The life lesson Boy George taught region’s homegrown talent
The camera pans to a studio of empty seats and Siala Robson opens her eyes after hitting her last note.
COVID-19 has removed the live audiences from some of the most important performances of her life.
But it doesn't make a difference for the Cabarita teen.
As soon as she opens her mouth to perform the whole world melts away.
From performing to thousands or just for her family, Siala's music comes so much from her soul she isn't aware of anything else but pouring her heart into the words.
The homegrown Tweed talent has gained the admiration of the nation for her unique style, tones and never-die attitude.
Her mixture of hard-hitting rap and stunning runs has taken Siala on a journey almost a year long to land in The Voice finals this weekend.
After five rounds of competition on the television show, the 18-year-old will take the stage with three other artists to battle for $100,000 in prize money plus a recording contract with EMI Music Australia.
The winner will also get the opportunity to perform his or her original single to close out the show.
Slated for 7pm on Channel 9 this Sunday, the region will be glued to their screens to see Siala's final performance after an outpouring of support on social media this week.
Siala said while she would love to win but life lessons from her celebrity coach Boy George would be the ultimate takeaway.
"If I won it would open so many doors for me, but I love everyone in the top four and we have become mad close," she said.
"In this episode, you will see in my mentoring George really really opened my up to my true self and encouraged me to embrace where I have come from everywhere I go.
"It's more than a singing competition, I didn't give a crap about the competition to be honest, I'm here to heal myself and other people - wouldn't have mattered if I made the top four.
"I'm so glad I get to be on the show and be someone so different, I'm someone that's not perfect, someone that is human and shows they are human."
Siala said she had a problem accepting praise and learnt from George to 'be that b---'.
"Things like, if I walk into a room and everyone is poshy posh posh, I'm still me. He wants me to embrace myself. He's like 'Be that b---'. You are a rapper, this is where you have come from, don't be egotistical but take it with you everywhere you go," she said.
Siala's past is marred with hardship from violence, substance abuse and living rough, wearing her triumph of bringing herself out of the darkness on her sleeve and channeled into her music.
At her lowest point she found herself living in a woman's refuge in the Tweed.
"My lowest point … it was like really messed up. I've been through a lot really bad things … I was really bad point where I was stuck in a hectic place. I ran away from home because of what was happening to my mum and put myself in a worse position. A lot of bad, dangerous things happened to me and I was hurt by a lot of bad people," she said.
"But my past has inspired the art I make.
"If I had a message for others who are at the point where I was I would say 'look, I know it's a really dark time for you but there is always a little crack of light through all that darkness. Focus on that, if you focus on the darkness it swallows you up. There is such a big future for you but you might not be able to see it. I know I didn't. I was so blindfolded but I did get myself out of it and I am looking toward the future.
"I've been through hell and back and nothing can freak me out now, when I do things like go out on stage, it reminds me where the hell I've been and come through."
The public can vote for Siala at nine.com.au/thevoice, users get three votes to be allocated to one or more finalists.
Voting closes on Sunday night once all four artists have performed.
Siala's original single prepared in advance of the grand finale, Soul Predator, can be streamed and downloaded already.