On NBC’s The Voice, Sublime’s “Santeria” was performed to a panel of Coaches (judges) that includes Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani (of No Doubt). After the song was performed, Gwen had her thoughts to share on the Sublime cover, given her collaborative history with the band & the late Brad Nowell.
For those who aren’t familiar, The Voice is a “reality” TV show that is more or less a singing competition. Contestants come out to a panel of Four Judges who are in chairs that have their back to the vocalist, making this a blind audition to the judges. If the judges enjoy “The Voice” they hear, they’ll hit a button to have their seat turned around to view “The Voice”. By doing this, the judges are indicating their support and willingness to work with the vocalist moving forward as their coach. Winners receive $100,000 and a “record deal” with Universal Music Group.
Menlik Zergabachew, a 19-year old from Maryland, brought smiles to the judges’ faces when he chose Sublime’s “Santeria” to sing. To his credit, Menlik had great timing when performing the song & has an incredible voice! But in my own personal opinion, he doesn’t have the soulful glow that naturally permeated from the late great, Brad Nowell.
Blake Shelton, turned his seat around first, showing support for the vocalist and seconds before the song’s end, Gwen Stefani followed suit, joining the rest of the coaches who enjoyed the live rendering.
Because all of the coaches turned their seat around in support, Menlik then had the choice to choose who he’d like his coach to be. His only question before choosing a coach, was if they would allow him to play Reggae – A question Gwen had no problem answering when she said “Of course! I love Reggae!”. In a smart move, Menlik chose Gwen as his coach moving forward on the show – Good choice Menlik!
Here’s what Gwen had to say to Menlik about the Sublime cover, following his performance: “It’s hard for me because I love Sublime. I love that song. No Doubt use to tour with those guys… Bradley’s voice, for me, is like the best ever! So you’re competing against that. But at the end of the day, I like this guy, I like his style…”
Menlik is no stranger to reggae music as he has his own band called The Relics based out of Washington D.C. I included a link to their soundcloud & Facebook page below.
Kudos Menlik for standing up for Reggae music & choosing a ballsy song to cover on national television! You opened yourself up to a ton of criticism as Sublime fans are the most critical because, as Gwen said, Bradley Nowell really does have the best voice…ever!
View the video below & let us know your thoughts on Menlik’s cover of “Santeria”.