On the July 2 Grand Final of The Voice Australia, former Queensland backup musician Judah Kelly took home the season 6 title on behalf of Team Delta Goodrem. Kelly, 20, took time out of a whirlwind 24 hours to speak with WHO about his coach and what's next.
Q: Delta has always encouraged you to believe in yourself. When did her lessons start to sink in?
A: It was kind of always there that it was sinking in but I think it just took time to sink in deeply. I was still having my doubts only a few weeks ago of if I could do this or not and it was only once I made the Top 4 that I thought, 'You know, I might actually have a good crack at this.'
Q: Did you have any sense that momentum was building amongst fans for you?
A: Yeah, but that's the thing, there is no real way of gauging it. The only way I could gauge how people were feeling was by how songs were charting and I'm just really lucky that people were being supportive in going out there and streaming and buying and doing all that kind of stuff, which really helped with the confidence.
Q: Delta made a comment during rehearsals about how you were always reluctant to hug her but now you seemed more comfortable with that. What was that a reflection of?
A: She broke me down, that's what she did! [Laughs] No, she's just so loving — that's really all it is. I got quite comfortable with her and she was really cool and then we created quite a really great friendship.
Q: What have you learnt about Delta that surprised you?
A: You know, she gets a pretty bad rap sometimes from people and I actually just can't believe it. She does so much extra work outside of show hours that she didn't have to do, and she doesn't have to do, but she does because she really does care and that's the best thing about her. You can't get much better than that, can you?
Q: Do you recall a way in which she did something for you that seemed above and beyond?
A: Yeah, well, in the last couple weeks of the show, I actually got laryngitis, so that did not help whatsoever in a vocal competition, and she actually set up an appointment with her own personal doctor to get me looked at by someone who really knows what they're doing. She didn't have to do that but she just wanted to and she gave me a steamer and vocal teas and lozenges and kind of just everything she could do to help because it just added a lot of extra stress that wasn't needed. Vocally, I wasn't doing the best, but somehow we managed to drag ourselves over the finish line.
Q: Your winner's song, "Count On Me," seems very apt.
A: That was actually quite amazing. When they presented it to me, I just fell in love with it straightaway because I could tell they put time and effort into finding something that was relatable to me and that's the thing. I don't want to create noise. I want to create music that has some sort of meaning and makes people feel something and I could tell there was a lot of effort put into it and I really love it.
Q: What are your next steps?
A: We've got meetings with Universal Music tomorrow and then we start recording, doing a music video for the now number-one single on iTunes and then we start recording the album in the next couple of weeks.
Q: What do you want your album to be like and will it include your original songs?
A: That's what all the meetings are about and we will brainstorm anything and everything.
Q: Do you go home to Queensland? Will you relocate to Sydney or Melbourne?
A: I'm not really sure what's going to happen over the next couple of months. I know at least for the next couple of weeks I'll be staying in Sydney, just doing the album and promoting and all kinds of stuff. I'm really looking forward to that.
Q: Do you have certain idols now that you look up to career-wise?
A: There's a guy from America called Vince Gill and he's a standout for me for someone you can't really box into a genre, but he creates music that makes you feel something and that's all I really want to do.
Q: Could you have predicted this win when you started on the show?
A: It's quite a crazy transformation just to know where I was at when the auditions were done and to know where I'm at now, it's quite crazy to think, and to be totally honest, no, at the time of auditions, I really didn't believe I could win. And look where we are now!