5 minutes with The Voice contestant Lawrence Hill
PUBLISHED: 11:53 25 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:53 25 April 2017
Codicote singer-guitarist Lawrence Hill on his rise and fall on ITV talent show The Voice
When did you fall in love with music?
It was through my parents’ eclectic collection of cassette tapes being worn out on long journeys. I picked up the guitar aged six after seeing my cousins play and thinking how cool looking they were! I discovered my voice in the garden shed but really found music during a trip to Zambia when I went to help work at a school. Everywhere I turned there was singing and dancing, and as soon as the kids found out I had a guitar they all crowded round and sang with me. I will never forget how inspirational that was and ever since then I have put my feelings and thoughts into song.
You have gigged a lot, even touring with fellow Codicote singer Kim Wilde, was The Voice a natural progression?
I was scouted. Someone from the production company saw a YouTube video.
There are a lot of blokes with a guitar out there and it was a chance for me to stand out and do something different. Getting people to know you and your personality is half the battle.
Judge will.i.am pressed his buzzer by accident to select you in the blind audition, how did that feel?
At the time I didn’t know it was an accident, so I was just over the moon when I saw his smiley face. Then when he explained it was an accident, my thoughts turned rather quickly to how could someone sit there and say that. I was not overly happy but I covered it up with some quick-thinking banter and said that the energy that we can’t control is in control at the moment, in other words, it was meant to be.
How did it feel playing to millions on TV?
To be honest, the televised audience didn’t enter my mind, I just wanted to get someone to push a button! Regardless of what happened, I’m still over the moon that will.i.am turned round. He’s such a good laugh and was the person I wanted to get a reaction from the most. It was however the most nervous I’ve ever been. Standing on stage waiting for the cue felt like a lifetime.
What goes on behind the scenes?
It’s as much a TV show as it is a talent scouting programme. I had to pass several pre-televised interviews and auditions and answer a million questions. Once I was told I would be on the blind auditions I started to get excited, although I was disappointed not to be able to sing my own songs. The days were incredibly long, 14 hours, and most of that time we were in a room waiting to get called to go to make-up or outfitting or a little last minute filming.
For me, it was chaotic because during the dress rehearsal I was on tour with Kim Wilde in Holland. She’d seen me playing at the Red Lion in Digswell and invited me to support her. I had to fly back from Holland, do a day’s filming and interviews, and fly back that evening. I think it was 27 hours in the end!
You were knocked out in the ‘battle stages’, but what will you take from the experience?
It has been incredible. Will.i.am lives and breathes music; it’s not just for the cameras. He’s light-hearted and eccentric but very genuine and permanently searching for the next song. I can safely say that I’m cut out for a career in music. Never once did I think I don’t want this or can’t do this. I’ve already written a few songs for contestants. My plans are simple – make music, play music, have fun and make a living. I love my job.
Lawrence’s new single Time Keeps Rolling On is available on iTunes.