Keisha Renee talks auditioning for 'The Voice' after touring with Nicki Minaj and Adam Lambert
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/03/2017
Keisha Renee is a 30-year-old backup singer for Nicki Minaj from Las Vegas, NV, who belted out "I Can't Stop Loving You" and chose to be on Blake Shelton's team after all four The Voice coaches fought for her.
"She's singing something that [Blake Shelton] would do with [Jennifer Hudson]'s voice, and now she's got, like, [Miley Cyrus]'s style," Adam Levine gushed about the artist, adding however, that the key to becoming the best version of oneself is by not fitting in with others.
Jennifer called the performance "genius," but Blake won Keisha over by expressing his passion for country music after the contestant revealed she'd love to be a "country, pop, soul" singer.
Keisha's next step on Season 13 of The Voice will be to compete in the show's famous "The Battle Round," but until then, she's reflecting on her experience thus far. Below is what she had to say to Reality TV World after her Blind Audition aired on NBC.
Reality TV World: You picked Blake as your coach after what seemed like a pretty quick and concise pitch from the country star. So were you set on picking Blake going into your audition as long as he turned around for you, or was there more to his speech than what was shown? Because the other coaches were shown fighting pretty hard for you.
Keisha Renee: Yes, I mean, coming into it when I was given the opportunity to be on the show, I kind of already made up in my mind I wanted Blake. But in that moment, every coach said something that stuck out to me, and Blake absolutely did say more than what they shown, which put the icing on the cake.
He was the first person to turn around, so I thought it was confirmation overall because I went in definitely wanting him, being that I'm new to country. I don't know everything about it, and I felt like he would be the best one suitable to teach me the ropes.
But him pushing the button first on top of everything he said, it just put the icing on the cake and let me know that this was absolutely the right choice.
Also during the conference call with reporters, Keisha talked about her experiences on the road with famous artists such as Nicki Minaj and Adam Lambert.
Can you talk about what it was like to tour with rapper Nicki Minaj?
Keisha Renee: Working with Nicki Minaj, it's been a dream. It's been really life changing. I think when I started working with her, I was around 22, 23-years-old. I traveled the world with her. She exposed me to audiences that I never thought that I would be able to sing for.
And because she's a hip-hop artist or rapper, she does sing, but on tour, I do most of the singing. So I was exposed to her fanbase and we're doing arenas. I was able to check some things off the bucket list like doing the O2 Arena in London. That was major for me.
Traveling the United States of America, I've been to places I never thought I'd see. It's been amazing and I feel like working for her, such a strong woman in the industry, it taught me a lot of things. I think I've had the best job to get me prepared for my own career, because I know exactly what it takes.
It's more than just making music -- there's a business sense that you have to have, and I think that working for someone that is a female in a male dominated industry, I have gotten the best knowledge ever. I will not be pushed over, but it's tough. I will say that. It's very tough, and I've seen it firsthand, but it hasn't discouraged me.
And I feel like going for a genre that is not typically something that I would do with my type of voice, I feel like I'm fearless and I worked for a fearless person who created no limits for herself and here I am trying to do the same thing for myself. So it's been a dream come true working for her. It's the best battleground and learning ground I've ever been on.
You also toured with Adam Lambert. Could you talk a little bit about what that was like?
Keisha Renee: Sure. That was one of my favorite times of my current career. I love Adam Lambert so much. He's such a sweet person and he took me to a lot of places that I didn't even know existed, like Bali and Indonesia. I was this little girl from Inglewood. I didn't think I would know anything but California, and I have been almost everywhere and he contributed to that.
So I'm forever grateful for him. He gave me a chance. This industry, it's very image-driven, and I've been trying to be this solo artist for a long time, but I didn't look the part and he didn't care about that. He was like, "Listen, I want you to sing background for me. You have a voice and I want to showcase that."
And he also gave me opportunity while we were touring to do little parts in the show where I had a little solo here and there. And I'm always grateful for people to give me an opportunity on their platform. I feel like that is so selfless and it's so humble of him, and I still talk to him to this day.
He just commented on Instagram yesterday. I made a lifelong friend, so I'm really excited for him to share in this journey with me, because he too did a show where he took a chance on himself, and now he's traveling the world with Queen. So it's amazing.
Can you talk about your musical evolution? What draws you to country music?
Keisha Renee: Well, like I said, I have a gospel background, very social, but when I moved to Houston it was a real southern state. I got exposed to a lot of music from blues, to zydeco, country, and I just fell in love with every aspect of country music. It's real instrumentation. It's real lyrics.
One of my favorite songs now is "Better Man" by Big Little Town, and it's what I'm going through. You know what I'm saying? People go through that. They have relationships and they wish people were different.
It's just relatable. It's not something that I can dream about. It's something that I lived through, and I just want to make music that people can relate to, and I feel like this is the best genre of music to do it with.
To read more interviews with The Voice's thirteenth-season contestants, click here for Reality TV World's show page.