Okay, the challenge is, do you think you have got what it takes to be the next unique “Singing” sensation? If the answer is “Yes”, please read on.
Here are some guidelines for talent / noticed in the music showbiz world.
What is A&R? It is the short form for “Artist and Repertoire” which is the department that is vital to a “Recording Company’s” existence. An A&R Manager is responsible for decision making of new performing artists, songwriters, employing producers and then developing singers as professional artists. The A&R person is also the main key link between the performing artist and their record company.
1) Please note that it can be tricky to get one foot into a show-biz door. But on the other hand if you are on the way to become recognised and develop into one of the top singer in show business, then you must try to stand out from the crowd, you must be willing to work hard and love what you do. You must be really passionate about music. But the most important thing is to enjoy what you are doing as it creates joy and happiness for other people to enjoy, remember, you are in the entertainment world.
2) Practice makes your performing perfect and the last thing you would want is to get noticed before you are primed. Take vocal lessons if you feel it is necessary, rehearse on a regular basis and make sure your live show is to your satisfaction before putting yourself out there. Always maintain an open mind and try to get your head around at all the different variety of music out there.
3) Get a video demo done when you are ready and try to put at least three of your best songs on it and have it ready at all times for any A&R manager that might pop in at one of your live sessions. Confidence in yourself is the key, so make sure it is to your satisfaction.
4) Do you have your own Facebook or MySpace page setup? If not, its time to create one for yourself as a Singer including a brief biography of yourself from day one, insert your latest songs as video footage to You-Tube and not forgetting a recent picture of yourself, it doesn’t have to be a fantasy, just current with the best shots you have. Note: Utilising the free online media such as You-Tube and MySpace are excellent ways through which new up and coming acts may establish a lucky contact with A&R managers from any part of the world.
5) The most common comprehensive way to build up your singing confidence is performing live as often as you can, video recording it as often as you can, observe the playback and correct the mistakes yourself. Remember, there is no Gig-show that is too small when you are starting out. Performing at any club & school functions, talent quests to local festivals or holiday events all help.
6) Performing for live audiences is really an important step for a new talent singer, getting all the exposure and experience up on stage in front of live audiences is a step to confidence and achievements. If you look around, there are lots of competitions that take place all year round and you are entitled to enter these competitions as an unsigned performing singer, this is where Show-Biz talent scouts hang around.
7) When you are handpicked and confirmed to perform for a show by any show promoter, always try promoting it yourself first. Get involved with your local weekend news activities, Express Magazine or try creating your own and invite all your friends over the weekend. Don’t forget to inform your local suburb news paper of your performance, find out who writes CD and Gig reviews in your area, forward them your detailed information and invite them to your performance.
8) Music recording companies always fancy an already established Fan base, creating one and keeping your Fans up to date is very important. Social networking sites like Facebook are a
super easy and fun way to keep in touch. Informing your personal contacts about any upcoming Gigs and make sure at every show you have a small table near the entrance area where new fans can sign up for your mailing list, a monthly e-mail letter to your fans will touch them and they will be happy to know all the latest gossip (who said what) about your last music performance. So you are creating a news letter gossip which people love and will remember you for a long time.
9) Its a known fact that fame very seldom happens overnight. If you want attention from a recording company, you must have the active responsiveness of the public. The other option to get your music to an A&R person is to create a gossip among your fans and get them to invite the A&R person to your next gig. Promote yourself online and locally and don’t wait for an audience to find you, tell your mum first, then your closest friends and your many friends at work.
10) So, if you would like to be in the music business, you must keep up to date with the Australian, American and British music scene. When writing new songs, always try to get hold of knowledge of what the market is listening to and get motivated in that area, if that is your style. Success in the music business at any level requires passion, dedication, persistence and enjoyment. When you are performing, dress according to your style of music, make sure it’s enjoyable music that people around you can sing along too, a good audio recording (CD) can be a bonus income at your gigs, at all times put up a good show even on a bad headache day, create a worthy fan base and have the enjoyable fun to your advantage as you perform on every occasion.
