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MANILA, Philippines – Her powerful voice stunned The Voice judges speechless – and Voice audiences reacted pretty much the same way across America, and later, the world.
In the video above, Christina sits down with Rappler to talk about success from her stint on The Voice, what she’s picked up from her Youtube success, and why she loves her Filipino fans.
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Star on The Voice, working with Adam
There was little doubt that Christina would go far on the show. Her first audition, a cover of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” had all 4 judges turning around, waiting to secure her as part of their team.
She ended up on Team Adam and went on to finish 3rd that season.
She has nothing but good things to say about her mentor on the show. “He just made sure that we both knew what we were going to do onstage…he made sure that I was 100% comfortable with that, he made sure the song choice was of my preference. He was just extremely nurturing.”
“I didn’t know if he was going to be you know, a diva or whatever, and he was not at all, he’s one of those people who will just outright have a conversation with you on the sidewalk!” she told media at her press conference on Friday, October 3. (WATCH: Christina Grimmie sings “With Love” in PH)
“If you love Adam Levine, then I’m telling you, love him for the right reasons.”
Despite The Voice, she still credits much of her success, of course, to her YouTube roots. Christina started posting her videos in 2009, when she was only 15 years old. 5 years, over 2.7 YouTube subscribers, a stint on a national singing competition, and a recording deal later, Christina is still posting videos on YouTube, and continues to interact with fans on social media.
A 2010 collaboration with fellow YouTube stars Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo Schneider was, she tells Rappler, a major turning point for her. On Kurt’s YouTube channel, the video has over 85 million views, and there are over 16 million on Christina’s channel. (WATCH: Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo Schneider perform ‘Don’t Want an Ending’)
The same song, Kurt previously told Rappler, continues to be one of his favorites to play, and was a key turning point for all of them in their careers. (In photos: Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo Schneider PH concert recap)
From covering popular songs to releasing new ones showing off her distinct growl and the texture of her voice, it’s been an eventful 5 years for the now 20-year-old Christina.
“My first couple of years on YouTube was just me covering different requests that people had, doing a lot of popular songs, whether it be an R&B song, a pop song, or a rock song even and it was kind of like finding myself in the first couple of years.
Then I released an EP that’s called Find Me, and I released that probably 2 years into my YouTube career, after that it’s just like me having a ball. I went on tour with Selena Gomez…after all that I went on The Voice, after that I went on The Voice tour…and now I’m in the Philippines…I’ve always wanted to come here,” she told Rappler.
Simultaneously navigating the world of mainstream recording success and recognition from The Voice, and continuing her life as a YouTube star making waves in new media, Christina, like other artists, says she owes much of it all to her fans, whom she loves.
The feeling is mutual: one comment by Snow_bunny on one of the Voice videos featuring Christina goes: “It makes me almost feel proud watching this, as I watched her original youtube and listened to all her cover songs, her voice is amazing and she’s evolved into this amazing singer.”
Though many YouTube stars opt not to try out for The Voice, it’s clear that this model suits Christina well, a new step to her biggest dreams, catapulting her to TV screens, furthering her music career – which has now landed her a short tour in the Philippines.
Her Philippine stop is her first in Asia, and Christina is now gearing up for an upcoming European tour with group Before You Exit.
Asked if this new level of success (touring the world, a recording deal, working with A-list artists) is all it’s cracked up to be, Christina said during the press conference, “Definitely. Anyone who says no to that, then they’re taking it extremely for granted…The Voice in general was honestly the greatest thing I’ve ever been through ever,” she said.
“I don’t really understand people taking it for granted, because I don’t see how you can when you’re put in that position.”