Her audition: Moushumi, 22 of Edison, N.J., auditioned with “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak. Her impressive rendition of the song prompted chair turns from all three coaches with a spot remaining on their teams. That included Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams and Adam Levine. Christina complimented Moushumi on a beautiful name to match a beautiful voice, but she decided to join Team Pharrell.
Her background: Her parents are from India and came to the U.S. for better opportunities. Her father is a physician; her mother is a physical therapist. As she grew up, Moushumi says her parents wanted her to be connected with her roots and culture, so they enrolled her in a class teaching classical Indian dance. “That definitely helped me realize my love for music.” Still, she returned to school in India where she studied cardiology. “But there was always this part of me that missed the arts and music.” So she returned to the U.S. and started working as a musician in New York.
What he show didn’t show:
Moushumi says she’s been writing songs since she was 11 or 12. She would sing them for her family — especially her siblings Monica and Nikhil — take their feedback and keep writing. But outside talent shows “here and there,” she said she didn’t perform much in public.
That changed in 2014 when she started singing on open mic nights around New York and Brooklyn. “That’s when it all began for me musically,” she says.
During a conference call with the media, she said she’s drawn to indie-alternative music and some of her biggest musical influences are Damien Rice, Radiohead and Melanie Martinez, a Season 3 standout on The Voice.
Moushumi released a five-track alternative EP called “Red Like Mine” in September. Standout tracks include “Flies” and “Stay,” both of which I’ve embedded below. You can listen to full-length versions of all the songs on Soundcloud (link below).
She describes that project this way. “I finally had about four or five songs I was truly proud of out of the hundreds of songs and snippets of songs I had written since I was a pre-teen. I felt it was time to put myself out there and produce a body of work that really represented me as an artist and a person.”
As for that title, “Red Like Mine?” “There’s a song on the record called ‘More’ with these lyrics: ‘I want to know if your thoughts are black, or are they red like mine?’ Basically, it’s about two people who are together, but one is wondering whether the other feels any love at all (red) or if they just feel indifference (black).”
Moushumi says a friend who’s a fan of The Voice was taping her submission for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert and talked her into submitting something to the show as well. Six months later, she got an email from The Voice casting inviting her to a private audition in New York. “At first I thought it was a joke, but I later got a call confirming that it was real life. I went to the audition without telling anyone because I wasn’t sure of what was going to happen, and I ended up making it!”
She also explained her coaching choice during the conference call. “Since I started doing music, one of my biggest influences — not just, you know, musically but just everything that he stands for — was Pharrell. He really kind of brings up indie artists and shows them to the world.”
On iTunes: Her Voice performance and “Red Like Mine,” a five-track EP from last year.
Chloe Kohanski became the first female rocker to win The Voice in Season 13. She became the sixth member of Team Blake to win the show. To read what Chloe has to say about her musical future, head here.