“I was wasting my time waiting for people”: Diana Rouvas on ‘Voice’ win
Diana Rouvas was not expecting to win The Voice Australia on Sunday night.
“I think it’s important to have a goal and a vision of what you hope for, but I’ve been around long enough to experience when things don’t go your way,” Rouvas tells TMN in the wake of her crowning.
“I try to stay in the middle between dreaming and ready to let it go.”
Even by ferociously living in the present, the singer-songwriter had to carefully sleep on the idea of returning to The Voice Australia as an All-Star after being sent home in season one.
With the stars aligning, it seemed like good timing for Rouvas.
She had an album of material ready to go and approached the opportunity as a platform to be seen and heard.
No matter what the result was, Rouvas was ready to roll ahead and release an album independently.
“We had this album of new material ready to go because you don’t know what’s going to happen and I’ve learnt to wait for no one,” she laughs, nodding to her winners single.
‘Wait For No One’ is a soulful and angsty track that she co-wrote and produced with her partner Eric Aranda. Reflecting on her journey in the music industry, and her first appearance on The Voice, she was inspired by a friend’s advice.
“He used to say, ‘I wait for no one mate’ and one day it just clicked and I thought ‘oh my god, he’s right’.
“So often in our careers and our lives we are waiting for people to do something for us or make something happen for us.
“I realised that I was wasting my time waiting for people. So I wrote this story about my career and it’s become such a full-circle moment to release it as my winners single,” she explains.
The song is quite different to the standard pop-ballad format of a winner’s single, but she wanted to take a risk and show listeners a side of her about moving forward and speaking up.
“I’m so happy that EMI Music Australia and The Voice have allowed me to release an original song as my winner single because if you’re going to go up or down you might as well be authentic about it,” she adds.
Admitting that radio is really hard to crack these days, Rouvas understands that streaming is the future (and present).
While she does have pop ballads on the album ready to go, she really wanted to speak her truth with an authentic record that highlights what she believes in and stands for.
“I’m predominately a soul singer and my music is fairly soulful but I like to tell a story at the same time. So it’s not as standard as what is floating around.”
But Rouvas does want to make radio a focus with her recent signing to EMI, and play as many live shows as possible.
Questioning what her brand is, she admits that she just wants to be “honest and real”, because underneath it all, we are all the same.
“I like to think I’ve maintained my integrity in my career and my life. I like the truth and I like honesty. I like celebrating all aspects of lives and giving gratitude to all the lessons we have.
“The dark teaches us what the light is. I like to write about that and connect with people at my shows and through all the things we experience.”
This isn’t the first time Rouvas has been signed to a major label and it’s something that has made her really cautious. But by focusing on living in the moment she’s approaching this new chapter as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I’ve been in the industry for 20 years and it’s been 18 years since I had a record deal fall through.
“I’m someone who likes to earn their place and I feel like it is finally my time now.”
Heading into this new signing with eyes wide open, Rouvas has learnt to speak up a lot more about how she sees herself as an artist.
She’s also learnt to ask way too many questions and not allow herself to be blind at any moment.
“Time is precious and you need to speak up. At the end of the day, It’s my opportunity, my legacy and my name as an artist. It’s important that it’s right for me.”