Interview: American singer-songwriter CeeLo Green returns to The Voice in Season 15 as a battle advisor
It has been eight years since the first episode of The Voice USA first airs on television. As the show steps into Season 15, the only constants have been singers Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, serving as judges. However, after being a full-time coach for the first three seasons singer-songwriter Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, popularly known as CeeLo Green, has returned to be the part-time advisor for the third time in five years. With changing roles, we can’t help but ask what makes CeeLo come back and he immediately says, “I think over the years, we have all become such good friends and like an extended family, which makes me want to come back every time I can, in whatever role I can play.”
Being an advisor is definitely quite different from being a coach and CeeLo having donned both hats, has developed an approach which does not limit his expertise. Instead, he extends his knowledge to the participants.“As a coach, you have more of an extended opportunity to be able to nurture the singers, but as a mentor, you have to get straight to the point,” the 44-year-old elaborates. Being an advisor definitely requires a strategy because all of their voices are of a different range. CeeLo, whose worldwide hit Crazy went as high as No 2 on Billboard Hot 100 in 2006, tells us he has a few tricks up his sleeve. However, in the larger picture, his aim is to be honest with the participants and always looking at the glass half-full rather than half-empty.
Incidentally, while he has earlier competed against Adam Levine, he will be assisting him as an advisor this time. CeeLo says he couldn’t have asked for anything better. “Working with Adam is definitely a positive because I get to not only mentor the team but even him, even though he does not require it,” which the singer says is a nice acknowledgement of each other. For the uninitiated, Adam Levine of Maroon 5 fame and country singer Blake Shelton have been the two coaches at the top of their game, with the former winning it thrice, making him a crowd favourite.
With The Voice USA in its 15th season, we can’t help but wider if there has been a change from the first season. CeeLo says it has evolved from the first season. “With the new format, the talent of the new participants is nurtured and inspired by the mistakes of the singers in the past, so the singers are now more watchful,” CeeLo adds. He goes on to add that after years, even though there are several other singing shows, it is the Blind Auditions that make the show unique, as it is the determining factor which gives the singers an identity.
While The Voice S15 has kept him busy in the last year, the singer who first started his career in 1995 with the US hip-hop group Goodie Mob hasn’t released a song in two years. After 2016 single F**ck Me I'm Famous, he did release Jay-Z’s Girl in 2017 but has been quiet since then. However, he adds that he has been working on several projects and this year, fans can expect songs as a part of the Gnarls Barkley Project, his pop duo collaboration with record producer Danger Mouse.
Watch The Voice S15 weekends at 10 pm only on AXN.