Christina Aguilera has returned to her coaching duties on NBC’s The Voice! The five-time Grammy-winning artist is back for the show’s fifth cycle airing this fall after taking last season off. A hiatus she says was valuable to her return to the hit musical competition.
“I’m the type of artist that needs to step away from the camera sometimes to sort of regroup and center myself, because I do that with my albums, too. I take kind of broad, wide strokes between them because I feel that it’s important to ground yourself, get re-inspired, and to listen to yourself so that you can exude and be the best you can be, “ said Aguilera at a season five press conference for The Voice at Sony Pictures Studios. “Coach-wise; I joined hands with these guys and was at it three seasons in a row, and sometimes you just need to come from a fresh perspective and check out what’s going on with yourself.”
It was that same desire to look within herself and outside of what she had to offer as a music artist that Aguilera says is what originally motivated her to join The Voice. “I was interested in joining this cast once I spoke to Mark [Burnett] that this was nothing abut bashing contestants, or bringing them down. We all knew as artists ourselves you get enough of that in this business. So we went into it to encourage artists; and at the time I need to step away from myself as an artist and as a musician,” said the singer, who last fall released the album, ‘LOTUS’. “It was a cool opportunity for me to actually give back and give my advice, my experience; anything I could do to encourage others with their dreams. That was the coolest thing going into it- getting to be in that position.”
A position she says had a profound impact on her as a person in the way it led her to reflect back on her own early days as a young artist and the journey she took to get to where she is now. “I’ve taken away so many different experiences. It takes you back because you watch the contestants grow on the show. You see them change. You see them morph. Making it past the blinds is one element, but being in this business is – you know, I've been doing this since I was seven, success when I was a teenager and the whole thing, internationally. And it's a lot. It's a whirlwind. And even as a female - there's no way you can fully be prepared for what's going to come your way,” said Aguilera, who couldn’t have been prepared for the instant mega success she hit at the age of 18 with the release of her self-titled debut album. To date she has sold over 50 million albums worldwide.
“No matter how mature or experienced or grown or old you are in age - it's a process, and it's a great test for what's to come if you get past this show. It's a great training camp. I come from that, too, with The Mickey Mouse Club, et cetera, et cetera. I have that experience, and it took me back to those days. It makes you look inside yourself; how have I grown and how I went through that too. It's a beautiful thing. ”
It’s helping the contestants grow and develop themselves as music artists that Aguilera says is what has been most rewarding for her as a coach on multiple-Emmy nominated NBC reality show and what mostly inspired her come back.
“On a personal level, I try to give it a lot of heart. And coming back into it I just wanted to be here for the beginning of somebody else’s journey. It’s a really, really cool thing,” she said. “To see somebody and to discover people at the beginning of their careers and seeing yourself in them as far as- what can I do to just help them out?”
The international pop star added that she goes into the season thinking about the value of the opportunity to mentor the young artists in the field that she loves more than she does about just winning.
“You have to take it back to why you started in this business and why we as artists individually came into wanting to do this and be onstage ourselves-and that's because you cannot live or breathe without music. And being inspired by it, being motivated by it; coming back that was just my intention. At the end of the day, yes, it’s great to win. But everybody has a different experience and a different journey to take out of this. It’s cooler not to think about it going in.”
What Aguilera is thinking about this year is what her contestants can teach her.
“I'm open this year. I want to learn from them, too,” said the singer. “I'm refreshed coming back.”
The Voice returns on September 23 on NBC.
Keep up with me for more updates from NBC’s The Voice!