How much do you want to sing?

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson

I have been cruising YouTube recently, watching many so-called coaches try to sell their packages on a course of ‘How To Sing’.

Some of them are funny, and some are just so basic, I feel like their material could be taught in one hour. There is so much more to singing than singing. First of all, the whole business side of Show Business has changed so much, over time. You have to be willing to have the patience of a saint.

You can write your own songs, record them, and put videos up on YouTube. Then what? Wait, and wait, even if you get 40,000 views, there are no rules; there a minute chance that anything will come of it.  The only talent I discovered on YouTube who is making any waves, and they are in the beginning stages, is Sheléa Frazer. She put out a Whitney Houston tribute video that went viral.

She sang about 6 bars Love Fell On Me at the end of the film ‘Jumping The Broom’ and in the credits more of the song was played. She caught the attention of the big guys, Quincy Jones, Brian McKnight, and more. She sang at the White House for a Burt Bacharach/Hal David  tribute. Her version of ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’ is one of… no… the best I have ever heard.

Ok, So, what if that doesn’t happen for you? What if you are a good singer, maybe a great singer, but how do you get heard?  The first thing you need to do is have a support system, and time. You need time, because not everyone is so lucky as to have a video that goes viral.

I would sell something, or borrow a chunk of money, and pay a producer in Los Angeles to find me a few great song, and record a 5-song EP download.  Five songs, that’s all. Put them on iTtunes and CD Baby, and then wait. And if nothing happens, save or borrow or sell something else and do it again.  If you spend money on an album with 13 songs, you have invested too much money, and the chances to do another album become slimmer.

You can get into a band, get out there and work , get stage experience, and work with real musicians. That will be a huge help, going forward.

Back to your online coach.  If you can, find a coach to help you with the interpretation and phrasing of a song. If you listen to Sheléa sing ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart‘, it makes you cry, it makes you wistful, and you go on a short journey outside your body.

I have a student from Paris, France, whose voice is strong and fills the house. She is doing well working with two bands in town. This singer should be in the Los Angeles scene and should be, like Sheléa, making some noise in the business.

It is something you can’t easily identify. It is a sound, a tone, and an emotion that a truly great singer brings to the table. We don’t have a lot of those singers out there. Oh, we have many rich, famous, good singers. But only a handful of great singers. The days of Ann Wilson of ‘Heart’ are largely behind us.  We have Beyoncé, who has a good range, good songs, but her voice? It doesn’t cut through me like Ann Wilson‘s.

Jennifer Hudson is one, When she sings, she means it. This girl has ‘IT’  She has been through a lot and uses it in her singing. I really get it when I hear Jennifer sing, Marine Goujon, my student, has a similar tone and sound that is rich and heavy, and fills you up with joy.

In closing, it isn’t just how you breathe, and how you long you hold a note. It is the connection, the feeling you give people when you sing. That is something you just have. Listen to the great singers. Really listen, watch them, watch Jennifer Hudson on YouTube singing Roberta Flack’s ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’. I dare you to not feel anything!

Thanks for your time, good luck on your journey!

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

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