x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Opportunity knocks for Filipino contestant on The Voice UK

The Voice UK's Filipino aspirant Joseph Apostol dreams big.

Joseph Apostol performs on The Voice UK. Courtesy The Voice UK
Joseph Apostol performs on The Voice UK. Courtesy The Voice UK

For a shy, aspiring singer from the Philippines, being recognised in the street has been a shocker.

“I have some incidents where people have stopped me and ask for a picture,” says Joseph Apostol.

Apostol is an increasingly popular finalist on the second season of The Voice UK, which is broadcast on Saturdays on BBC1. There are five episodes left and 28 opponents to take down before the finale on June 22, but already the 21-year-old’s impressive showing has Filipino fans all over the globe rooting for him to take this year’s top prize.

Even more surreal for a music fan such as Apostol was earning the admiration of esteemed music figures such as Jessie J and Tom Jones.

Two of the four designated show coaches heaped praise on Apostol’s rendition of the classic hit Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow during the blind audition portion of the show.

“I heard the passion from you and the range that you have, and there’s a lot of fire there and you didn’t copy anybody,” gushed Jones. “You have an original-sounding voice.”

Apostol, who had a hard time adjusting to life in the UK when he first moved to the country 10 years ago, cited music as a source of strength and inspiration in those early, homesick days.

Why did you leave the Philippines?

My mum got a permanent job as a nurse in the UK and after two years of working here, she brought us over because it was hard for her to keep travelling back to the Philippines every six months. It is also very costly.

Who are your favourite singers?

Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Lauryn Hill, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald – and that’s naming only a few.

How does it feel to be up there and singing, and not knowing if the coaches will like your performance?

Mixed emotions to be honest, I think I’ve felt every emotion there is: from being excited to being scared to almost fainting.

Was it intimidating to see the likes of Tom Jones and the other coaches in person?

Very overwhelming. I grew up listening to the four of them and I’m used to seeing them on TV. Seeing the four coaches in person is just crazy. But singing in front of them is a whole different level of craziness.

As for the contestants, are you guys friends or is it really competitive even off-camera?

All of us are civil and I know along the way friendships may develop. So far, everyone is friendly and very supportive of each other. But I know deep inside that the competitive mindset is there. At the end of the day, it is still a competition.

How did your life change since joining The Voice UK?

It’s a bit different because some people recognise me when I’m out, and to have people coming up to you and say positive things about your performance is really cool. But I’m still the same person. The only difference is I have been blessed to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Do you intend to pursue a music career, maybe cut an album for example, and be a full-time singer?

Most definitely, I mean that’s always been a plan of mine and that’s the reason why I joined the show, to win and get that record deal so that I could create my own album. If the opposite happens, then I’m hoping that the exposure I had will open doors of opportunities. Singing and creating my own music is definitely the career that I want to pursue.



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