We had the opportunity to participate in a conference call with Jacqui Sandell, who officially joined Team Blake on NBC’s The Voice. Jacqui is a rock/blues/R&B artist from Oakland, New Jersey – and she wowed both Blake Shelton and Usher in Tuesday night’s episode of The Voice, singing “Dreams”. She chose Blake as her coach, and we look forward to seeing more of her in the Battle Rounds. Read on to learn more about working with Blake, what she thought when Blake and Usher turned around, and why she decided to audition for The Voice. Follow her on Twitter: @Jacquimyar.
Jacqui, could you talk about what was going through your mind when you were going to Team Blake, like what your thoughts were during that particular time when you were thinking about who to go with?
You know, I think that when I saw Blake turn around so quickly I mean that automatically shot, you know, a bolt in my head where I was like, “Oh man, you know, he must really know what he wants.” And it just made me feel really confident in the choice. But I kind of think that, he was the last person that I expected to turn around and it just made me feel like I had an opportunity to take a real chance with him and try something new and I think that’s what pretty much went through my brain is that I wanted to do something different.
What are you hoping Blake can bring out in you and that you haven’t discovered as an artist?
I have all of this, you know, kind of bad habits from tour and, you know, things that I think cover up a lot of insecurities that I may have from like straining my voice and, a lot of things that I think I’ve created a shell over myself.
And I think he’s going to bring out just a more elaborated artist out of me, you know, whether that be country, or whether that be, pop, rock, regardless of genre. I think that he is going to take all of that crazy experience that I have had recently from performing with my own band and kind of molding it into a better version of itself.
I couldn’t believe he even saw that much in me in only 90 seconds. And the fact that he already had a plan figured out at that point just made me feel really confident that he’s going to create something good, you know, no matter what direction it goes in.
Tell us a little bit about the battle rounds. I mean obviously you can’t tell us if you advance or not, but can you tell us a little bit about working with your coaches and sort of how you prepared for this particular performance?
Well, I mean I can’t really go too far into the details really, but I mean I think the most that I could say is that, we really get an opportunity to work close with our coaches. Most people have asked if we actually get to really work with them or if it’s just for TV. But, no, they really take their time out and they really listen to our concerns, and really pay attention, and correct us, and try and make it like an amazing duet rather than a competition and that that’s going to be the greatest thing to come out of the battle rounds is that connection that the audience is going to get to see that we make with our coach.
You mentioned that your band mates are supportive of your auditioning for The Voice, but what made you decide to go solo?
I think originally it really didn’t start off as an intention to go solo. I think that I pretty much had said it in my interview that… I finally wanted to kind of test myself and finally challenge myself as a solo artist because all of the years that I have spent in my band – and other bands of course – kind of was creating a comfort zone for myself. You know, I felt at ease with four other people, or five other people, at my side kind of making me… became comfortable that way.
And I think at my age of 24, I feel the need to kind of validate myself as an artist and validate, you know, everything that I’ve worked for and kind of challenge myself for the first time. I’m not sure if it’s an intention yet to create a solo career, but I think that if that’s the outcome I’ll feel so honored to be able to have that opportunity and probably from this competition to gain even the confidence to finally go forward with something like that.
And, you know, I know no matter what my band members… are going to support me and probably be a part of whatever project is next in my career, so that pretty much sums it up.
Great thank you. I know that you touched on the reasoning for your decisions for who you selected for your coaches, but was it difficult being put on the spot to have to choose between coaches?
Oh it was, with getting more than one chair turned, it was by far one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my entire life. And especially getting two people to turn around for you that you really just didn’t expect at all just, you know, makes you think about, you know, and how different they are, makes you realize, “Oh my gosh, you know, this is such a big decision. If I go with Usher I’m about to join a group of humongous voices and what if I get lost in them? And, you know, if I go with Blake am I going to… try and be a country artist or am I going to start finding a brand new artist in myself?”
I think that going with Blake I wanted to do something a little different. You know, nothing intentional, but I just wanted to kind of start running on a new path. So it was extremely difficult, but Blake kind of convinced me right away with the tattoo line, so.