Genesis Diaz found herself in an odd situation as a contestant on the 14th season of NBC's singing competition The Voice. In an episode that aired this past Monday, March 26, she was tasked with singing a duet with her friend Mia Boostrom during the show's "Battle Stage." In other words, she was collaborating with and competing against Boostrom at the same time.
"You know that it's a competition at the end of the day," Diaz says, "but I'm not a competitive person, so I didn't want to see it that way... If I thought of it as a battle, I would be too nervous, but thinking about it as a duet was so much more comforting."
In an earlier episode of the show, Diaz secured a spot on Team Adam (led by The Voice judge and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine) by singing Kesha's "Praying" during a blind audition. It was a dream come true for the 19-year-old, Cuban-born Miamian. Friends and family have been telling her since sixth grade that she's talented enough to get on The Voice — and then it happened.
Previously, she'd been gigging at various local clubs and restaurants and pushing her bilingual pop music on social media. For Diaz, appearing on The Voice was an opportunity to promote herself on a national platform, and she considered the contest a sort of music camp with A-list singers: "It was nerve-wracking, but it was an amazing experience because you're surrounded by professionals and superstars," she says. "You want to be like them, so having their input was totally worth the stress."
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This past Monday, Diaz was knocked out of the contest after losing the battle with Boostrom. The pair sang Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You" in front of a panel of judges including Clarkson herself.
"Singing one of my favorite songs, and in front of her, was absolutely crazy," Diaz says. And she has nothing but praise for Boostrom. "I thought she was incredible. It was the best performance of the night, and I couldn't be happier for her."
Now Diaz is concentrating on releasing her first single, with an album to follow. "We have big plans, and this is just the beginning," she says, adding that the album will include a mix of English and Spanish lyrics. "I have Cuban parents who were musicians growing up," she says. "My mom sings in Spanish and we all talk in Spanish, so I kind of want to pay tribute to that and show my Cuban side as well."
Her two-episode stint on The Voice was short but sweet. "I wouldn't change a thing," she says. "I was nervous to see it on TV... because I couldn't remember how I did, but now I'm so proud of myself because I know I gave it my all. I left it up there. I thought I would be more sad, but win or lose, it's all about the experience and what I got from The Voice."