Search and You Shall Find in My World

12 March 2008

For The Singing Wannabes and Those Who Are Trying to Be One

Woke up with an urge to sing today. Actually I am no singer and even hate karaoke sessions. The last time I performed in public singing and old song was when I was in Grade 2. And my trainer had a hell of a time practicing my innocuous voice. After that, I shy away from the limelight hahaha.

So I actually find American Idol amusing especially during their states-wide search for qualifiers because some gutsy people really stole the show with their theatrics and not with their voices.

Speaking of singing and American Idol, I happened to read this nice article by Nestor Torre of Inquirer Entertainment entitled Lessons learned from AI very encouraging and full of hints for those who wanted a career out of singing. I am quoting the article in full here for my future use (or yours) .

Viewers who regularly watch “American Idol” on TV don’t just get entertained and caught up in the excitement of the ongoing singing tilt; they also get valuable pointers on how to make it big in the pop music field.

They get this informal “education” from the comments of the show’s judges, who don’t mince words when they analyze the finalists’ performance in excruciatingly minute detail.

The advice they give may occasionally be painful or insulting to the tilt’s young singers—but, if they could get past the initial hurt or embarrassment, they would benefit from the jurors’ candid comments and analyses.

The first key factor in doing well in the singing competition appears to be: Choice of song. At first, this would seem to have little to do with musical talent, but it turns out to be a key consideration, because the right song presents the singer at his or her best.

It showcases the individual singer’s unique combination of vocal quality and range, emotive and interpretative ability, temperament and personality. This indicates that an effective musical performance only partly depends on a good singing voice and banks more on a combination of plus points that sum up the singer’s entire artistic identity.

Thus, depending on his or her choice of songs to perform, a competing singer can be a winner one week and a loser the next. So, contestants are urged to think long and hard before they decide on a song to interpret.

Fresh interpretation

And they should know themselves really well, so they can most judiciously choose the song that best reflects who they are as performers—and individuals.

The second factor may appear to be too obvious to mention, but the tilt’s judges insist that it’s also key: Don’t forget the lyrics!

Why do they belabor the obvious? Because, when a singer forgets the lyrics to the song he’s singing, he betrays his lack of discipline, competence and professionalism—and is no winner in anybody’s book.

Next: Give an old song a fresh interpretation. Meaning, don’t copy famous singers’ performing styles. Instead, put your own stamp on the old standard, and thus make it your own.

This piece of advice is most relevant to many singers here, new as well as experienced, because we love to imitate famous performers, especially when they’re First World talents.

Blame it on our own “deathless” colonial mentality, which predisposes some of us to believe that we’re intrinsically inferior to stars “from abroad,” so the best we can do to succeed is to copy their singing styles, note for note.

Real deal

This explains why we have a hard time making it internationally, because a copy, no matter how exact, is never as good as the real deal. So, the sooner we can stop settling for being “gaya-gaya, puto-maya,” the better for us!

Other factors: Be confident about your ability. Look your best. Exude charisma, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Discipline yourself to become a consistent performer. Have the right kind of attitude in performing—meaning, love your audience more than yourself. Want to make people happy with your performance!

Be comfortable with the song you’ve chosen to sing. Show off your musical range. Develop rapport with your audience. Don’t over-analyze your approach to a song; just perform it intuitively and viscerally!

So many factors to think about—or, not. The path to stardom, on “Idol,” or elsewhere, is fraught with tests, risks and dangers at every turn. But, if you know what’s expected of you, you could survive longer, and even make it—all the way to the top!

Drawing from

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