Jasper Publie singing on The Voice


Jasper Publie (JEPP) in The Voice: An “Attention”-Grabbing Performance

In this interview, led by KET Magazine, Jasper Publie (JEPP) opens up about his musical journey and his experience on The Voice Belgium so far. Embarking on a solo career, the young artist brings a fresh perspective and undeniable talent to the program. Get ready for a glimpse into his world of talent and passion!

What made you want to participate in The Voice?

I think the biggest reason is because I felt ready to do it. I’ve been making music for a long time because it is my passion. Some kids develop a passion for sports early on, mine was music. I formed a band when I was incredibly young, and I can’t remember a time that music wasn’t a major part of my life. I’ve learned a lot with my band. Then, when it ended, I decided to go to the Conservatory to study music because I knew I wanted to pursue it, to create new projects, to write for myself. I was around 21 years old at that time, so it came at a moment where I was discovering myself and parts of my identity. There was this sense of change, and all of it had a huge impact on me and on the way I perceive music.

Before, I used to think of music as just singing and having fun —as it should be, especially as a kid. As I got older, I felt a need to get closer to myself and a need for my music to reflect that. I did not want to be just a person on stage, performing songs. I wanted to be a part of the whole artistic process, and to write songs that are close to me and represent who I am, the people that surround me, the parties that I go to, and just my personality in general. I have done TV before, but I wouldn’t have felt ready to do a TV program such as The Voice three years ago. I was still in this process of discovering which path I wanted to follow, of discovering myself. I wouldn’t have known how to open up in the way I can now. Today, I know who I am as an artist, I know where I want to go.

In short, the reason I’m doing The Voice is because I feel ready to show the audience who I am as an artist. To show everyone the results of those years of self-discovery, which have seeped directly into my art. The Voice is such an incredible opportunity. You meet so many people and you get to learn so much. I felt so excited to bring what I have already experienced, to bring my identity and to have the chance to add to it all of the things I will learn through this experience.

As someone who’s already been performing for a while, and has created his own musical identity before coming on The Voice, did you fear having to erase bits of that to appeal to a broader audience ?

I prefer not to think too much about the practical aspects of the industry; of what is mainstream and what isn’t. I’ve never felt comfortable putting myself and other people in boxes, and for that reason, I do not limit my music to a certain box either. At least, I try not to do it. Obviously, being in a TV program is very different from being an artist in a studio, writing music. It is vastly different from my past experiences as an artist.

To be honest, in the weeks leading up to the Blind Auditions, I was stressed out. I had panic attacks and doubted my decision a lot. I think I was nervous about how long it had been since my last stage, and about the fact that it would be my first time on TV where I would really be myself. The moment I walked on stage is when I remembered precisely why I was doing this. The audition process itself is obviously incredibly stressful. You wait for hours and then it comes down to one minute and a half before you’re up. Once on stage, or once you are rehearsing with the team and with your coach, all of the fear progressively lessens. You get to work with incredible people, choose your outfits, choose an arrangement for the song and rehearse on it. It’s everything I love to do. Being an artist and participating in a TV program, it all connects in one place: on stage. Everything around it is nice too, you know; the interviews, the contact with other participants, the coaching. It’s an honor to be able to grow as an artist on a program like The Voice.

Jasper Publie on The Voice Belgium

Some may think that it would be easy for you to go up on stage and sing, considering you’ve done it before. What I’m gathering is that there was still a great deal of pressure. Would you agree?

Absolutely. And especially because I hadn’t performed like this in a long time. Also because of the fact that I am a really different person from who I was before. The setting itself is also particular because the judges are turned around. They do not face you like a regular audience would, and it’s pretty nerve-wracking. I don’t think I’ve ever been as stressed as I was in the few instants before stepping onto the stage of The Voice. And not because I underestimated it. I knew there would be stress and pressure. While I was on stage, however, the pressure was lifted. It felt like coming home, in a way. That is a comforting feeling that grew stronger for the Battles because I had more time to rehearse, and I really enjoyed the process. I felt very emotional after that performance because it felt so right.

Why did you choose the song ‘Kiss’ by Prince for the Blind Auditions?

We usually submit a few choices. The production also gives some suggestions. I chose this song because I really love Prince as an artist. I did have some doubts about where to take the song. It’s so iconic, you know. And everyone has an opinion about this song. If you choose to do it, you need to really think about it, and you need to do it justice. It’s a song I’ve sung many times in the past and I figured I could do something great with it, bring my own version of it. Obviously, I do not have the same voice as Prince, so it wouldn’t make sense to try to copy the original which we already know to be incredible. It would stress me out if the aim was for everything to be the same as the original. It just wouldn’t feel right. I really want to bring a part of me in what I sing. This is why I only feel comfortable singing songs that I can interpret in my own way. So, I decided to sing it in a different way, and I even translated one of the verses into French. It was a risk, definitely.

