The Voice 20 Blind Audition: Former American Idol Singer Pia Renee, Cool, Calm, Collected, Brings Island Vibes
Pia Renee, 37, from Villa Park, Illinois described how she jumped from job to job in her The Voice Blind Audition on Monday’s (March 7) episode. Some gigs included short lived stints as a flight attendant and a truck driver. She also has done some voice over work.
Pia, also known as Pia Renee Easley (or Pia “Zpia” Easley during her time on American Idol) revealed the huge sacrifices she made in order to get where she is now. She always knew she wanted to do music. But as a single mother, she knew she had to put her dreams on hold. Pia became a mother at 15; yet she still went to college to study music at Harold Washington College. Through it all, she managed to still be there for her children. It’s obvious that her kids are proud of her.
This is not Pia’s first stint on TV music competitions. She auditioned for American Idol Season 7 back in 2007 at the age of 24. A standout at auditions, she received good reviews from all the judges. Even harsh Simon Cowell called her interesting and stylish and noted that she didn’t have the demeanor of a backup singer. She had little screen time in Hollywood, where the judges eliminated her. Watch Pia’s Idol audition below.
Pia Renee still has that style down. Although her audition song choice was a bit too loungey for my taste, she has a very refreshing sound and has refined her vocal control since her stint on Idol. The part that caught my attention was her fast talk-singing; Pia has serious flow and looking at her background, she has experience rapping, and also dabbles in a little bit of Hip Hop. Even though the arrangement of Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster” didn’t allow her to go a lot of places, she made it work like a true pro and didn’t miss a note.
Funny enough, coach Blake Shelton thought he had Pia until the obvious choice John Legend turned around at the last second. Blake’s pitch was lost from the start–from an inablity to pronounce “rhythmically” to insisting he had similar style to her. When John asked about Pia’s influences , she stated that she has done R & B and soul but “reggae has my heart.” John name drops Rahsaan Patterson who of course Blake has never heard of. Blake eventually tries to get her on board with the mention of his fiancé and ska queen, Gwen Stefani. And then a laughable moment happens where Blake thinks that Buju means bread when asked by John and Kelly Clarkson. It was pretty easy to guess that Pia would choose John, which she did.
Pia is a star in and the voice of the latest United Way campaign HERE. And she also voices the latest Walmart campaign HERE. She also appeared in Season 5 of Fox’s musical drama Empire as a bass player for Jamal Lyon.
The Voice 20 Blind Audition: Pia Renee sings “Master Blaster” by Stevie Wonder