Winner of The Voice UK: Music has helped process work in the NHS during the pandemic

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Voice UK champion Anthonia Edwards has said she has written songs inspired by her emotions as a trainee nurse during ‘difficult times of Covid’.

The singer-songwriter, 25, was coached by Sir Tom Jones to win the coveted title on Saturday’s episode of the ITV Talent Show, winning a record deal.

Edwards told the PA news agency that she applied for the ITV singing competition as a nursing student and “didn’t expect to win”.

She said: ‘I was a student nurse when I applied and obviously we had just come out of the back of Covid and how tense it was and I knew I was about to graduate , so I wanted to do something different right before I left for my nursing career.

“I didn’t expect to win, I just wanted to have fun and explore my artistry, the whole process was amazing. Every step that progressed shocked me.

“I’m someone who likes not to do things by halves and now that I won I want to give my music time to be what it is, but nursing remains one of my great passions .

“I love health care, I love caring for people and helping them through whatever is going on holistically. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I think I will be involved in the health field in one way or another, but for now, it’s music, music and music.

Having experienced the healthcare system under extreme pressure during the pandemic, Edwards said she wrote songs from “emotions drawn from being in that time.”

She told PA: “I think music is one of those big weights where you invoke metaphors to process what you’re going through.

“There’s nothing directly in there that says ‘Nothing is great’ but definitely how I felt during the tough times of Covid.”

She continued, “Music has always been one of the ways I process my emotions. Especially the last two years have been more about healthcare, music was just a great way to process what’s going on.

“I think my music is quite relatable, looking at the ups and downs sometimes the feelings of anxiety, the feelings of loss that one can feel.”

On The Voice UK final, Edwards beat Olly Murs contestant David Adeogun to mark manager Sir Tom Jones’ third win on the show.

She said: “I chose Sir Tom because he shot the first one and his comments were so lovely.

“There’s a sparkle in his eyes when he’s really into the music and I was just glad it moved him enough to say he heard something in my voice.

“It was a fight between him and Anne-Marie, but I think he did it the most for me.

“Working with him, he’s lovely.

“During the TV finale, I said he was the coolest guy, because he absolutely is.

“Each step he kept asking me if I was okay, he kept asking me if I felt the song was right for me. He was really awesome.

Sir Tom also shared advice for the future, including “Be yourself”, she said.

Edwards sang Billie Eilish’s When The Party’s Over followed by a duet with Sir Tom on James Brown’s It’s A Man’s Man’s World in the finale.

The singer, whose first winning single is a cover of Justin Bieber’s track Anywhere, said her next single is “more me”.

She added that she hopes to use her new platform to talk about “self-care.”

“As nurses, we see people at all stages of life, from all walks of life, and we really see what kinds of lifestyles lead to the worst kind of health,” she said.

“So I think from that point of view, there could be a bit of public health promotion on my part.

“I have a lot to think about, but I’d like to use my platform in this way and just talk about taking care of yourself, things you can do to take preventative action.”

She added that she was actively “avoiding” her phone after Saturday’s show because her social media had “exploded” and she wanted to enjoy some “peace” for the time being.

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