Hey hey, everybody!
I know it’s been a good 2 weeks since I last posted something, but so much has happened since then! I’ve gotten a few gig offers not only for singing but for playing percussion as well. I’ve gotten 3 new piano and drum students, and I’ve met with some great musicians to collaborate with! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks 🙂
I teach 2 live voice classes online on Thursdays via TakeLessons: Hit the High Notes Like A Pro and Tips & Tricks to Sing Better Instantly. While teaching one of these classes. I received a question from a student. They asked what they could do to sound more like Justin Beiber and Austin Mahone. I had to stop them there. Besides my personal opinion on the singers, I do not encourage any student of mine to sound like another singer. I get this question all too often from voice students young and old. “I want to sound like *insert famous singer name here*” I always say that unless you’re going up for a Vegas impersonator gig, I can’t do that, and neither should you. What I pride myself in doing is finding each individual student’s voice. Their own, beautiful, and unique voice.
It is one thing to be influenced my another artist, but it is quite another to completely emulate them. For example, The Weeknd, his voice and sound are heavily influenced by Michael Jackson. However, when you hear his songs or hear him singing, you know it’s The Weeknd. It’s still unique enough to be his own sound. Every artist is influenced by somebody else, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, all of those artists have their own sound and own voice. If anything, try to take/practice the techniques these amazing artists use (vocal runs, breathing techniques, belting, falsetto, all that good stuff). Some of my favorite female vocalists that influence me are Aretha Franklin, Gladis Knight, and Whitney Houston….and Adele 🙂 I love their voices, and their style, and they are all very different singers. I don’t try to sound exactly like them when I cover one of their songs, though. I practice some of the technique they use, study their stage presence and performance, etc. But I do it to improve my own voice and performance, not to sound more like them.
When I’m looking to cover a song, I take in the lyrics, melody, harmonies, just everything. From that, and this what I tell my students to do every time, I take how it makes me feel, and convey that when I sing and play the song. When you perform, you’re telling a story. You want the audience, no matter if it’s an open mic, a youtube video…you want the audience to see and hear how you’re feeling. You want them to understand your story and your voice. If you’re covering a song, especially a well-known song, you’ll really want to make the song your own. If the audience has heard the song tons of time, they can tune you out if it sounds just like every other person who’s sung it. You gotta make it your own! Sing your song! But sing it your way.
Do you, basically. If you’re not being your own unique self when you sing or perform, you’re doing yourself and your audience a disservice.
I did a quick cover of Mother Aretha’s (Aretha Franklin) “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” the other night. I posted in on favebook first, and just recently put it up on YouTube. Check it out!
P.S. To sign up for those voice classes and other music classes/lessons I teach, click the links above 🙂