28 year old A’rese Emokpae is excited at winning big at the just concluded maiden edition of The Voice. For A’rese, as she is fondly called, the journey started three months ago and came to an end on Sunday, July 31, 2016.
After emerging one of the four top contestants, Arese defeated Chiko, Brenda and Cornel to emerge the winner of the much coveted crown. She was presented a brand new SUV valued at N7 million, a four day trip for two in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, courtesy of Etihad Airways and a recording contract.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with the pretty winner, A’rese…
Thank you very much.
How does it feel emerging the winner of the maiden edition of The Voice?
It feels really amazing. I am very grateful. I am overwhelmed. I am so excited to get to work. I say thank you to everyone that made this journey a success.
Did you envisage you would make it up to this stage?
All the contestants just wanted to do the best they could. That was how I went on board. I wanted to try something new. Winning would also be a bonus. All contestants would definitely want to win but the main thing was the experience I had.
I will keep working hard as far as music goes, as far as stage is concerned and I would still keep on chasing my dreams.
Would you say your background on stage performance contributed to your success The Voice?
I think my work as a stage performer influenced my choice of songs at The Voice. It also influenced the way I chose to interpret my songs and brought something different to the competition.
With your new status, will you still have the chance to continue with stage performance?
I am starting a brand new life now and it requires a lot of effort. I really don’t know if I would be able to go back to that. I have not really given it a thought. I believe I will decide when the time comes.
What should Nigerians expect from you as the winner of The Voice?
They should expect me to keep working hard. I am going to the studio. I will soon be back with my first effort as an artiste. I hope they would like it.
Who posed a threat to you while you were in the competition?
I don’t know about anybody else. I didn’t think about the other contestants but I saw them as colleagues that I respect. People I could learn from, gain knowledge from, with that mindset, I couldn’t see them as threats.
You were one of Waje’s favourites and you were also in her team, what did you learn from her?
I learnt so many things from Waje. I learnt that I should be confident, be my own woman, a strong woman. She really taught me a lot about that.
How strong is A’rese?
I am a very strong woman. I have been through a lot in three months. I am coming out stronger.
I hope so. Waje is an amazing vocalist. I would love to be able to do one with her. Let us hope and wait for what the future brings.
What advice do you have for people who are willing to go for this kind of competition?
I would say to them that it is very important to be yourself and to stick to what you believe. If you want to be a reggae artistes, go ahead, don’t be afraid of being different.
Who really is A’rese?
I am not sure you can have A’rese without music and theatre. It lives in her. Even when I am not performing, I always love watching shows. It is part of me.
Going back to when you were performing Halleluyah, you did so well as if something was ringing in your head. Can you tell us about that experience?
I was just so grateful to God for how far I have gone. Each week, I would have the grace and confidence to carry out whatever destiny had planned for me. And I was able to make it to the finale.
I sang the song to say thank you to God. That moment meant a lot to me. That sincerity was what made it to ring so deeply.
How much influence would you say the encouragement and support from your parents got you this far?
I think the encouragement from them kept me going. It would have not been easy to grow up if they weren’t supportive at all. They always told me to go for it, you can do this, that really helped me and made a difference for me.
Tell us a bit about your background?
I am the eldest of four children. I have three younger siblings, a girl and two boys I came from a very creative family. My parents have always supported our creative nature. They gave me so much support as far as doing something difficult for a living like entertainment. I studied Fine Art at Washington and Lee University.