Wesu Wallace is representing Barbados on the UK talent show The Voice. (GP)
Wesu Wallace is hoping his voice will make great things happen for him. Many Barbadians should by now know who he is as do millions worldwide after his audition on the UK talent show The Voice.
Wesu stunned the judges as he performed during the blind auditions on The Voice UK.
As he sung the Sam Smith hit I’m Not The Only One, American entertainer and judge Jennifer Hudson, said he had an “interesting voice”. However it was fellow coach will.i.am who quickly tapped the buzzer and spun around in the red chair to show that he wanted the 36-year-old singer on his team.
But what seemed to be more astonishing to the judges who included Brits Olly Murs and Sir Tom Jones, was when Wesu revealed that he lived in Barbados.
Wesu was born in Zimbabwe to Roger Wallace and Ann Wallace. His late grandfather Cecil Alleyne was Barbadian and during the 1990s he moved to Barbados, where attended the all-boys Mapps College, then the Seventh-Day Adventist School and completed his senior years at Alexandra School. It was there that he developed a love for the stage.
Speaking to WEEKEND BUZZ on Wednesday via cellphone from North Dakota, United States, where he is currently promoting local music, Wesu said he wasn’t looking for undue attention when he mentioned Barbados to the judges.
“When they asked me where I was from I wasn’t doing that with the intention to seek any attention . . . . It’s the truth. I started my music career in Barbados, so I owe my entire music career and beginnings to Barbados,” he said.
Speaking of beginnings, like many other local acts, he competed in the Richard Stoute Teen Talent contest before moving to the United Kingdom at 21 to pursue his music career.
He recalled that his roller coaster ride in the music business was on the up in 2004, when he was trying to negotiate a deal with then multinational record label Sony BMG 2004, but he said they didn’t make it to the final stages of the contract signing.
“They claimed that they didn’t want to continue because they didn’t know how to market a black person at that time. Those were the exact words,” he said.
For the next four years, he quit music and eventually moved back to Barbados.
In those years, he did “every other kind of job” to keep himself afloat. Needless to say, he was unhappy during that time.
“Whenever I try to do something else I become depressed, so I’ve accepted that music is what I’m supposed to be doing, so whatever hardships come my way I’ll just keep going at it,” he said, revealing he released his first album, This Is My Party, in 2012.
But he was not satisfied with the plateau his career had reached, so he decided to try out for The Voice in early 2017.
He flew from Barbados to the UK, where took part in three group auditions prior to his one-on-one with the famous panel.
The back and forth was timely and taxing.
“I wasn’t in a position to ask for any type of funding . . . . So I felt a sense of relief when it happened because I felt that every bit of investment, time, energy and finances that I put into this was worth it, because it took a lot of mental strength for me to be travelling back and forth,” he added.
Since the episode aired, he has received “overwhelming support from Barbadians”, especially on social media, which he said he is very grateful for.
The artiste, who on the Bajan music scene is known for his versatile playing of the guitar, unfortunately suffered a broken hand so now he can’t play the guitar for more than 15 minutes without his hand cramping. The piano is now his instrument of choice.
His next hurdle will be the battle rounds when the show returns to television later this month. (TG)