Student hopes to be The Voice

Mitchel Emms sang the Foo Fighters’ ‘Best of You’ on the hit BBC 1 show last month, winning the support of The Script frontman.

The 19-year-old from Burntwood in Staffordshire is currently based in London and viewers will next see him perform in the Battle Rounds on Saturday and Sunday for a chance to make it through to the live finals.

Mitchel, who is in his first year of a BA (Hons) in Music Technology and Popular Music degree, has offered some top tips for students hoping to follow in his footsteps.

He said: “I would say don’t go for the X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent because they are circus shows and don’t judge you on what you can bring – they judge on ratings and gossip.

“I would say to singers who are doing more alternative music to try something like The Voice. There needs to be more people who can represent different genres and that needs to be seen on national TV.

“Times have changed – 10 or 20 years ago people would think it is career suicide to go on shows like this but the music industry has changed so much that we have to prepared to use these shows as a platform.

“I didn’t imagine being on a show like this but it has been the best experience of my life.”

Mitchel admits that he didn’t expect to get through because of the type of music he sings, as it is different to the more mainstream pop or R’n’B songs that are often performed on talent shows.

“I did think that if anybody was going to turn around, it would be Danny, and I went in wanting to go with him so that was a fantastic feeling.”

He described performing on the Saturday night show as “the weirdest experience” of his life.

“The fact they have their backs turned is the weirdest thing. If they had been facing me I would have got over it a lot quicker, but it leaves their reaction to your imagination which is even worse,” he said.

“To be considered good enough to sing in front of them is a great feeling, I didn’t want to hold back at all and put as much energy as possible into the performance.

“When people are looking at you perform, you never know exactly what they are thinking, but in this scenario the only way to know is if they turn around which makes it more personal and scarier. When Danny turned around it was an incredible moment.”

Singer-songwriter Danny was impressed with Mitchel’s audition, telling him: “I’m so looking forward to working with you. I think you’re going to be a real big star”.

He was also praised by the legendary Sir Tom Jones, who told Mitchel that “I liked it – you did a hell of a job”.

Since the blind audition show, Mitchel has been working with Danny, who is very supportive of the rock genre he performs.

“Danny is a sound guy and the most down to earth of the coaches. He is up for everything and is a great person to work with. He is open to alternative ideas, and as long as you’ve got passion he is happy.

“The best piece of advice he has given me is to be aware of what you mean to your audience and understand that concept.”

Mitchel started a BA (Hons) in Music Technology and Popular Music at the University’s Walsall Campus in September.

Lucky enough to have perfect pitch, Mitchel says the music theory he learnt on his course helped his understanding of the places he needed to get to when listening to music.

Mitchel, who lists Kurt Cobain, Frank Zappa and Thom Yorke among the artists who inspire him, has been thrilled by the support he has received from the University.

“The students and lecturers have been really supportive, and it’s good to know the University is behind what I’m doing.”

Mitchel’s mum, Ros Hampton, works at the University in the Office of the Dean of Students and is incredibly proud of her son’s achievements.

She says: “As a family we are all totally behind Mitchel. He has worked really hard to get this far and we are all excited to see what happens next.”

ENDS

For more information please contact James Allen in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003.

Date Issued: Thursday 9 May 2013

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