A risk which paid off.

[laughs] Apparently!

Aside from the verse in French, I’ve also noted that you changed a lyric from ‘my girl’ to ‘my boy’, which is a meaningful way to make the song your own and to incorporate your own identity in what you do.

Exactly. Like I’ve said, it’s the only way for me to feel fully comfortable. Either I write my own songs, or I cover songs that I interpret in my own way. A song is always written with a certain intention from the artist. If you take a song and sing it without any intention, it is no longer the same. It loses its power. As an artist, I want to interpret songs according to how I feel about them, according to what my intention with each song is.

For the Battles, I was paired with Alix, and we interpreted the song ‘Attention’ By Charlie Puth. At first, the song put both of us out of our comfort zone. It is not what I would normally sing, and it felt like I would have to just copy it, which I did not like. I needed some time to find a way to put parts of myself into the song, to adapt it to my voice and to my vision as an artist. It was nice to see this song grow, the more Alix and I worked on it. Once I felt like I had truly made the song my own, I started loving it and, ultimately, I really had fun on stage. It is something that I absolutely will keep on doing for the live shows.

The Battles: Alix and Jasper Publie on The Voice

Do you feel that being coached by Mentissa, who is a former finalist of The Voice France, is a bit of an advantage because of the fact that she knows what it is like to be a contestant on the show?

Definitely. First of all, Mentissa is incredibly kind. You really get the sense that she knows what we are going through and that she is invested in this experience with us. Because of the things she has learned through the program, she gives us great advice and guides us wonderfully. She’s also so talented ! My god, she has such a beautiful voice. Her voice is so distinctive, so full of character. She is also very good at interpreting songs. It is everything I personally love in music and so, I’m learning so much with her. She is also very open to hearing our ideas and our input. She is very respectful of our artistic vision while also being straight to the point. The collaboration with her is very easy and she regularly checks in with us. I’m very happy and grateful to be on her team.

What have you learned so far from being on the show?

As far as personal development goes, I’ve learned to take my experience with me, and combine it with new teachings, and also with who I am today and what I want to showcase. It is like combining two, and even three worlds together. I really hope that by doing this, I can connect every aspect of myself and develop as an artist while keeping this authenticity.

The Voice, it’s a challenge for sure. The same way it was a challenge for me, before The Voice, to figure out who I am and what I want my art to reflect. It’s also a place where you cannot have control over everything. Sometimes, you do not choose the song you’ll sing, and you have to learn to adapt quickly and give a performance that has your identity written all over it. I feel like I wouldn’t have enjoyed a project like The Voice as much as I do now if I hadn’t been absolutely ready for it.

Which step of The Voice would you say was the most difficult so far? The Blind Auditions or the Battles?

I would say The Blinds. Because the weeks prior to the auditions were incredibly stressful. The rehearsals for the Battles were also uncomfortable at first but the more you rehearse, the more at ease you feel. These sessions were a changing point. I just needed to get the hang of it, and to keep a positive mindset. Then everything started to feel easier and that left room for me to really enjoy the process. The weeks leading to the Live Shows feel different for me. I now have some time to really think about ideas, work on the song in the way I want. The fact that it is live is not really an added pressure because, even during the other steps of the program, you only get one chance. They won’t re-do a take just because you messed up a note [laughs].

In the end, it all comes back to the song you’re going to bring, how you will bring it and about being comfortable with it. The whole team is very attentive to how we feel, which is really nice. And when things get stressful, I remind myself of why I did the auditions in the first place. I try to put things into perspective. Of course, it’s TV and a lot of people watch it, but it’s also a place where we let the music talk, and we talk through it as well.

I’m honestly just really happy with the performance I gave during the Battles. I haven’t even seen the footage yet so, in a way, I will be discovering it at the same time as everyone.

I’m really excited to see it !

Me too!! [laughs] I’m very excited for everyone to see it.

What do you hope the audience, and the LGBTQIA+ community in particular, will remember from your performance?

I think it’s a part of why I got so emotional after doing the Battles. It’s because I felt so happy to be able to be there, and to be fully myself. It’s difficult to be out there, on TV, but at the same time, there is such comfort in knowing that I am being completely sincere with myself, that I don’t have to hide anything or keep a low profile. It was a very intense happiness that I felt.

Even though my main inspiration to make music is my passion for it, it fulfills me even more that others can feel touched or even inspired by this. That they know that it is totally okay to just be yourself. And that the moment you feel comfortable and can show it, is not scary. The path towards it is often scary. I hope to show that things are evolving and that the more you stay true to yourself, the better it gets.

As Jasper progresses through The Voice, his journey becomes a testament to the power of authenticity in music and personal growth. If you want to know more about this young artist, and his music, you can read all about it on KET Magazine. Continue following along, as Jasper reaches the live performances.