Sietske Oosterhuis, a former student at WSE, recently auditioned for The Voice of Holland. The judges were well and truly blown away by her stripped-down version of Rather Be by British dance act Clean Bandit. In less than 30 seconds all of the judges had turned around, meaning Sietske could choose her own mentor.
For those of you that don’t know it already, “The Voice” is a popular reality TV singing competition which originated in Holland and has been rolled out in over 50 different countries. The first stage of the competition is a blind audition where the judges start with their backs to the hopeful contestant. If they like what they hear, they press a button and their seat turns around to face the singer.
After studying at WSE, Sietske went on to study vocals at the prestigious Conservatory of Utrecht and we caught up with her this weekend to ask a few questions about her experience so far on the show.
How did you feel when all four judges turned around?
I was surprised! I didn't expect it to happen and especially not that fast. I was really nervous because of the song I chose to do; I made a completely different version of a very well known hit at the time. The original version of the song is happy and I changed it to a kind of sad ballad. That's a risk you take of course and you never know how people will react. I absolutely didn't expect so many nice comments!
What were the reactions of your friends and family?
When I did my audition I hadn't told my family so I completely surprised them by calling them immediately after. That was really exciting because they had no idea all of this was happening!
Why did you audition?
As a child I used to watch talent shows quite a lot and really wanted to take part, but I found myself too shy and not really suitable for the commercial pop world. Last year I saw a girl in The Voice of Holland called Julia van de Toorn, who did something completely new for these shows; she made covers in a way not many people had done before. It was inspiring to me and it opened the show to different kind of musicians. At that point I thought to myself: 'I just have to try this once in my life, and I think this is the right moment', so I decided to take part in The Voice of Holland.
How did your time at WSE prepare you for this kind of experience?
I went to WSE to improve my English because I wanted to become singer and songwriter. I think there was no better preparation than going to England to do this. At WSE I improved my pronunciation, vocabulary and I met lovely people from all over the world. It's a really nice school and I had the opportunity to sing and practise on the school piano. I also took singing lessons at Cherry Pie music school in Wimbledon.
Sietske had her pick of the judges and decided to go with Ilse DeLange from Dutch group The Common Linnets, runners up in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
We wish Sietske the best of luck for the remainder of the competition and we believe she has what it takes to go all the way. Sietske’s beautiful version of Rather Be is available for download on iTunes.