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Canberra-born artist Kirrah Amosa has had a big few months.
In March, we wrote about how the singer-songwriter was going from strength to strength, with starring roles in The Bodyguard musical and headlining the official Canberra Day 2019 concert.
However, before that article was even written, Kirrah had secretly auditioned for the 2019 season of The Voice. She didn’t know it then, but her year was about to take an unforeseen turn.
When her unsuccessful audition was aired, Kirrah appeared to be uncompromising when it came to judges’ feedback and abruptly left the stage.
As Jacqui Douglas wrote for us in an opinion piece last month, this wasn’t the whole story. But that didn’t stop Kirrah from experiencing a crash course in reality TV clap back.
We caught up with Kirrah to discuss cyberbullying, her newest single and what the rest of 2019 holds for her.
Your new song, Nothing on Me, is full of passion and fire. What inspired you to write it?
Nothing On Me was inspired by my recent appearance on this year’s season of The Voice.
After several personal invitations to “audition” for the show, the producers convinced me to compete this season, cradling me with comments like “you have everything we want”, and “there’s no way you couldn’t turn a chair”.
So it was quite a surprise when I performed my Blind Audition song (hand-picked by the producers)…and no coach turned around.
Although quite blinded-sided by this, I remained positive, had a good conversation with the coaches and said my goodbyes to them and the show.
Six months later, my audition is aired on national TV and, to my surprise, once again, my whole segment was edited to portray me as arrogant, furious for not turning any chairs and ungrateful for the coaches criticism.
Then came the wave of media articles, including from The Daily Mail UK and Australia, News.com.au and WHO Magazine, hailing my audition as “the most awkward Voice audition yet”, with headlines saying “Contestant storms off stage after no chair turns”, “Voice contestant rejects advice from judges”, and “Voice Australia contestant serves up bad attitude to coaches”.
This resulted in a tsunami of trolling and cyberbullying through private messages and hateful comments across all of my social media platforms, commenting on my “terrible” performance and “horrific attitude”, and then deeper, criticising my appearance, my upbringing and family.
That’s when I realised – even if you try to do the right thing and stay positive, there are people out there that will put their job, reputation or opinion above your well-being to create a good story.
I’ve witnessed firsthand the lengths some humans will go to try and squash other humans into the ground over something they think they saw (the magic of TV editing!).
That’s where Nothing On Me came from – rising above the hate and dirt thrown in my face by strangers that know nothing about me, and pushing into the love and support around me, that ultimately saved me from sinking into this traumatic event.
This song is my thank you to my loved ones, and many wonderful strangers, that went out of their way to send their love and congratulations on standing tall through such a wild experience.
What do you feel you learned from your experience?
I have learned many things through this experience. I have learned that it’s okay to depend on other people for support.
I now have an even stronger belief in my abilities and purpose as a performer (haters are my motivators, and my supporters are my reward). I have become more resilient to injustice and false accusations that can ruin my image.
And I’ve found incredible peace in myself knowing that, even through public criticism, nationally televised humiliation, and unnecessary, destructive commentary on my talent and appearance, I can still smile, knowing that “the sun is still going to come up tomorrow”.
What advice would you give to people wanting to audition for a reality TV show in the future?
Honestly, if I could go back and do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing that I did or said. But that’s probably why I didn’t get far.
To make it far in reality TV, you have to be a good puppet – you’re told how to dress, act and speak, and if you deviate from that, don’t expect a long journey.
It was an incredibly eye-opening experience and I don’t regret a thing.
I have no bad blood with the coaches or The Voice, I know they were just doing their job.
[To others] I’d advise staying open-minded, being able to go with the flow and have a network of support ready to stand by you until the end, which I should remind you, isn’t when the show stops, it’s when you stop.
These kinds of opportunities shouldn’t define your career, that is always your choice and responsibility…how exciting!
What’s does the rest of 2019 hold for you?
I have devoted all of my time this year to writing new songs, filming new content and working with my dancers and team to put together several live shows that will blow your mind!
I am off to the USA this month to train hard, work with industry professionals and soak up their guidance, collaborate with other creative minds, and start swimming right out of my comfort zone.
I have a few exciting performances on the horizon, including alongside Kate Ceberano at the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s annual fundraising ball ‘Brainstorm for a Cure’, and Australia’s newest music festival, Sweet Dreams.
My experience on The Voice has become one of many reasons I won’t stop creating and sharing my gifts – I am so blessed, and I believe that it’s my duty to share what I have and what I’ve been through, to hopefully inspire and lift others through their own experiences.
You can download Nothing on Me for free via Kirrah’s website.