Though Ilianna Viramontes has been singing quite a while, she always preferred doing it in a group setting, like a school choir.
A successful audition for the Berklee College of Music gave the 18-year-old from Albuquerque, N.M., the confidence to try out for The Voice.
And she says her experience on the show has left her even more emboldened, determined to gain more experience as a solo artist before starting her studies at Berklee next fall.
Ilianna turned two chairs with her cover of “New Soul” in the blind audition and opted to join the all-female Team Miley Cyrus rather than Team Blake Shelton.
She bowed out of the competition in the battle round following a match with Chloe Kohanski. They performed Helen Reddy’s “1971 hit, “I Am Woman.”
Ilianna told Voice Views that song choice proved challenging because “it was very different from both of our styles.”
“I, personally, thought that we did really well, especially considering how much (work) we had to put in to get the song to where we really wanted it,” she said of their duet, which is available on iTunes. “I am so happy for her and so, so, so proud.”
Here’s the rest of Ilianna’s interview answers.
Voice Views: I know the battles were filmed a while back. What have you been doing musically since then?
Ilianna: Since the battles were filmed, I have just been working in my hometown and I am going to start performing more locally, and also possibly a weekend in Chicago. I am going to keep playing and writing music as well. Just until college starts for me next year, I am trying to put myself out there as much as I can.
Voice Views: Where do you see The Voice experience taking you musically? I know you’re planning to attend Berklee next fall. Is there anything you want to accomplish between now and then?
Ilianna: “My experience on The Voice taught me so much about myself as an artist. It also gave me A LOT of extra confidence going into the rest of my music career. That being said, I am really hoping to get myself out there more and just get more performance experience as a solo artist. I am also going to continue writing and hopefully record an EP soon.
Voice Views: Other than the friends you met and made while participating in the show and the hometown support, what do you think will stick with you about The Voice experience?
Ilianna: I think the thing that is going to stick with me the most would be the new confidence I gained for myself as a solo artist. Hearing my idols in music compliment me and turn around for me was like a realization of, ‘Wow, I’m really good enough to do this.’
Voice Views: Do you think you grew as an artist? If so, in what way?
Ilianna: I most definitely did grow as an artist. Again, speaking about the new confidence I gained, it really gave me a kickstart to the rest of my music career. It helped me with performing and really figuring out my genre and uniqueness as an artist.