"Voice" winner Jermaine Paul to stay true to roots

Tue May 15, 2012 3:16pm EDT
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By Andrea Burzynski

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jermaine Paul, the newly crowned winner of popular TV singing competition "The Voice," said on Tuesday he wants to make music that ordinary Americans like himself and his family can relate to - with a few celebrity cameos, of course.

R&B singer Paul, a former backup for Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige, told reporters on a conference call that he has often struggled in his quest for artistic success, an experience he believes is especially common during the economic downturn.

"I just want to bring back good music, songs with a message, songs that speak to the heart of America," Paul told reporters. He said he wanted to reach "folks that are like me and my wife, just trying to make it through during tough times."

"We've been through so much just holding on to each other and holding on to our love. I want to do an album that speaks about that kind of love."

Winning "The Voice" earned Paul a recording contract with Universal Republic Records and $100,000 cash. He is the show's second winner, following last season's Javier Colon.

While Paul may not be crooning about bling or limousines on his upcoming album, he does hope to collaborate with big name stars - this time as a solo artist in his own right.

"We're looking to work with of course Alicia Keys," he revealed.

Paul also said he is looking forward to singing with his coach on "The Voice," country star Blake Shelton.   Continued...

Singer Jermaine Paul performs at the 42nd Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux July 17, 2008. REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud