EXCLUSIVE: Aquile’s First Interview Since Leaving ‘The Voice’ [AUDIO]
Last night, on the second night of "knockouts" on NBC's The Voice, Casper's Aquile lost a close decision against fellow Team Christina member Sylvia Yacoub, and will not be continuing to the live shows this season. We grabbed him immediately after to get his take on the events of last night - and get the scoop on what's next for Wyoming's favorite singer (including a near-future visit to Casper!)
Donovan Short: It's our own Aquile, who if I may say so, got ROBBED last night on "The Voice" - what the hell? I got you on the phone finally here, and Happy Halloween, by the way - you got anything special going on tonight?
Aquile: Thanks! Happy Halloween to you - I'm performing tonight, playing a gig in La Jolla here in San Diego, and then I'm going out after that - couple little costume places...
Donovan: You got a costume planned out? What are you gonna do?
Aquile: I'm gonna be a 'Phantom Of The Opera" tonight, I think.
Donovan: Nice! I tell ya, back here at home, it is mid-60's on Halloween in Wyoming - can't remember too many times you see that go on.
Aquile: Oh, that's awesome!
Donovan: The Voice - last night, we're all sitting around rooting for you, it finally comes to your knockout round, I know the nerves had to be getting to you - because you were the very last to go in Team Christina - they put you up against Sylvia Yacoub - who chooses "Fighter" from Christina Aguilera, you did "Grenade" from Bruno Mars - we were all sitting there watching the performance, and it was just flawless from you. Then, that tough decision comes down - and it doesn't go your way. How was that?
Aquile: Yeah, well - I was definitely nervous like you said, we were the last to be picked - so by that time, I was getting more and more nervous every time. I'm the kind of guy who just likes to get it done and over with, so my nerves were definitely playing a factor there. Plus, Sylvia is one of the strongest singers on Team Christina - so as soon as she paired me up with her, I was like "oh, crap". I had a feeling it wasn't going to go in my favor when I found that pairing out. It was still fun - everytime I sing on that stage, it's always fun - it's what I live for, it's what I love doing. TV show or no TV show, I had a great experience - it was a fun performance for me, and I was definitely sad to go, but it's brought me so much opportunity - I've got a lot of big things coming from it, so...
Donovan: We actually talked about this last time you were in town - this stuff has been pre-recorded and kind of pre-determined, so you've been sitting on this for quite some time. Do you feel all liberated now, since you're out in the open and not having to keep any more secrets?
Aquile: (laughs) Yeah, that feels good. It's a weight off my shoulders, for sure. I can kinda relax now. I was pretty nervous last night for the reaction of people, 'cause I now have thousands of fans and I don't even know them, they were all pretty disappointed - I got an ear full of it on Twitter last night.
Donovan: I bet - we were part of it! What have the last 24 hours been like - has that just been crazy, the outreach you've been getting from people?
Aquile: Yeah, it has - it really has - it's been hard to focus on anything but just trying to reply to people, call people back, friends and stuff that were all calling me crying and all that stuff. I'm trying to comfort everybody but at the same time, all the texts and the Tweets, Facebook posts have been very uplifting and very encouraging - so I gotta thank you all for that, for all the support. It was very touching to read some of the stuff that people have been saying.
Donovan: Well you know, there have been surprises and twists and turns and new things on this show this year - sure there's not going to be some wild card mud wrestling episode or something where you come back, right - this is it, you're done with "The Voice"?
Aquile: (laughs) Who knows, man - they can do anything at the 'producer's sole discretion', so we'll see - maybe they'll bring me back, that'd be cool.
Donovan: So, who are you rooting for, now that you're kind of a spectator on the show - you got somebody that you're kind of handicapping to go all the way?
Aquile: Aw, man. It's hard to say - I have so many friends on the show, I couldn't necessarily say one person. A couple of standout artists to me, one of my best friends on the show is Bryan Keith, he's on Adam's team - I think he's really going to go far. On Cee-lo's team, Trevon (Hunt) is a beast - he's an amazing singer, I think he's really going to go far, and Melanie Martinez is one of my favorite artists on the show as well, I know she'll go far. Blake's team - Liz Davis, she's a really great performer and a good friend of mine. I got a lot of favorites I'm going to be watching for.
Donovan: So, think about you and what's next big picture - surely this whole thing, as you mentioned, you have a lot more people that know who you are these days, it's kinda raised your profile quite a bit. Are your crowds getting bigger on your shows in California, are you starting to get interest from the label community and people like that?
Aquile: Yeah, definitely. I've actually been swamped with shows, if I'm not doing shows, I'm up in L.A. meeting with record label execs and producers - I've got some projects, can't tell you too much about it just yet, but got some pretty big projects I'm working on right now, some new music and videos that'll be coming out here in the very near future...
Donovan: (laughs) You always got the secrets, man! Your life is just full of secrets, all the time!
Aquile: I know! I gotta hold back something - you know what I'm saying - I can't lay it all out there.
Donovan: Absolutely! So, you look back at the time on "The Voice" - you got any regrets? Anything you would have done differently along the way, or are you pretty happy with how it turned out?
Aquile: Nah, I don't have one regret. I had an amazing experience. The best part was the relationships I built with not only these people that work for NBC, but the contestants - I have nothing to say but good things about the whole experience, I wouldn't change a thing. Everything happens for a reason, it is what it is, and I'm just going to keep using it as motivation and fuel to move on, keep on rising up.
Donovan: I gotta tell you, man - we're all proud of you back home, and speaking of home - we got word from your boy Ed not long ago that you're coming back to see us pretty soon here in November, right?
Aquile: Yes sir, I'll be there in a matter of days for the city-wide dance you got going on.
Donovan: Yeah! City-Wide Ball November 10th!
Aquile: Yes sir - I'm really excited, very excited to get the phone call and be invited to come out again, so I will be there - and I'll be putting on a little show for you guys.
Donovan: And this is kinda cool, because last time you got a chance to make it by your alma mater Kelly Walsh, but you weren't able to connect with some of the folks over at N.C., so this time all the high schools will get a chance to see the full-boat Aquile show.
Aquile: Exactly - I can't wait, it's going to be a fun time.
Donovan: Good deal, you've got new music in the works, you're telling me - you have a lot of stuff you're working on in the studio, too?
Aquile: Yes I do, really excited about this project I'm working on - working with some producers that are up & coming in the industry - the sound I'm working on is a sound that nobody's really ever heard yet, so I can't wait for it to be out.
Donovan: We're looking forward to you sharing that with us when it comes out - you're going to stop by and see us when you're in town, right?
Aquile: Of course, of course! I'll be there and let you know when I get in.
Donovan: Good deal - folks always give you a lot of support back here at home, and we're proud of what you've done. Sorry it didn't work out on "The Voice" but I've got a feeling this is the first of good, good things.
Aquile: I really appreciate it. Thanks for everything, and thank you Casper, Wyoming, Douglas, all you guys - I love you all, and I will see you soon!
Donovan: It's Halloween - want to give any Halloween shout-outs before you go to folks back home?
Aquile: Be safe out there, have fun trick-or-treating, and don't drink and drive!
Listen to the interview: