With a set of vocal cords that could seemingly cover any hit from any decade in music history, Chloe Kohanski became the latest champion on The Voice after a season of viewer-pleasing performances, never once finding herself on the bottom. (Check out what she had picked for her Last Chance song.) CinemaBlend recently spoke with Kohanski about her big win, and I asked her what advice she would offer contestants if she would hypothetically return to the show as a guest coach or advisor. Here's her answer:
That's a tough one. I think the most important thing is you need to have a very, very clear idea of who you are as an artist before you let other people tell you who you are. This industry will shape you and mold you, and if you're willing to compromise yourself and let yourself change too much, then you're not really gonna know you are anymore. So anytime before you try out for a show or competition, or even if it's not show-related and you're on the come-up of a music career, you need to have a very, very clear idea of who you are. Or you will turn into something that you are not, and that is the truth.
It might sound like the simplest advice in the world, to know who you are as an artist, but that simplicity is definitely deceiving. After all, how many horror stories have been told by people who moved to Los Angeles before discovering their true identities or honing their personalities? It's an industry that's legendarily known for chewing ambitious people up and spitting them out, so even if someone's L.A. goals are time-limited to a season of a reality show, Chloe Kohanski's advice is to leave zero room for error when it comes to cementing a persona and artistic path.
Looking back across all the winners of The Voice, as well as other competitive reality shows, there have definitely been some winners that got by almost exclusively on talent alone, without a fully formed sense of character coming to light. But those winners are generally the ones that only get remembered whenever people are looking back over past winners for a specific reason like this.
When Chloe Kohanski's name comes up, though, people will no doubt instantly remember her ability to knock female-driven '70s and '80s rock songs out the park. Especially as her career continues to develop in a direction that hopefully embraces the techniques she's shown off.
At 23 years old, Chloe Kohanski knows just who she is. And as the talented singer put it, she's not even sure how she would have made it on The Voice any other way.
I just think [being on the show is] way too much, emotionally and mentally. I couldn't imagine going through this process and not really knowing who I am, or just even what my look is or what my sound is. Because if you don't know, who does? Who really knows who you are if you don't know who you are?
Though The Voice may be over on NBC for now, you can still enjoy Chloe Kohanski's singles on iTunes and her Voice performances on YouTube. Check out the performances that made her the most nervous, as well as one element of the show that frustrated her. To see what new and returning shows are coming soon to the small screen, head to our 2018 midseason premiere schedule.