It’s fitting that Keith Semple’s Battle Rounds performance with Manny Cabo was “Baba O’Riley,” as the iconic song’s infectious yet determined energy fits Semple like a glove.
Though Semple was critical of his own performance of Bon Jovi’s “I’ll Be There For You” during the Blinds, he moved forward with Adam Levine as his coach and advanced through the Battle Rounds.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Keith Semple as he talked about what drives him as an artist and why he will always consider himself as a member of a band (he’s the frontman for Semple).
What is the difference for you performing on “The Voice” as a solo artist and also being a member in a band?
Semple: It’s really no different. I’m going to be in a bad regardless of what happens on the show. If I was lucky enough to win the show, I would have a band behind me again in a heartbeat anyway. So I don’t consider myself as ever going to be a solo artist. It’s just going to be and a band forever. Yes of course I have to do the process as a solo artist, but I don’t think anybody that knows me would ever think I would be a solo artist.
What has your journey on The Voice like? Your Battle Rounds performance of “Baba O’Riley” with Manny Cabo was amazing.
Semple: Well thank you. I’m my own worst critic and I didn’t feel like I gave the Blind Audition song as good of an effort as I could have done. I know I could have (performed) it a little better. So I felt like I really needed to redeem myself in the Battles and I felt like I did that. I think they just see Manny Cabo and they see his really charismatic and upbeat personality and they’re thinking, ‘how is this kid going to compete?’ But they didn’t realize that’s what I do for a living. I’m a full time performing (artist) in a rock band and I’m a crazy performer and they haven’t had a chance to see that. I was really glad that the American public got to see my performance skills and the fact that I can sing better than I showed in the Blinds. So that kind of paid off in a way because Pharrell and Gwen, they were all surprised almost that I was able to sing the song that well. It really worked out in my favor at the end of the day.
Can you talk about the fans who have followed you throughout your career, and what does that support mean to you?
It’s amazing. People are always asking me why I entered the show because looking in most people already understand that I’m kind of successful anyway. But success is a really weird term – it depends what you mean. To me, I’m happy and successful and I’m living the dream so to speak. But there’s things that I want to achieve and I’m a very get up and go (kind of guy). If you look at my entire life, I’ve always been a very big risk taker and I got offered to (be) the lead singer of a Chicago based band. They found me online and literally a month later after being offered the job, I left my entire life in Northern Ireland.
That’s the level of dedication I have for my craft and that is basically why I’m doing the show now and why the experience is paying off now. People can see I know what I’m doing, you know? I’m hoping that continues on as the show progresses.
Moving from Ireland to Chicago to pursue your dreams is a big risk and even taking a shot at The Voice is a gamble. What do you tell people who want to take similar risks, but maybe are a bit hesitant? Is life too short not to take that leap?
That’s exactly it. I don’t want to get into my personal belief structure but I will say the way I believe in things, I guess the way I look at life in general, I think this is pretty much all you get (laughs). It’s a question of making the most of it as possible with the 70 or 100 years you get on this planet. I wake up every morning in awe that I am alive and a lot of people take that they are alive for granted. Every day, I’m saying ‘what have I not done, that I can do today.’ What have I not watched? What have a not read? What have I not learned? What song have I not written yet? That’s the way my life works every day and of course I have my daughter and my lovely wife and they are part of this journey with me. The fact that I get to impart all this life experience to my daughter – I want her to realize this too. I don’t want her to be sitting back and wait for people to hand things to her. I want her to get up and go.
I know some people have bad situations and they maybe can never rise out of them and it’s not their fault, you know? That’s just the way life is – it sucks. As soon as you realize that life is unfair and good people don’t necessarily get ahead and bad people don’t necessarily lose, as soon you realize that you’ve to rise above the system. And that’s what I’ve tried to do my whole life. I think people are seeing that when they see me on the show.
I don’t, in any way, feel like I deserve anymore than anyone else. I just feel like this is my time and I want the time to show as many people in the world as possible that I am good at what I do (laughs).
Thank you Keith for your time and good luck moving forward.
Thank you, I appreciate it. Nice chatting with you!
The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC.
Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi