Sa'Rayah: 'The Voice' is a well-oiled machine, I had to stand up against a lot of pressure
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/18/2016
Sa'Rayah was eliminated from The Voice when the eleventh season's Top 11 artists were determined Tuesday night on NBC.
Sa'Rayah, a 28-year-old from Chicago, IL who currently resides in Country Club Hills, IL, landed in the bottom two with Aaron Gibson, a 25-year-old from Atlanta, GA who currently resides in Kennesaw, GA, based on home viewer votes cast following Monday night's Top 12 performance show.
After both artists sang a survival song Tuesday night, America tweeted via the show's "Instant Save" format to keep Aaron in the competition. Sa'Rayah was on The Voice coach Alicia Keys' team, while Aaron continues to represent Miley Cyrus' team going forward.
During a Wednesday conference call, Sa'Rayah talked to reporters about her time on The Voice. Below is what she had to say.
What do you envision yourself doing musically going forward? What do you plan to do now?
Sa Rayah: Well now, this is the time where I'll be kind of moving forward full speed ahead with my own career. I have, you know, definitely been playing with different bands before and I probably will still do a few of those kinds of gigs.
But my main focus will be kind of pushing my own career down more so of a pop rock vibe always filled with soul though. But definitely that's what things are shaping up to be right now.
Will you release your own music?
Sa Rayah: Absolutely. That's actually happening soon.
Why did you choose "Livin' on a Prayer" for your Top 12 performance and then "Rock Steady" for your "Instant Save?" Can you talk about why you chose those songs?
Sa Rayah: Yes, "Livin' on a Prayer" was a song that would allow me to kind of show America that I'm kind of capable of different things than just what they've seen me doing. It was a different light of what I'm capable of doing.
And also, "Livin' on a Prayer," the message in it, you know, dealing with, it was dealing with a relationship where two people were within, let's say they're willing to hold on because they had one another and it was all about love.
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I feel like this time in the world and especially in America, the one thing that we have been lacking is love and that willingness to stand together and hold on. But I feel like it's necessary right now so "Livin' on a Prayer" was the perfect song for that.
["Rock Steady"] was a song that was already on the agenda to do, if I ever needed to do it. I chose that song because I feel like Aretha Franklin is definitely somebody that embodies everything that I am as far as soul is concerned. And so she, her song "Rock Steady," it allows for a fun vibe on the stage and well as shows the soulful side of my voice as I always have in here.
Did you choose the song "Livin' on a Prayer" or was it selected for you by Alicia?
Sa Rayah: Well, it was a collective decision. I sat down with my coach Alicia and one of the executive producers on The Voice. And we kind of went through choices and possibilities. And that was just the one that we kind of settled down with, you know, all together. After having tried the song, I felt like it was something that would be beneficial for me to sing, you know.
Were you familiar with the song? Had you performed it before?
Sa Rayah: You know, I performed it with the Chicago Catz not leading it. You know, I was one of the supporting vocalists for the song when I sang it with the Chicago Catz. So this would be the first time that I presented it while I was leading.
And I was able to kind of put my own little twist to it in the middle of the song and then bring it back to the original version of it to keep the integrity of the song. So, yes, I was a little bit familiar with it because I had sang background on it before.
What do you think is the biggest thing you're going to take away from The Voice experience?
Sa Rayah: The biggest thing that I'll take away from it is kind of knowledge on how to handle my business. The reason I say that is because The Voice is a TV show and it's a well-oiled machine.
It's like a continuous business where everything is running and everybody has their rightful place. Everybody's delegated certain jobs to do and I just feel like it's definitely given me a clear vision on how to operate when it comes to my own business.
And it's also given me huge inspiration and showed me the things that I'm very capable of. You know a lot of the things that I've done on the show and the pressure that I've had to stand up against, I feel that it's given me so much more motivation and strength to move forward in my own career knowing that it's all possible.
Check Reality TV World's The Voicepage for more from Sa'Rayah's post-elimination interview.