Christina Aguilera is used to getting judged by professionals in the music industry, but on the season premiere of “The Voice,” Aguilera had the chance to actually sit in the judge’s seat for once. Selecting singers based solely on their vocal talent, Christina knows what it’s like to have your singing ability dissected and analyzed.
But Aguilera, too, understands what it’s like to be wrapped inside a neat, commercialized little package. After all, we’ve seen Christina blossom from a “Genie in a Bottle” to one who gets down and “Dirrty” to someone mature enough to recognize that she is “Beautiful.”
Related: 3 reasons ‘The Voice’ is better than ‘American Idol’
On a recent conference call to promote “The Voice,” I had the chance to ask Christina about the music industry at large, as well as her thoughts on her unique opportunity on “The Voice,” where vocal talent (not one’s physical appearance) is the priority.
MICHAEL LANGSTON MOORE: Can you talk about the music industry standards that often go beyond just vocal talent, and also compare that to the unique opportunity “The Voice,” where you’re initially judging singers based solely on vocal talent?
CHRISTINA AGUILERA: Well I think you wrap it up in a nutshell basically, where there is a pretty big double standard between the music industry and what nowadays are considered [to be] the right tools you need [to land] a record deal. There’s now technology has advanced itself that we can definitely, you know, play with a vocalist’s style or interpret their style.
Through [Internet] marketing…[you can] build a face, a body — whatever we can to sell a record.
But I think what’s great about this show is the fact that we take it back to real music and we take it back to a time before there was any such thing as say an MTV or any way to, you know, show an artist through video or through Internet or through packaging.
It’s definitely about going back to old music where you wanted to buy it or you wanted to listen to it on the radio purely from just what sounds good on your ears. Something that moves you.
And that’s when you take it back to the heart of music. I mean for me, my love of soul music and old blues and sort of the heart and the root of music all originated before any videos or anyone was supposed to be this sort of perfect little package that the music industry [has] sort of morphed into.
But it’s more far and few between especially when you get into pop music in general. But — and especially at the time when I first came out and what was sort of acceptable standards as far as, you know, what I was sort of told to do, told what to say, what to wear, etcetera.
And I just I love the show based on the fact that the first episode is complete blind auditions where you go through endless contestants that are just singing their hearts out for a few minutes of a song. And, you know, you’re judging them based on purely being moved by something in their vocal ability. And it’s not necessarily range or how many notes they can hit or how many technical ad-libs they’re executing.
It’s basically boiled down to that’s something that truly moves you and that you truly connect with. And that’s what I think is so unique and so special about the show. Especially that it’s also coming from people that have been there and done that [and] have gotten on stage before.
We know what it takes to get on a stage and have great shows, have bad shows, and [have] tour stories for days. It’s coming from a source that knows and can help coach them and work with them which we have been. And it’s been amazing.
To actually listen to the audio of Christina’s response, check out my TV blog The Screen Fiend.
- Be sure to visit my Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon (1 pm eastern), where I’ll be live tweeting another conference call. This time around, my tweets will center around my conference call with Seth MacFarlane, the creator of “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” and “The Cleveland Show.”
In Boston, you can catch the series premiere of “The Voice” this Tuesday night on NBC!
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Michael is also a columnist for the African American Entertainment Examiner.