NBC’s “The Voice” is gearing up for another season, this time absent Cee-lo and Christina. Last season, however, team “X-tina” uncovered an indisputable talent in Aquile. Unfortunately, he was cut before America got to vote for him. In his time on the show, however, Aquile proved to the world that he is one to watch for. Even the other judges on the show stated that he was “ready.”
For the first time in my life I watched a music competition show for the simple reason that Aquile is also a friend. We grew up in the same town and in the same church. So take this with a pinch of bias if you will, but I chatted with Aquile about the show, the road ahead, and how he was robbed by not making it to the voting round.
Lee: Aquile, good to chat with you. Now, you’ve recently received some national attention by being featured on last season’s “The Voice.” Talk to me a little bit about your thoughts on that experience and how it has helped further your dreams.
Aquile: Thanks for having me. My experience on the show surpassed my expectations. I showed up to open calls in L.A. just to support a friend and see how I’d do in the process. Unfortunately, my friend didnt make it, but they put me through to the next round. Call back after call back and I eventually made it to television. The moment Christina turned her chair around changed my life forever. I now have fans around the world in places I’ve even never heard of, lol. Twitter is an amazing way to connect with my fans in other countries. The exposure I got from “The Voice” has given me that extra boost I’ve needed for so long. I’m extremely busy recording, writing, and traveling; playing three to four gigs a week. The blessings keep coming as the weeks go on. Overall it was a dream come true to be on that national platform.
Lee: So, you were tragically cut before America got a chance to vote for you in the competition (and believe me we would have!), but you got some great remarks from all of the judges about how you’re “ready.” Talk a bit about how you felt when that all went down.
Aquile: Just to hear those “SUPERSTARS” say my name felt like such an awesome accomplishment. They know who I am and thats the best part. The fact that they called me ready just confirmed that all the years of practice has finally begun to pay off.
Lee: Before you hit the national spotlight this past year, you previously spent a couple years singing with the worship team at Highland Park Community Church in Casper, Wyoming. How do you feel that served to prepare you for where you’re at now?
Aquile: I grew up in the church and music was always a huge part of why I loved it! Singing at Highland Park was also another great platform for me. Working with Pastor Kendel Terry was a lot of fun and he helped me flourish, giving me solo sections and at times leading the choir. Church offered another avenue for me to share my gift with people . My voice comes from God and there is no better place to let it be heard than in His house!
Lee: Talk a little about your relationship with God. How has your faith affected and/or influenced your music?
Aquile: Ever since I can remember I have always believed in God. My mother is a Godly woman and raised me to be a Godly Man. However, like most I tend to stray out in the materialistic world we live in. I’ve been in some low places since I’ve been out on this quest, including jail. Had I not believed in the Lord, I dont know how I would have ever gotten through or overcome the darkness I faced. I was able to learn from my mistakes and grew closer to God in the process. I was blessed with a baby boy last year and that little miracle has brought me closer to God as well. If you’re a parent, you know how much you pray for your child. All of these experiences I’ve been through good and bad have in some way or another influenced my music. I believe God won’t let me go through anything I can’t handle or use to my benefit. Whatever the devil pitches my way im gunna knock it out the park. God is responsible for the things in my life that inspire me. So when I start my day I ask for inspiration, because He has it everywhere.
Lee: Do you find it hard to have faith in God in the music industry? Or, is that something that provides a solid ground through it all?
Aquile: I haven’t found it hard at all. If anything its easy for me because I realize I wouldnt have the gift I have if He didn’t have a plan for me to use it. This industry can be so overwhelming and discouraging. But with faith put in God im kinda just sitting back and enjoying the ride.
Lee: What’s life been like since you left “The Voice”?
Aquile: Life’s been hectic, but fun! It’s wild getting recognized by strangers. I sometimes forget I was on TV and wonder, “why is this person starring at me like that?” Lol. I’ve really been enjoying my time as a new father with my son. He keeps me grounded and gives me another reason to work even harder. I feel more blessed than I’ve ever been and im so thankful to get to do what I love and make a living from it.
Lee: Have you had any contact with the judges since you left?
Aquile: Those guys are so dang busy! Hardly anyone I know has had much contact. I’ve spoken with Adam Levine briefly since the show. I’m hopping to work with him in the near future. I’m sure we will all be crossing each others paths at some point.
Lee: Any rumblings of a full length album your fans should know about? Basically, what’s “next” for Aquile?
Aquile: I’ve been working hard in the studio since the show. I’m really exited about the sound that’s coming out. Most likely going to release a single soon… until the album is finished. The goal is to finish a solid album and hit the road later this year.
Lee: Way back in the day, you released a Christmas album as your introduction into the music world (I still have my copy, by the way). When you were making that album at the church, did you ever think you’d be where you are today?
Aquile: Wow, that’s old school, haha. I think I was 16 when I recorded that album. I knew that I wanted to be a singer but I had no idea it would be like this. Singing has already taken me places I didn’t think I could go and I’m still a baby in the industry. So that being said, Im very exited for what is yet to come!
Lee: When you look five or ten years in the future, where do you see yourself then?
Aquile: In five to ten years, I plan on being on the road full-time around the world. I plan on having a clothing line by then, a non-profit organization, my own record label up and running with lots of talented and successful artist signed to it. Im currently pursuing an acting career as well. Theatre has always been a part of my life and I want to get into the movies. Shoot, I could even see politics in my future.
Lee: Alright, I always end with a silly, but revealing question. Who’s better, Superman or Batman?
Aquile: I think Superman is cool and all but, Batman Is a “G” haha. He doesn’t need superpowers to fly or to whoop the enemy. He’s just a super-rich smart Kid trapped in a really buff grown man’s body. Plus, I really like his gadgets and cars. I mean come on, it doesn’t get much more cool than BATMAN.
Lee: Thanks Aquile! Appreciate your time.
Aquile: Thanks again for having me, man. Take care!