Coast teen ready to make her mark on newly revamped singing show The Voice
by SEANNA CRONIN
Tia Mullins’ debut on The Voice has been a long time coming.
The Mons-based singer-songwriter is just 18 years old but she got her first taste of the reality TV roller-coaster seven years ago when she made it to the blind audition round of The Voice Kids at the tender age of 12.
“That was my first time ever performing in front of anyone other than my parents,” she says.
“It was a terrible audition. If I could play it back to you now you’d absolutely laugh.”
But the Nambour Christian College graduate can now appreciate her Voice Kids audition as a valuable learning experience.
“It took off a lot of the shock value that I think that kind of thing can bring you,” she says.
“The studio is incredibly massive; seeing it all going on behind the scenes is a lot to take in.”
The coronavirus pandemic added another layer of complexity to this year’s audition process.
“We had to quarantine prior to even arriving at the studio,” Tia says.
“There were lots of Covid tests and social distancing, especially with crew members. They really make sure everyone is on it. I was very grateful for that, especially considering there are people from all different parts of Australia who fly in for it.
“I knew I could learn a lot from it, and gain certain things from it, but I also wanted to find somewhere that looks after the artists.”
After nine seasons on Channel Nine, the long-running reality singing competition has moved to Channel Seven.
The rebooted 10th season is headlined by two returning coaches and two fresh faces.
Caboolture’s own country music superstar Keith Urban returns to the big red chair, which he hasn’t occupied since the show’s first season.
Guy Sebastian also returns, while fellow Australian Idol alumni Jessica Mauboy makes her Voice coaching debut. British pop star Rita Ora, who has been a coach on The Voice UK, rounds out the coaching panel.
“Rita is a musician out of those four that I probably take a lot of influence from,” Tia says.
“I love what she’s doing and how she portrays herself.
“Honestly, when I got up there (on stage), I was like, ‘Who am I going to choose if anyone turns around?’ For me it was between Jess and Rita; they were pretty even for me. Both of them have different tastes and style but there’s so much they could teach me.”
Tia is one of just 11 Queenslanders who made it to the blind audition round of the new season.
She will be seen on the show on Tuesday, August 24. It won’t be the only reason to celebrate that night, with Tia turning 19 the next day.
“The song that I chose for my blind audition was an ’80s song that had been redone by a female R’n’B artist,” she says. “I found it a number of years ago when I was in grade seven or eight. I had it in a song list and it’s one I’ve loved for a really long time. It’s special to me.
“I think it definitely shows off my vocals. For me, that song has a lot of emotion in it and I love bringing a bit of light to it.”
Tia moved to the Coast four years ago from Mackay, where her musical talents were recognised at events including Mackay’s Got Talent.
“There’s a lot of musical diversity here on the Coast,” she says. “It’s a lot bigger than Mackay and it’s been quite nice to immerse myself in a place where everyone doesn’t know everyone.”
When she’s not working on her own music, Tia can be found helping out at her mum Megan’s homewares store OMG I Would Like.
“Last year I was in my senior year of high school so I found it hard to find time to perform,” she says. “But now that we’re starting to get live music back I’m hoping people will be able to see me.
“I spend most of my time working on my music in my room and I’m hoping I’ll be releasing a lot of my own original music later this year.”
Blessed with a set of powerhouse pipes, Tia says she’s still finding her own unique sound as an artist.
“I take a lot of inspiration from folk music and R’n’B but I also love blues and soul and rock music as well,” she says.
“I would say I’m still trying to discover it (my sound) and for me it will be ever-evolving. I haven’t found my niche yet.
“As an artist on The Voice, it’s about sticking out amongst all of the others.”
The Voice airs Sunday at 7pm and Monday and Tuesday at 7.30pm on 7 and 7plus.