In student affairs, we come across students that have many talents and goals. Our job is to help mentor and assist these students with numerous on-campus and outside resources. Recently on the NBC show The Voice Season 12 our Trill team ran across a great talent name Felicia Temple. By day she is a preoperative nurse and by night an accomplished singer. Recently the world learned more about the voice behind this great talent. During our interview, we notice her singing voice not only impresses the likes of Alicia Keys but can provide a motivational voice to our students and even our SA Pros. We soon learn Miss Temple is a true testament of never losing sight of your real dreams no matter the obstacles. One of our Trill or Not Trill Scholars, Bailey Synclaire had the opportunity to sit down with Felicia and gain some great insight.
Who are your biggest influencers in the music industry?
My biggest influences in the music industry are Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and Barbra Streisand
Having grown up in a musical family, did music and singing come naturally to you?
Music and singing came naturally to me. My parents say I was humming before I could talk, and always on pitch. I grew up going to the studio with my dad, where I would do homework on the couch while he was recording. My grandmother was a cabaret singer, and my aunt and uncle were the first artists ever signed to Jive Records. I always knew that music was what I wanted to do.
By night, you’re a talented singer, but by day you’re a nurse, is it difficult balancing your job and passion?
Balancing in life, in general, is always a challenge, but it is only as difficult as you make it. I believe you will always make time for what you want to make time for. Most jobs are only 40 hours a week. There are 168 hours in a week total. There is no reason that in the remaining 128 I can’t find the time to do what I know I was meant to do: make music.
What inspired you to be a nurse?
I always loved helping people and talking to people. I was also very book smart in school and had a knack for science. The choice to become a nurse was not particularly inspired by one specific thing, but rather a conscious choice I made for a stable financial future. Even though I did not grow up always wanting to be a nurse, I have found it to be an extremely rewarding career, and I am super proud of what I do. The ability to care for people and change other people’s lives by technical skill or just caring words is something that I don’t take for granted.
In 2015, you were diagnosed with Carcinoid cancer, how did that affect your singing career and music?
When I found out I had cancer my entire life changed. I had to completely halt my music career. The only thing I could focus on at that point was getting better. Two weeks before I got diagnosed in June 2015, I had just started preparing to shoot a music video for a new single I was going to release. Thank goodness I was very into social media, so I was able to not only retain my following but gain new followers as well without releasing any new content.
Your latest EP (Bedroom Chronicles) which includes six incredible tracks, was written and produced by you, what pushed you to taken the reigns and a solo approach?
Bedroom Chronicles was released in June 2014, and I consider it my “grown up record.” I wanted to be unafraid and sexy, speaking about subjects that a lot of women artists don’t speak on, like being the “side chick.” I executive produced the entire project, as well as vocally produced and sequenced it. I also had complete control of the artistic direction of the photos and artwork for the project, which is super important to me. When you’re making music, you want to make sure when the total package comes together, all the pieces fit perfectly together with the way you visualize in your head.
Rumor has it that you’re currently working on an EP, what can your growing fan base expect?
My new EP is officially completed at this point, entitled “The Balancing Act.” This project is completely different from my last and in my opinion, shows so much growth. I didn’t use any digital production on this project at all, using complete live instrumentation in the same way bands used to do in earlier days. I also wrote and produced the entire project. Every single song started from my keyboard at home. The songs were all written during the time I was sick, so they all have sentimental value. I say it’s the shiny souvenir I walked away with after beating cancer. LOL
How has being on the TV series, “The Voice” influenced your music?
Being on “The Voice” hasn’t influenced my music at all. I am still making R&B/soul records all the time. If anything, its opened my eyes to the fact that I can change genres if I ever really wanted to. It allowed me to explore pop and Broadway. (I would love to do Broadway one day!)
At the age of 29 years old, you’ve surely made a mark for yourself in the music industry already, but where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I would like to be the CEO of my non-profit medical mission, which would have other musicians who work in medicine and surgery like me, who tour with me not only playing shows but helping provide surgeries to those who can’t afford it. I am fully aware that my mission here on earth is well beyond singing. The end goal is to utilize my talents to help change the world, one person at a time.
What did you learn about leadership through your Voice experience?
I learned during the process of The Voice to be true to myself. When you get on a major stage, there’s always pressure to change things about yourself to make you more “mainstream.” I learned that if I’m going to truly be successful by own standards, I have to be myself; even if that means failing or losing in the eyes of the world.
Bailey Synclaire is a vibrant college student studying journalism at the University of Missouri Columbia. Born and raised in St.Louis MO, she’s passionate about journalism, pop-culture, Instagram, family, and most importantly, the St.Louis Cardinals. With only one year of college under her belt she’s looking forward to the future.