That’s a pretty big compliment for Australia, that you chose us.
When people ask me, “What is Australia? Tell us?” I tell them it’s just a mixture of Europe and Armenia, all the good things mixed together. The architecture is sometimes similar to Europe, the mentality sometimes similar to America, just a mixture of all the cultures, so wonderful.
How old were you when you started singing?
I was four when I first went to the stage, in a junior music group. Ten years I continued to sing in that group, then after 10 years I moved to the capital. I went to the college and to the conservatorium, I completed a Bachelor and a Masters, I did everything that was possible. And while I was in the capital I went to lots of festivals and competitions, in German, in Cyprus, even Junior Eurovision and the normal Eurovision, even the New Wave in Riga, very famous competition.
What are your influences, the music that you love?
Basically everything, because I was listening to every kind of music, starting from my Armenian folk music, because this is my nature, this is what I am, and I love American music. My favourites are Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, that kind of music. I love jazz: I was singing two years in a jazz club with the best jazz musicians, famous around the world. I love soul: Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Ray Charles, that kind of music.
You won The Voice Armenia and now you’re on The Voice Australia: is there a big difference between the two shows?
I was too young when I went to The Voice in Armenia, I was seventeen. I could only think that I was worried to perform my song very good. I ignored every other emotion. Singing in a concert is something different: the audience is yours, they know you, they came especially for you. Standing on the stage on The Voice is different: you have to impress them because you are very new, especially in Australia. I was worried if I don’t look like they want me to, if my English is not good enough, I was worried about everything. But then I decided to just go to the stage and enjoy every moment, because this is the great show that I want to enjoy and remember all my life. In Armenia it was the first time we did The Voice, we were just starting to learn how to create good shows. But here it’s the ninth time and every person in the studio knows what they’re doing.
Do you still get nervous before singing?
A lot. The first time I was representing only me, no one knows who’s Masha. But now, Armenia knows who I am, and I need to represent myself and them, in a good way. It is much harder. And I’m all the time nervous.
Do you feel like you’re teaching Australians about Armenia?
I would like to, to tell something about my wonderful country. Because my country is one of the oldest ones, with thousands of years of history behind it. I would love to. But you know what is interesting: everyone knows at least one Armenian, Kim Kardashian. And now my job is easier, because people already know what is Armenia, it’s easier to tell them, to sing Armenian songs, to tell Armenian history. Because in our songs we are hiding all our story: sadness and tragedy and everything.
The Voice Australia (series return) is on Nine, Sunday, May 24, at 7pm.