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Tuesday, August 2, 2016


On Sunday July 31 2016, twenty - eight-year-old Stage actress Agharese Emokpae, popularly known as A'rese, has won the first season of The Voice Nigeria. A’rese comes from a creative  family. She started her music career in 2010 after graduating  from the Washington and  Lee University. She has starred in various  musicals and theatre  productions in Nigeria  and United States . These are the performances that got her there…
In The Blinds, A’rese showed none of the nerves that she said plagued her, and also displayed a flair for the dramatic – fittingly for a theatre performer – and went super-dramatic with Adele’s “Skyfall”. Three turns later (2baba said he was “too late” – no kidding!) and A’rese opted for “girl power” after Waje said she knew her from her stage work. “A match made in heaven” indeed!

In The Battles, A’rese was pitted against the formidable Flourish. “Let me put it in football terms: it is like Brazil and Argentina,” was Timi’s assessment of their cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger”.

In the first live show she performed in, A’rese took on “Down”, a funky number from Nigerian artist Ruby Gyang. Timi loved “the richness” in her voice, while Waje was proud that “you did ‘you’ this time.”
“Beautiful” and “breathtaking” were some of the comments you made about A’rese’s next performance, Imogen Heap’s “Hide & Seek”. It hinted at A’rese’s penchant for unusual song choices, but with no instruments to hide behind – just her backing vocalists – Timi said he didn’t want it to end. “She doesn’t have to do it the way everybody does,” said her coach Waje.
A’rese’s next performance was also surprising: “Circle Of Life” from ‘The Lion King’ musical. It played into her background in theatre but also showed off a lot of range, and it was rapturously received by the audience. “A’rese has risen,” said Timi, the “pastor of The Voice Nigeria”, while Waje thanked her for the work she’d put in. She expressed this gratitude by blessing A’rese with the only save she received the entire season!
In The Voice Nigeria semi-finals, A’rese cemented her growing stature with a stunning take on Fela Kuti’s “When Trouble Sleep”. Host IK reiterated that “everything you do is epic”, while 2baba labeled it “spiritual” and Waje said that it takes a professional to do what she did in the beginning of the song. It was just the beginning for A’rese: the love she received on the back of this performance pushed her over the winning line!

Her last two performances in the finale were the cherry on top…

Well done A’rese and Waje.

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