Alisan Porter and Christina Aquilera’s time as a team on The Voice may be long over, but life keeps finding a way to bring them back together.
When the “Genie In a Bottle” singer kicks off her new Las Vegas residency, The Xperience, this weekend, Porter says her boyfriend, Justin de Vera, will be a part of the lineup of dancers in her former coach’s show.
“We’re keeping it all in the family and staying close to Christina,” Porter, 37, tells PEOPLE. “She’s amazing, and he has been dancing professionally for years and now his next gig just happens to be with coach, so that’s cool.”
As the former Curly Sue actress gears up to release her new album, Pink Cloud, she says she keeps Aguilera’s advice in the back of her mind.
“She was always very much like, ‘You know what you’re doing, just go do it,’” she says. “I mean, she’s just always been super supportive of me doing what I wanted to do and what felt the most comfortable to me and the best to me.”
At midnight on Thursday, Porter released her latest single “What If I Wake Up” — which she says is her “favorite ballad” on the record.
“It’s just like a heartfelt love song,” she says. “It’s kind of just about fearing that what you have isn’t going to last and [about] holding on to that feeling of happiness and contentment.”
For Porter, life after The Voice — which she won season 10 of with Aguilera in 2010 — has been a “journey.”
“I went on a journey to sort of redefine who I was as an artist,” she explains. “For me, the independent road was just the one I felt was the most tailor-made for what I needed in my life.”
She adds: “I think the hardest part was transitioning from being so supported by the show to not really that supported by the label.”
Porter says that for a while at the label, there was a question of whether she could balance her life as an artist and being a mother to her two kids, Mason, 6, and Aria, 5.
“For me, there’s no other option,” she says. “Women are the best multi-taskers — mothers, in particular. It seems like they didn’t really understand that I didn’t come to The Voice just to be on The Voice. I came to The Voice to continue being an artist and a singer and a songwriter. I had to take that in my own hands and do with it what I knew that I could.”
“This record is really symbolic of that,” she continues. “That’s kind of why I named the record that, because it was just one of those moments where I was like, ‘Oh my gosh I am so happy that I get to do this my way.’”
At this stage in her life, Porter says she has never felt more “grounded.”
“I’m just very much committed to my children and my life and then also my music and my career,” she says. “Balancing it has become more of like a fun experience than stressful.”
Porter’s single “What If I Wake Up” is available now, and she will next perform a show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on June 1.
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