She was a favourite on last year’s series of ‘The Voice’; a performance pocket rocket who wowed the judges every time she stepped on stage to compete as part of Team Joel. And although she made it all the way through to the last eight, there was to be no golden record deal at the end of it.
Undeterred, however, Kiyomi has spent the past ten months independently working on brand new music, with the first taste (single ‘Alien’) released just yesterday.
She’s also hitting the road from later this week on a co-headlining tour with fellow former ‘The Voice’ alumni Ben Hazlewood. What better time than now to break out a few questions.
Q : How does it feel watching ‘The Voice’ this year now knowing how the beast works?
A : I have been watching ‘The Voice’ this season and I thought it would bring back more flashbacks etc. But it’s really different with the new judges so I’m really just enjoying watching the show, relaxed in the evenings. I do feel for the contestants who get stricken by nerves in the blind auditions though. It’s such a full-on experience and it’s really tough to do your best and turn chairs when it’s so scary!
Q : Is there anything you’d change from your ‘Voice’ experience?
A : I think whatever happened was meant to be. I had an incredible time on the show, worked with so many amazing people, learnt invaluable things and so much has come out of being on ‘The Voice’.
Q : And what are the warnings you’d give to this year’s contestants?
A : To relax and be yourself as much as possible and to soak in everything around them. It’s an incredible show to be a part of, so I would tell them to remember to enjoy it.
Q : How did your time on the show prepare you for what comes next?
A : Being on the show really pushed me to be the best I can be in stressful situations, so that has definitely helped me in my music career; to get up and perform no matter what. Also, that you have to really work hard to be successful and its really enjoyable trying to get there as well.
Q : Next for you, obviously, is your just-released single ‘Alien’. What can you tell us about it?
A : So excited! I’ve been working on this track for a little while and I’m so happy to get it out there. ‘Alien’ is about being in a relationship that has changed and when you realize that your partner is a different person to who you thought they were. Out of this world!
Q : No doubt you’re also busily preparing an album too?
A : I am constantly writing and I’m planning a trip to LA at the end of the year, so an album is definitely in the works.
Q : When might we expect that to see the light of day?
A : As soon as I have a great selection of songs that I’m really happy with, then it’ll be ready for everyones’ ears!
Q : How did you and Ben Hazlewood end up developing a working relationship?
A : Ben and I actually briefly met at the ‘Great Gatsby’ premiere in Sydney when I was on ‘The Voice’ with Team Joel. Recently I decided I waned to go on tour with my new single ‘Alien’ and I had heard that Ben wanted to tour his single ‘Loveless’ as well. So we thought, why not do a combo East Coast Tour!? Very excited to get on the road and show what we can do to the public. Tickets on sale at gobookem.com or kiyomivella.com. (* we love that she got the plug in – Ed)
Q : What can your respective fans expect on the live tour?
A : Some great live music from opposing worlds. Ben and I have different musical styles so I think its going to be a really entertaining line up. I’ll be doing one of my favourite songs from the show, a few covers that I am addicted to, my new single ‘Alien’ and a whole bunch of original music that I’ve been working on. I’m so excited!
Kiyomi and Ben’s tour kicks off in Geelong, Victoria on Thursday night, with further dates in New South Wales and Victoria below.
May 15 : Geelong (Barwon Club)
May 17 : Melbourne (Grace Darling)
May 21 : Newcastle (Lizotte’s)
May 22 : Kincumber (Lizotte’s)
May 23 : Bulli (Heritage Hotel)
May 24 : Sydney (The Roxbury)
May 25 : Cronulla (Brass Monkey)