By Scott Banks
A Gillingham student appeared on ITV’s The Voice last night (January 3).
In the first episode of the show’s fifth season, James Okulaja, 17, performed a rendition of Billie Eilish’s ‘Everything I Wanted’.
And it’s safe to say the judges were impressed.
Right at the end of his performance, Will.i.am turned around to see James standing with his fist in the air and made him the first addition to his team.
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James later tweeted the image with the caption “I have a dream”.
Before his performance, James spoke on the show about his nerves in the lead up to his audition.
He said: “I’m nervous about today’s Blind Audition because I’m performing a song that everyone knows about but I’m putting my own twist on it and I’ve taken inspiration from Martin Luther King’s speech.
“It’s his most famous speech, I Have A Dream.”
His little brother, Andre, who joined James with his mum and sister, said: “When my brother’s up there performing, I really hope he gets four turns.”https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/embed/thingstodo?webreachnews
The singer said he wrote his own rap for the song using the hook from Eilish’s song ‘Everything I Wanted’.
“Yeah so obviously it’s a Billie Eilish hook. I got some of the words from Martin Luther King’s famous speech and I incorporated it in the rap.
“I just want the world to judge my character and not my colour,” James said to the judges after being asked about the song.
Will.i.am said the rap was the entire reason he turned around.
“You know music is expression, music is escape, and I felt that, and for me not to turn for that would be a crime. We could use some waking up, in a very gentle, urgent way, so you’re on team Will,” The Voice UK judge said.