Sunday, July 28
Diana Rouvas is under no illusions that fame and fortune are easy to achieve.
Although she has been singing and performing since she was four, and sung her way into the top-eight in the first season of The Voice, she still doesn't believe she's "made it".
"Being on TV for five minutes, if nothing happens after that, then that's all I did," she says.
"Nobody can come off it [The Voice] going 'I'm done', because that's when you fail."
More people come to her shows now, but Rouvas says she still has a long way to go and still faces the same challenges in perfecting her writing and vocals.
"[I'm] certainly nowhere near making it or buying anything extravagant, but being able to pay the rent is a nice feeling without sweating about whether you'll eat after you pay it."
A big believer in timing, Rouvas experienced many setbacks in the years she spent building a career as a singer and songwriter, including having a record deal fall through when she was 17. More than 10 years of persevering with the music industry later, both in Australia and in the United States, she has signed with Universal Music and is in the final stages of putting together her first EP.
"My parents were in the industry, so I grew up being taught that there is always someone better than you, so you have to be on top of your craft and I watched my parents have good success and struggle," she says.
"I was aware from a young age what it meant to go after this and I was never unrealistic."
While her time on The Voice gave her the advantage of exposure when trying to get noticed by record labels, she says it didn't teach her anything about her singing style or ability that she didn't already know.
"For us [the competitors], we walk out there and do what we've always done. You work your whole life for these things," she says.
"We get more comfortable with having cameras in our face, but as for learning about anything you do, for me I feel like I've been practising my whole life for things like that."
Her upcoming EP features music influenced by the time period between the '40s and '70s, the sounds that have inspired Rouvas since she began vocal training as a child.
She acknowledges it doesn't really fit with any current trends in the music industry and probably won't bring her overnight fame, but it is important to her to stick with what she loves.
"I want great success, but fame and money are different to great success.
"I want to keep my integrity and have good people in my life and do good music and be recognised, and if I get money for that, then yay, but if I don't, that's fine."