Kids in Battle
SYDNEY—I’ve been away from Manila for this very exciting stage of the competition that is “The Voice Kids: The Battle Rounds.” However, thanks to The Filipino Channel (TFC) and YouTube, I am able to catch up on what’s been happening, and know which battles have been aired thus far.
Before moving forward, allow me to send my congratulations from the Land Down Under to these wonderful artists: Jonalyn and Luke (Team Lea); Benedict, Martina and Elha (Team Bamboo), and Francis and Kristel (Team Sarah). Speaking of Sarah, it was her 27th birth anniversary last Saturday. My dearest fellow coach, I sure hope your special day was a wonderful one.
Preparations for battles are always stressful. There’s the matter of putting the kids into groups of three; selecting the right song for each group; and rehearsing each group until the song is to its coach’s satisfaction.
Yes, the coaches do actually choose what song their wards are going to perform. But to be completely honest, at least speaking for Team Lea, I cannot claim all the credit. As with every season of the show, there is a team behind the team, a group of very driven individuals working together to support the coaches and artists. So allow me to thank Waldo Bautista (head writer), Dave Oscar and Camille Cruz (writers), as well as executive producers Rose Casala and Peter Dizon, head writer Aol Rivera and music researcher Chochay Magno.
Weeks before Battle rehearsals, we all got together to meet in order to figure out how to group the kids and what songs to assign. Should we group them by age? Height? Vocal ability? Girls together? Boys together? Mixed groups? In the end, we went with our gut, and put together the kids that made the most sense.
We tried to put a balance of up-tempo and ballads (there is a good variety in the songs we selected), and made sure the kids were challenged in one way or another. That said, the kids were far more ready than anyone gave them credit for. After battle groupings were announced and songs assigned, they showed up to rehearsal very prepared. In truth, although there was some technical tweaking here and there, a lot of the work I did had more to do with interpretation, which came as a welcome relief.
Many of you who have watched “The Voice” (regular or kids seasons) may have noticed some technical jargon being thrown around, the most used of which would be intonation (nasa tono ba o hindi?) and diction (naiintindihan ba o hindi?).
However, there were very, very few times when I’d call someone out on either one of these things. Which, in actual fact, makes what I do far more interesting.
Interpretation is exactly what you think it is: how a song is taken in, understood, absorbed, and then performed. It’s figuring out what a song means, what kind of context to place it in, asking why the songwriter used those specific words in that sequence, and with that melody. Is this a romantic song, a nationalistic anthem, or one that’s full of angst? Should the artist belt out this note, or pull back into almost a whisper, or find some middle ground that makes sense?
It’s like a painter figuring out a brushstroke, or the right shade of red. A singer does the same, but with his or her voice. And the kids on all the teams are masters in the making, already showing us their potential at being incredible artists, in the true sense of the word. This current series is incredibly exciting for us all.
One weekend of battles has now passed, and seven young artists have gotten through. We have only 11 battles left to go. Stay tuned … it’ll only get more exciting from here.
“The Voice Kids” airs Saturdays at 7:15 p.m. and Sundays at 7:45 p.m. In case you miss an episode, videos of individual numbers are uploaded to “The Voice Kids” YouTube channel, and full episodes are available for a limited time on iwantv.com.ph for Philippine-based viewers and TFC.tv if you’re overseas.
I’m still in the middle of my New Zealand/Australia tour, and so far things have been going incredibly well. To everyone who watched my concerts in Auckland and Brisbane, many thanks to you all for coming! Your presence was much appreciated.
There are two more tour stops to go: Sydney (Friday, Sydney Town Hall) and Melbourne (Saturday, August 1, The Plenary at Melbourne Convention Centre). For tickets, please visit tiket.com.au (Sydney) or ticketingplus.lizhoney.com (Melbourne). Hope to see you then!
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