It's been a crazy ten days for Jermaine Paul since being named "The Voice." The winner of season two of The Voice
tweeted that he's been working non-stop since then. Still, he took some time out earlier this week to answer a few questions about the whole shebang.
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"I've been working for 17-plus years on just trying to seal a record deal and possibly get a chance to have an album, and just the whole dreams of just being an artist. That's been really my focus since I was about 16 years old, when I signed my first deal," he said. "And life takes you through turns and mountains and valleys and all different types of twists and turns. It just felt like everything just came full circle. It means that everything that I've done up to this point wasn't in vain; it's only helped me and prepared me."
He has no regrets when it comes to the path that his life has taken: "I think honestly, being in the background has helped me," he added. "It helped me harness my energy and really hold on to my own truth as far as an artist, my own originality and my own feelings and my own vulnerability."
That said, he knows that leaving background singing behind and auditioning for the show was the right move for him as an artist and individual: "This show is so great for a guy like me, because I have to deal with so
many different opinions and thoughts on what I should do and how I
should sound and what I should wear. This was one hundred percent me.
This was me saying this is what I want to do.
"For so long, I had folks telling me I should sing this kind of song and
I would go in to record it and at the end of the recording I would hate
the song. I would hate that I even recorded certain songs. It would
just make me sick on so many different levels. With this show, it
definitely gave me the platform to do exactly what I want and say
exactly what I want to say to the world and to my kids and to my wife."
A major part of that was his strong relationship with his coach. On the surface, it might have looked like a strange pairing, but there's no denying that the combination of Jermaine and Blake Shelton obviously worked. "Blake really helped me find out exactly what I want to say. Blake really challenged me. He made me feel like he was going to be the type of coach that would definitely push me to be my best," Jermaine explained, and he looks forward to that relationship continuing in the future.
"I've gotten calls from other contestants on the show, and they let me know that they've been in contact with their coaches and things like that. So I'm sure the other coaches are very supportive of the other artists also," he said. "But Blake definitely does have a great track record, taking Dia [Frampton] out on tour and even this season, having Gwen Sebastian singing background for him. He's been such a tremendous support to me throughout this whole process and he's helped me so much on so many different levels. I don't take that for granted at all."
For his first album, Jermaine "definitely" has an idea for a song to record with Blake, obviously wants to work with his longtime colleague Alicia Keys, and told me he's also put in a request to work with OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder. As he told me at the finale, he's interested in recording music that all ages can listen to
Meanwhile, he's already hitting the road, including appearances at an Apple Store in New York, at the MLB Fan Cave, and teaming up with season one winner Javier Colon at an upcoming Six Flags concert
headlined by Adam Lambert. Taking his victory lap, press- and promotion-wise, might take Jermaine a little while.
But why not? He's now holding the opportunity that he's aspired to for so long. It's time for him to take it and to enjoy it. I certainly wish Jermaine all the best, and will be awaiting that next album, as well as everything else that comes his way.To keep up with Jermaine, follow him on Twitter (@JermainePaul). For more on The Voice, you can follow my Voice-exclusive Twitter at @bigredchairs.Image courtesy of NBC