Fasika Ayallew is one of the four finalists on this season of The Voice Australia and the 19-year-old powerhouse has a very real chance of winning the entire thing.
She's been working with Team Kelly for most of her journey and has gone from strength to strength — so, ahead of the finale, we asked Fasika how she came to be so comfortable on stage. Keep reading!
POPSUGAR Australia: The finale this Sunday! Excited or nervous?
Fasika Ayallew: I'm super excited for Sunday! I think getting to the grand finale is a huge achievement. I never would've imagined that I would've gotten this far, so I think just being here and knowing that Sunday night is the last performance . . . I'm super excited and so ready to do it.
PS: Do you ever get very nervous?
Fasika: I usually get quite nervous, but the last time hasn't been too bad. With all the advice that I've been getting from Kelly and the mentoring, and having such a great team around me, I haven't been too nervous. That being said, in comparison to this week, I do usually get nervous. But this week, I don't know, I'm just really excited to nail the performance because it's the last one I'm going to do.
PS: I guess you're at the point now where you've done super well anyway. No matter what happens, you've come so far and essentially reached the top.
Fasika: Yeah, I think whatever happens on Sunday night, we're all just super stoked to have gotten this far.
PS: You are such a star — I watched you perform at the Lives launch party and you've got this amazing stage presence. Have you applied for The Voice before or been performing for a long time? You seem so natural.
Fasika: I actually only started performing about two years ago. It hasn't been very long; I've just thrown myself into it. But no, I haven't auditioned for The Voice before — I never thought I had the guts to do it, but I just decided to do it this year. I'm so glad I did, because this is how far I've gotten and I've had the most amazing experience so far.
PS: Your dad's been getting a lot of media coverage, which is so cute. How does he find the whole thing? I remember reading that your parents didn't love the idea of you being a singer.
Fasika: That's right, in the beginning my dad was a bit worried. He was pretty apprehensive and he didn't really want me to do it because with his culture and his viewpoint as my father, he's always wanted me to get a degree, get a good job and live a comfortable life. So going on The Voice kind of scared him a little bit, but now he's seen how far I've gotten, the reception I've gotten and how everything has been so positive, he's really, really happy for me and super supportive.
PS: Have you had a favourite performance of your own?
Fasika: I'd probably say my favourite was last week's performance of "One Night Only." Everyone loved "I Have Nothing" and I really loved that too, but I was actually quite nervous about it because it was a Whitney Houston song. I look up to her so much and didn't want to disrespect her or her legacy — so many people love her — so I was quite nervous for that one. But with "One Night Only" I had so much fun and really love that song, so it was probably my favourite performance.
PS: Have you had any that you'd love to redo?
Fasika: I'd love to redo "Love the Way You Lie," which was Live Week Three. Just because I was feeling quite ill that day and wasn't in the right state of mind. I think that showed on my face and people said that I looked upset. And when I watched it back, I did look upset, so above all, I regret that I showed my emotions on my face and wish that I could do one that again. But you know, it's all a learning experience and that was a mistake that I made.
PS: Do you find that you have to actively switch yourself off in that way?
Fasika: Yes and no. I don't think it's an artificial, fake sort of process. It's a very organic process, but I felt quite out of my comfort zone that week with that song, and I don't usually sing songs that are stripped back and raw. With that song, it had to be purely based on my connection with it, so that's where I struggled the most. I think the way I acted after my performance was because I was beating myself up for the little mistakes I made. Some other people might not have noticed that I made a mistake, but I knew and let that show on my face, and I regret that.
PS: Can you tell me what it's like working with Kelly Rowland? She seems like the coolest person on the planet.
Fasika: She is. It's actually the most incredible part of the whole experience. Getting to work with someone I've looked up to for so much of my life, and she's so down to earth and so lovely, I can't believe I've gotten to spend time with her. She's an incredible woman.
PS: Do you ever look at her and think Destiny's Child, Beyoncé . . .
Fasika: Yeah, that's what I forget when I'm spending time with her. She's one of the three members of Destiny's Child. I forget because she's so down to earth, and when you talk to her, she's so personable that you forget that she's famous. Sometimes I just look at her and go, "Far out, she's so beautiful!"
PS: Aside from yourself, who would you like to see win?
Fasika: I think everyone deserves to win but I would say Judah, to be honest. The first time I met him, I said he was going to win this. I think he's got an incredible voice. I would love to see him win.