There aren’t many people who can leave will.i.am speechless, but that’s exactly what The Voice UK contestant Tanya Lacey did on Saturday night.
Viewers saw Lacey choose to go with coach Gavin Rossdale after the former Bush frontman and Sir Tom Jones turned around for her Blind Audition. After performing All The Man That I Need by Whitney Houston, will.i.am was left struggling for words when she told him that she had actually co-written one of his hits, T.H.E (The Hardest Ever) which also featured vocals from J-Lo and Mick Jagger.
“I was having a writing trip in Atlanta with a guy called Dallas Austin who’s produced for Kelis and Madonna,” Lacey explained to RadioTimes.com. “He’s an amazing producer and we came up with this idea, and basically everything that J-Lo sings was what we came up with in the session.
The Bristol-based singer added, “The label that I was with at the time didn’t see any future in the song so it was just kind of left, and then will.i.am heard it and then he worked on it and added the verses and it just grew into The Hardest Ever.”
So when Will was one of only two coaches not to turn for her, understandably he was left looking a bit sheepish and kicking himself. “I’m a dumbass,” he said on the show.
Surely she was disappointed that he didn’t hit his red button for her?
“No, I think that’s the wrong way to look at it,” she explains. “Just to be able to get on to that stage was an accomplishment. Behind the scenes is such a long process before you actually get to blind auditions, and then to have anyone turn for you is a massive achievement.”
Proving there are no hard feelings, Lacey admits she would definitely go with the music producer and Black Eyed Peas star if he wanted to steal her in the Battle Rounds which follow the Blind Auditions.
“Absolutely, yeah!” she exclaims. “Even though he didn’t turn for me, it’s all good.”
And could a collaboration with him be something she’d be keen to pursue?
“I’d love to. That’d be great. To actually be in the studio with him, I think we’d really bounce off each other creatively.”
Although she (obviously) won’t tell us what happens next, she says that she has already filmed the Battle Rounds stage of the competition.
“It was a lot less daunting,” she says. “It was fun, even though you’re competing against someone else, to have them there on stage with you was fun to bounce off each other. I really enjoyed it.”
Not only is she an accomplished writer, but Lacey has also toured the UK with Bruno Mars and featured on Loick Essien’s single How We Roll in 2011, which reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart.
“When I left my label I set up my own label and put out my own EP independently. I spent a lot of money on videos, on doing my own press, and basically functioning as an independent record label. That was my first ever business, and I’m not from a business background,” she explains.
“So again diving in the deep end, and I think I bit off more than I can chew and I went through a period of time of not being very inspired and I couldn’t afford to pay my rent. Life shook me up a little bit so I took a little bit of time out.”
She explains that she applied for The Voice UK now because “it feels right”. “I’m ready, I’m a woman now,” she continues. “I’ve got life experience I’ve got so much more to write about and I’m still really passionate about music.”
The Voice UK continues on Saturday 4 February at 8pm on ITV