Jake Shakeshaft on The Voice Battles: 'I didn't fancy my chances!'


As the battle rounds continue on The Voice (opens in new tab) on BBC1 on Saturday, will 19-year-old singer Jake Shakeshaft (opens in new tab)'s gamble to follow his dream pay off?

What made you first audition for The Voice?

"I tried out for different shows over the years – I went for X Factor when I was 16 and Britain's Got Talent with I was 18. I thought I'd try everything – I had nothing to lose and everything to gain."

Is it true that you left college and quit your job to pursue your dream of being a recording artist?

"Yes, it is. I knew there was a massive chance of it being the wrong decision. But it was a choice between having money by sticking with something that’s not for me or to keep trying as a musician, doing what I love."

How did you feel when coaches will.i.am, Rita Ora and Tom Jones all hit their buttons to turn their chairs at the blind auditions?

"When the three coaches turned, the feeling was indescribable. I'd already convinced myself I wasn't getting through."

Really? Why's that?

"Two days before, I'd lost my voice entirely, so I couldn't speak let alone sing. Then, when I eventually got on stage I was so happy when the notes came out. So when Will turned first, that would explain my huge pause and exhilarated smile. I didn't even know Rita and Tom had turned until Ricky [Wilson] told me!"

What has will.i.am been like as a mentor?

“He's awesome, such a cool guy. He's always friendly and supportive and gives really good advice. One of the reasons I picked him is because he's been in the industry for a long time and he's never faded – he's always been in demand. So I thought if I was going to learn from anybody, it would be Will."

As the Battles continue this Saturday, you’re up against former pro-footballer Stephen Cornwell, 24, for a place in next week's Knockouts. Did you consider your rival a major threat?

"Stephen looks like an Abercrombie & Fitch model! He’s a buff, good-looking guy AND he can sing, so I was really nervous going into the battle and didn't fancy my chances of winning. Neither of us wanted to see the other one go home but, at the same time, neither of us wanted to lose."

Did you have a strategy going into the Battles?

"I just thought I needed to give the most high-energy performance I could to get the crowd going. As I came out onto the stage, I must've looked like a football hooligan, as I came running out, shouting: 'COME OOOONNNNN!'"

We know you have quite a few fans already…

"Ha, ha! When I realised my name was trending on Twitter after my blind audition, I just thought: 'Wow!' And I can't believe my performance of Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud has had nearly two million views on YouTube."

Whether you win your battle or not, how have you enjoyed your experience on The Voice?

"It's been unreal. I've met some incredible people and I've performed in front of four global superstars. Being on The Voice has been the most amazing experience and hopefully my future's bright!"

The battles continue on The Voice UK on Saturday March 7 at 7.30pm on BBC1.


Victoria Wilson
Feature Writer for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and WhatToWatch.com

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!