11) Remember: Singing is a talent that most people have and singing is about life. People like to sing because they can show their different emotions in a song. Singing is all about freedom and makes anyone feel good. Singing is a expression within a person and it will communicate within the Singers to the listeners. Singing is an essential part in people’s life as it is also a stress reliever and it is a wonderful vocal instrument that God has given to all Singers. Singing is all about expressing emotions, joy and pain. Singing allows a singer’s feeling to come alive and singing is a genuine way of expressing their emotions like feelings of desire, feelings of sadness, feelings of love and romance and whatever feelings they might have at that time.
Professional Singer’s sing with their feeling’s most of the time, when they are sad they will sing to a more gentle song, when they are angry they will sing a difficult song, when happy they will sing just about anything, and when they are relaxed they will sing easier songs, and when they are joyful or motivated they will sing real entertaining catchy fun songs.
Hey! Enjoy singing while you can as it is also a stress reliever after a hard day’s work.
12) As a Singer, it would be wonderful to write your own songs as you will benefit with Royalties. Song writing is the focal point of what makes many Singers and Bands breakout into their adaptable air of superstardom. A Songwriter’s inspiration for a song is the point of magic. Writing impressive songs is a replica of vision, there is no denying of that. When it comes to serious song writing it’s all about work of art and rewrite until the whole song is packed together into a perfectly balanced slice of truthful way of life. Sometimes it does not matter if the meaning of the song is lost on some areas (it can be subjective) because most song writer will present their own meaning, so in the end it will sound true to that song writer and this will eventually come through to the listeners. When you are listening to a gifted songwriter you will hear that he or she writes about Love, Pain, Happiness, or Universal practicality.
13) So, you have decided to become a Singer singing great songs that you will want to hear yourself on the Radio and TV. The point to note about good Singers is that most of them have extraordinary voices plus a huge vocal range. That is why after a while they become “Divas”. They inspire their Fans and audience to sing along with them and most audiences love that. Sometimes while in the shower most people think that they can sound “just like them”. Ha, ha, ha. As a new talent Singer you will have to work on “Compulsory Foundations” that will get you to become a successful Singer in no time. Practicing exceptionally on every of its musical scales daily is the way to success. So take action on: a) Vocal warm-ups (musical scales), it is a measure of its vocal range. Range is the distance between the lowest notes and the highest notes a Singer can sing. It is very important because you will be able to measure your singing base line so that you will be able to chart your progress as you improve. b) Most of the successful popular Singers know their range and which notes they can and cannot sing. I have noticed that most of them choose songs according to their range, example, if a Singer has a range of 12 notes, then choose songs which will fit into a 12-note range and the majority of Singing teachers will be able to help you find songs that are acceptable within your range. c) Importantly for you to know is the lowest note you can sing and the highest note you are most comfortable with. Then you must measure the range of the songs you have in your mind and you are thinking about singing. So it is a matter of listening to many of the songs in your list and in which you have decided which is best for you and importantly you must identify the highest and the lowest notes of each song. Note: the highest notes in most Pop Songs are generally to be found mainly in either the chorus or the bridge section. d) Look for a Musician friend with a musical instrument such as a Piano or Guitar to work out those high and low notes in real time. Check and see if these notes are in your singing range. If they are not, then you have two choices. You can either change the key of the song lower or higher or replace the song completely with another song. e) Make sure that you are singing songs that are within your range. Choosing a song that best suits your range will give you a far better chance to be noticeable as a good singer by the contest Judges, public and audiences. And finally if you are looking for the correct songs that will suit you, then there extensive hit songs out there on Radio and CD shops, not just for “Divas”, but for every vocal range. You will just need time to find the right song to suite your singing style and range. That is what most of the popular Singers do and also the young talents that go for the Australian Idol and X-Factor contest.
To be a “Pop Star” as yourself, you must glitter your own light, be devoted to your own path, and pay no attention to the darkness. For that is when your Star will shine brightest.
Good Luck to you.
Alphonso Soosay / Audio Recording Engineer