The amount of material you have to learn must be a massive undertaking!? How do you go about this? When do you start?
Well, it starts with callback auditions where I meet about two hundred hopefuls. They’ve been chosen from tens of thousands. We chat to them, hear them sing and I make notes about their vocal range, musical influences, style etc.
After that, roughly 110 singers are chosen to perform for the coaches in the studio.
The music team collaborate with me and the artists to choose their audition songs.
I then cut them all down to ninety seconds so that it’s fair for everyone.
I’ve done so many of these now, I’m quite quick at recognising which parts of the song will show the singer off best.
I also sometimes record ideas about how we’re going to flip it.
Some songs we just transcribe and play exactly as the original. Others, we build from scratch to suit the singer.
Our brilliant arranger, Steve Parry, prepares charts for the band. Our genius producer Mads Hauge prepares any sounds that the band won’t actually play live. In the case of a big dance thing, that could be nearly all of it.
Then the band rehearse for seven days building and recording about sixteen arrangements a day.
Those recordings are sent to the singers so they can practise. Mads does quick mixes that still sound brilliant so the singers are usually happy by the time they come to rehearse with us.
We do another six days with them doing tweaks.
Next, we record any overdubs (backing vocals, strings, brass etc).
And then we’re in the studio doing the camera rehearsals.
The coaches join us and sit in the chairs and we record about seven weeks of TV in roughly four days.
That’s the blind auditions part and that all takes about a month around September time.
After that we meet again and repeat the process for the Battles, The Knockouts and that takes us up to the live shows and the final in March.