Shawna P. went head-to-head with Brandon Roush in the Battle Rounds this week, performing “Piece of My Heart”. Shawna is no rookie in the music business, and her years of experience – performing with known artists like Charlie Daniels and Michael McDonald – helped give her an advantage over some of the newer artists. Shakira chose her as the winner of that Battle Round, and we spoke with Shawna afterwards to talk about the Battles and what she’s learned so far on The Voice. Follow her on Twitter @shawnapsings.
Shakira acknowledged that your experience influenced why she chose you. Most of the singers on the show are fairly new to singing, so your experience makes you unique. What have you been learning on The Voice – both from working with Shakira and from the other singers?
The beautiful thing about where I am in my career and as a human being is – as the contestants will attest to – mentally, I’m very useful. I’m always soaking things up in my environment and always wanting to learn new things and eager to learn. It’s so interesting and ironic that I feel like I’ve learned as much from these younger contestants as I could have learned from anything in my life.
The thing, too, is I’ve been willing to listen and soak up advice in terms of strengths that Shakira has – that I might not have. I tend to emote… in that I make some real ugly funk faces when I sing… and Shakira brings the sexiness to the stage and she mentioned to me that she wanted me to be a bit more sexy.
Now whether that came across or not… I watched my Battle Round over and over last night, kind of studying it, and there were a lot of funk faces. I don’t know how much of that was sexy but I definitely have taken note of that.
Also, I’ve never had a vocal lesson in my life. To be able to have vocal lessons and have a mentor – I’ve never had a mentor – to just sit back and just soak that up has been priceless to me and I’ve learned so much and hope to continue to grow because as I said I feel like it’s never too late.
I think an audience who’s undeniable, you know, whether the industry leans toward someone at my age or not which they tend not to the thing that I have going for me and that gives me hope is that an audience is undeniable and I can share what I’ve learned and continue to grow and continue to tour and hope to, you know, tour Europe like Shakira and things like that.
That’s a great question. I had mixed emotions about the song. I tend to be compared to Janis Joplin a lot which I take as a compliment, of course, but I also was concerned that it might be a bit tricky in terms of sounding too much like Janis Joplin and not being able to bring everything in the fullness of my vocal ability to the song.
That song is pretty straight forward and there’s really only one way to sing it and that’s kind of… at ten out of the gate – and then you can pull it back a little bit, which is what Shakira worked with me on. So, I did have mixed emotions about it but I do know that that song was perfect in my wheelhouse for me. I was very comfortable with it but with that tendency I still like I didn’t I kind of laid back in it a little bit.
And if you’ll notice on even how they edited it in filming, they’re just fantastic in how they edit things, but they were spot on with the fact that Brandon kind of caught up to me, you know, and pulled up next to me we were going back and forth in this race in a way like a tug or war of sorts. Blake had mentioned that, and they didn’t actually air that part where he said it seemed like Brandon would come and then I would come harder I would come harder and then Brandon would come harder.
So that tug of war was there and I think that in hindsight and in retrospect I probably should have worked harder on the song because I kind of took for granted, you know, that it was in my wheelhouse and Brandon gave me a serious run for my money and he’s just unreal talent. So, again, mixed emotions about it – but I’m thankful.