggest music stars in the world.
“I just remember the music starting and my mind going a little blank, I didn’t really know what happened. And then all of a sudden, Blake turned and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is not happening right now. This is crazy.’ It was all sort of a blur for me.”
While she is thrilled with the pairing, Shelton had not been her first choice of mentor because she considers herself to be a pop and R&B singer, while Shelton is firmly in the realm of country.
She says of the other coaches: “Christina (Aguilera) is someone I’ve listened to and admired ever since I could sing and talk, and the same with Adam Levine, he’s someone I really admire as a musician.”
She adds with a husky laugh: “And he’s so hot right now, both in the music world – and otherwise.”
Levine is the frontman for the pop outfit Maroon5, and Chan attended their concert at the Singapore Grand Prix last year.
Because of her contractual obligations, she cannot disclose how far she has made it on the show, but says that all the contestants are currently taking a break from the programme to be back home with their families.
In Singapore, Chan studied at the Singapore American School and has guest performed on the radio and singing shows such as The Final 1.
She has three younger siblings aged 16, 17 and 21, and two of them, Pamela and Howard, also have a strong interest in music. Her parents are both entrepreneurs.
Some of the coaches’ light banter was cut from the final edit of the episode, but the moment she mentioned that she was from Singapore, Green responded: “I was just in Singapore. What is that really cool hotel with the boat on the top?”
Levine also made a wry dig at her coach, Shelton: “You know, all of us have been to your side of the world, except for Blake.”
Shelton retorted in his Southern twang: “Well, I’ve been to Canada.”
When asked if she might pursue a full-time career in music, Chan hesitates.
While she has thousands of followers on her YouTube channel, where she posts her own renditions of pop songs, her work experience has been eclectic, ranging from a stint at Singapore’s Gleneagles Hospital to an internship with Time magazine in the United States.
She says: “In terms of a full-blown music career, that’s still something that I’m taking the time, right now, to think about and process.
“I sort of feel, in my life, like I’m at a crossroads, almost. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life.” – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network
> Catch the fifth season of The Voice on AXN (Astro Ch 701) at 8.10pm every Sunday.
Tags / Keywords:
Lifestyle, People, Cilla Chan, The Voice, Singapore, Blake Shelton
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)