When Radharani Martinez wrote in her Marist yearbook, “One day I’ll be on The Voice,” it was more than wishful thinking. Winner of the “Most Likely to Be Famous” superlative and having starred in numerous Marist performances, the Jersey City native had the chops to back up her claim. After graduating in 2016, her dream was soon realized this year, when she passed her audition for NBC’s singing competition, The Voice.
“Seeing myself on TV for the first time was crazy,” Radharani, known as RADHA, recalled. “I had so many people from around the world reaching out. People believe in me, and my voice, and think it can take me all the way.”
RADHA’s audition, now with over 5 million views on Youtube, thrust her into the spotlight. Her song choice, “Mama Knows Best” by Jessie J, takes a powerhouse vocalist and a lot of courage to perform. Thankfully, RADHA had a few years of practice, performing it as a student at Marist. The song allowed her to showcase her range and was an homage to her mom, who taught her how to sing.
The afternoon before her audition aired, she made it a point to stop by Marist High School.
“It felt right to come back to one of my biggest support systems. Marist pushed me to challenge myself and gave me confidence,” RADHA said of the school. Her performances at pep rallies were some of her first experiences with large audiences, and she used that time to experiment with her range. “I sang ‘And I’m Telling You’ by Jennifer Hudson at Marist, testing the waters, and everyone loved it. I needed that moment to sing as big as I do now.”
RADHA has since moved on through the show and into the highly competitive “live shows” airing November 12th. The competition has reinforced her mindsight of giving her best possible performance every time she’s on stage.
“The Voice has given me a glimpse of the real world of the music industry and the opportunity to learn.” RADHA explained. “With management, staging, consistency with practicing, interviews, working with different artists…it’s up to you to give it your all. Always perform like it’s your last time.”
To Marist students aspiring for a singing career, she hopes she can be a role model. She says if this is the life you want, you have to consistently practice, and you must make sacrifices. Before her time on The Voice, she was a full-time college student juggling two jobs and managing her online presence.
“Be true to yourself and market that. People will be attracted to what you have to offer,” RADHA said.
In this age of technology and social media, promoting yourself is key. She says to start practicing promoting as soon as you can and keep your supporters close. The support of her former classmates and from current students pushes her forward. While the journey has been a whirlwind, she leans on these supporters to keep her grounded.
“I think about going on retreats at Marist, sitting by the campfire, talking about my big dreams. It’s a humbling moment for me,” she remembered. “Marist cares about more than education, it focuses on personal growth. Family defines Marist and I grew up there. Marist’s values have held me down.”
RADHA hopes the audience recognizes the hard work she’s put into her current success. She promises to continue putting her all into the completion and her career.
“Keep an eye out for me—I’m going to deliver amazing performances,” RADHA said. “It’s not easy stepping into the spotlight, sometimes people need to see a local from Jersey City, from Marist, to find their own confidence. I want to make you all proud!”
How to Vote
Voting begins 11/12/18. Let's all support RADHA!
Be sure to register your accounts for the Live Playoff Rounds on:
1. The Voice Official App: Votes through The Voice App can be submitted up to 10 times!
2. NBC.com: The Voice official website is a voting slot! You can vote until 7:00 am.