Amaria Braithwaite

Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen Amaria Braithwaite’s career get stronger. At just fourteen years old, she has already won the first series of CBBC show Got What It Takes, winning a performance at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, along with being a contestant on The Voice Kids. Having just released her debut single Summertime, we talk to Amaria about talent shows, performing and what she’s got coming up.

Having recently appeared on The Voice Kids and Got What It Takes, how different was your experience on both?

It wasn’t really different because it’s still a competition. There was more in Got What It Takes, it was more fun and you get along with everybody, but with The Voice Kids there was no rest, there’s just rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal and there’s no time to reflect on what you’re doing.

If you could have your time on The Voice Kids again, would you do anything differently?

I don’t think so… maybe I would have picked!

Did you have a judge in mind before auditioning?

Nope. It depends, if one person turned around then obviously I’d have to go with that one person, at that moment I was going to pick Will but then Pixie Lott said something, I felt sorry for her so I just picked Pixie, hahaha.

Do you have any input on the song choices or are they chosen for you?

We get to for the blind audition, I got to pick the song that I wanted to sing.

Mother – Yeah, but most of your songs got turned down.

Amaria – Yeah, some of my songs got turned down but I wouldn’t have minded because the song choice that I got was a song I could sing. In the Battles they chose the song for us.

Would you consider auditioning for any other talent shows?

Not for now because with GCSEs I’ve got to start concentrating on school, but once that’s done then yeah, maybe.

Would you go on the adult The Voice or would you do something different?

Well, hopefully by then I wouldn’t need to be on The Voice adults, I’ll be much further!

What challenge did you enjoy most on Got What It Takes?

For me, personally, it was when my mum was on the zip wire and she was like, ‘I can’t do it!’. The last challenge, or even the football challenge when my mum had to score and she had to beat Lisa and she shouted, *turns to mother* what did you say again?

Together: ‘That’s what I’m talking about, Lisa!’

Amaria: Hahaha, something like that, yeah. That was my most favourite challenge.

After winning the show, what was it like performing at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend?

It was a great experience. You get noticed a lot, it was a bit nerve-racking to perform in front of loads of people, but then I just got over and done with it. It was fun because I like singing and performing so I have to give a great performance to entertain people.

You filmed for Pitch Battle with other Got What It Takes contestants, what was it like performing in a group rather than as a soloist?

It was normal, to be honest, because it’s just like solo but with other people. At the beginning of it I didn’t want to do it, I thought it was childish until I got there and saw what it was like because I didn’t know what it was, I just thought it was first series v second series. I didn’t know what it was until I saw Kelis from My Milkshake Brings All The Boys To The Yard and some others there and I thought wow, I didn’t know it was like that. When I got into performing it was okay, but it was kind of weird because it wasn’t all of our team from Series 1, we had to mix because not everyone from Series 1 could make it.

Was it very competitive?

Not really, but for the red team, maybe they took it a bit too serious! My team didn’t, we just had fun with it, we still brang it but we just had fun.

Did you get starstruck when meeting the judges and guests on any of the shows?

Not really, I’m a very humble person so I don’t really get all ‘oh my gosh, it’s this person and that person’, I’m like, ‘nice to meet you’ and stuff, but I don’t really get starstruck.

You’ve recently performed at an event for Grenfell, how did you get involved?

They saw me singing, I think on my Instagram, they emailed my mum and asked if I could be involved with it because it was round our area and it’s so sad. I said, ‘yeah, I don’t mind singing there and just donating stuff’.

Do you have any shows coming up that you can tell us about?

I’ve got a headline show for Paigey Cakey, I don’t even know when that is, but it’s coming up! I don’t really think so, my mum just knows everything and I only get told like the day before so I HAVE to do it. She doesn’t tell me a week early, she tells me the day before the show so I cannot back down!

Mother – Well, a few days before, if she’s doing a new song then I’ll tell her maybe three days before, but usually I just book them. She has got shows, they’re booked and in my phone, I just haven’t told her yet!

Do you get nervous before performing?

Not necessarily nervous but I do get butterflies, I’m excited but no, I’m not nervous at all.

Do you enjoy watching concerts as well as performing at them?

I don’t really go to that many concerts. I’m very lazy so if it’s long I will not go, I’ll just stay at home.

Mother – You’re not really lazy.

Amaria – I am lazy.

Mother – Um… you’re not lazy.

Amaria – I’m lazy!

Mother – She classes listening to music 24/7 as lazy. I don’t think that’s lazy.

Amaria – No, that’s not lazy, I mean with concerts, with famous people, if I know about it, it’s just so long for me, I’d rather just stay at home and listen to music.

You’ve just released your debut single Summertime, how did this come about and did you do all the writing yourself?

I was in the studio with one of my friends and we were playing about, then the producer made a beat and asked if I could do something with it. Then we were just messing about and then it turned into something, I just wrote down more lyrics and ideas and I just put it all together. I write my own music and I make the beats so I do write my own songs.

You’ve been in the studio recently, is this for an upcoming single or album?

I’m in the studio every day so yes, singles, EPs, albums… all sorts.

How did you get into singing?

Well, I’ve come from a musical background family and we sing a lot, dance a lot and act a lot. I think I started off at dancing then acting then singing and then from that I just continued singing.

Do you prefer singing or rapping?

Singing, hahaha. Definitely singing.

We understand you also do DJing, would you like to do more of it?

Yeah, of course, I love it. If I wasn’t doing singing I would do DJing, but I do DJing at the same time anyway so I love it. DJing is so fun, it never gets old, sometimes singing can just get on your nerves but with DJing it’s music, anything to do with music.

Can you see yourself going down the singing route or the DJ route?

Singing all the way.

Do you play any instruments?

I play piano.

What type of music do you enjoy listening to?

All genres, I don’t have one genre that I listen to, it could be even opera. Not so much rock unless it’s Sweet Child O’ Mine song, but I don’t know who sings it. Yeah, opera, rock… all genres really, I don’t just listen to one genre.

Mother – And jazz. She listens to all music and very, very old music, like my genre and also going back older than me! You wouldn’t expect it but her music collection is crazy. Even things like Elvis.

We understand you filmed for Channel 4’s Dinner at 11, how much fun was this to do?

It was actually one of the most funniest. We had a girl called Grace, who was just the smartest in the world, she used to bring up politics, Barbie dolls, David Cameron… I remember everything, it was hilarious. That was one of the only shows that I’ve actually liked.

Mother – And the producer and the production.

Amaria – Yeah, everything. They were really, really, really nice.

Can you see yourself doing musical theatre?

Musical theatre? Yeah I think so, I used to do it a lot. I did A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Brit School. Who was I? Oh my God, I don’t know, but I was one of the main characters and they turned me into a donkey, I don’t mind doing that.

Is it strange seeing yourself on websites like Famous Birthdays?

Not really, when I see myself I don’t really get cringey or anything, just when I hear my own voice, I do not like it at all.

Where would you like to be in five years?

Hopefully not in this country, this country is so boring, I just want to be everywhere. Where do I want to be? Just everywhere travelling the world, China, America…

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