Wesu Wallace has progressed to the next round of the popular British television talent show, The Voice UK.
Wesu was born and raised in Zimbabwe but is a proud Barbadian resident and didn’t hesitate to give Barbados a big up on the world stage after his rendition of Sam Smith’s I’m Not The Only One, during the Blind Auditions, the second stage of the competition. In what can be described as a close call, Will.i.am chose Wesu for his team when he belted out the final note.
In a post-audition interview with Bajan Vibes, Wesu talked about how Barbados played a crucial role in his upbringing: He attended Mapps College, The Seventh-day Adventist Secondary School and The Alexandra School.
Describe your experience in auditioning for The Voice.
I had to apply to audition for The Voice. I sent the application through and it popped up in my email. I had to go through a few filtering stages so I had to travel back and forth between Barbados and the UK before I did the audition.
When you applied for The Voice did you think that you would have gotten through?
What is funny is that I applied for The Voice and the X-Factor and I got them both. But I choose The Voice….The thing is I think I have a better chance on The Voice.
Have you ever done anything like this before?
I have done something like this before. Years ago, before American Idol became so big, it used to bePop Idol in England. So I did that and I was on the show for quite a while, up to the final stage. It definitely was not anywhere even near the same scale that things are now, because back then social media was only now starting, so the popularity and fame that I got was just in my local area in England.
What was your state of mind on the night of the show?
This show was different because everyone is getting it instantly, so I was very nervous and scared because I knew people would see it and I wanted to do well. And I had the opportunity to represent Barbados. Initially, I was doing it for myself but when I got on that stage, I said ‘this is bigger than myself’.
What was going through your mind as you were performing and you got to nearly the end and no one had turned around for you?
As the chorus hit and I realized that no one had turned around, I thought to myself, “well, I gave it a shot, no one is turning, I might as well sing the song through” and I just sang, and literally as the song ended I heard the buzzer go and I was “what is this!?” and I started to freak out. But I am one to contain my ‘freakoutness’.
Describe the interaction with you and the Will.i.am.
That was me trying to represent the Caribbean, and Barbados especially, because Barbados has been a heavy influence on my life, so why not bring it to the table? We already have international artists like Rihanna and Shontelle and they have done well, but the more the merrier.
How did you manage to stay under the radar for so long?
I don’t think I was under the radar. I was constantly pushing to be heard in Barbados but you have to appreciate that there are so many well-respected artistes in Barbados that will obviously take the shine more than someone like myself. I’ve done some work but never on the more prestigious stages in Barbados like the Jazz Festival or Naniki Jazz. But I’ve been everywhere else and I’ve had some coverage on myself. I recall I was in Richard Stoute Teen Talent; I never won it. So, in a sense, a little under the radar but in a sense trying to be different. I was trying to be noticed but it was different. But with a platform and brand as big as The Voice, I’ve got to be noticed now.
What has the support from the Barbadian public been like to you?
[Monday] morning, I nearly cried. I just did not expect such an overwhelming amount of love and support from Barbados. I just thought the small following that I had would have been the ones rooting for me; I did not expect country Barbados to be backing me in such a big way. It doesn’t add any pressure; what it does is it allows me to pave the way for any Barbadians who want to give it a try.
What is next for you on The Voice?
The next round is the Battles, so I would have to battle someone on my team and I have no expectations, to be honest. It’s just a matter of me going and performing, words are beyond me what I really feel.
The winner of The Voice UK receives £100,000 and a record deal with Republic Records.