Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mica Paris Born Again

When I first met my record producer Tambi Fernando at his studio in London, he played me a couple of new tracks he'd been recording with Mica Paris. I was thrilled. Mica Paris is my idol, and here I was about to start working with someone who's produced for Mica Paris? You can imagine how I felt. Having debuted with the hit single My One Temptation back in 1988, Mica has now been in the entertainment business for over twenty years. I've bought every album she's ever put out -- that's how big a fan I am -- and now she's got a new album released 22nd March 2010 -- a repackaged Bonus Edition to her 2009 critically acclaimed album Born Again...and you guessed it, I bought the album! It is totally awesome. The album's title track and forthcoming single 'Born Again' is an epic ballad with sweeping strings and cut glass arrangement with a vocal that leaves you tingling. It is no wonder that Whitney Houston wanted this track for her come back. Producer Brian Rawling insisted that the song was "made for Mica" and Whitney was refused. And featured on the same album, a track entitled 'Breathless' was given to Mica personally by Rihanna.

My One Temptation, her chart-topping track from 1988, is also included in this album but in acoustic splendor. You've got to at least listen to the original version on this YouTube video here. Today, I downloaded the lyrics and used that to train one of my students...after we'd finished with the vocal exercises, of course. It is a great track to work with, under my guidance, if you want to learn how to sing like a diva.

Thanks for dropping by,


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Breathe Your Way to Better Singing

I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of breathing properly when you sing. Bad breathing equals bad vocals. It's really as simple as that. Two important pointers. Drop the jaw (the way you do when you yawn) and breathe in through the mouth every step of the way. Do not breathe in through your nose. There is a limited amount of air you can inhale through the nose in the short space of time available between each note when singing. Dropping the jaw to drink that breath is key. The wider you open your mouth, the more breath you're able to suck in. You will notice that at the top of your breath intake (when your mouth is wide open) is when you will be taking in the most breath.

I always tell my students that dropping the jaw to breathe not only trains you to open your mouth wide to breathe, it also trains you to open your mouth wide to hit the high notes! Yes, you heard that right.  A half open mouth will only deliver half the goods. I think that's a pretty good analogy. When your throat is wide open, your voice comes through more sharply, you'll have a better tone, and you will hit the high notes with greater ease. So the next time you're having trouble sustaining a note, check your breathing. Chances are you're not breathing correctly (for singing). I have corrected this problem with my students and every time, it has made a world of difference.

Thanks for dropping by!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Craig David Signed, Sealed and Delivered

A diet of great music with good vocals is one sure fire way to understanding vocals. British singer Craig David, who made his big break with hit single Fill Me In at age eighteen ten years ago, has the kind of vocals you'll want to listen to intently and to analyze deeply. He has a new album Signed, Sealed and Delivered released this week. I've been listening to his interview with Trevor Nelson and Gemma on BBC Radio 1Xtra. Have a listen, and please pay close attention to his Live Lounge rendition of Fill Me In. An outstanding performance. Enjoy!

Have a great Easter Sunday!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vocal Coaching Comes to Tanzania

Not often do you stumble upon a niche that is screaming to be filled. Well, incidentally, it recently happened to me! When a couple of Dar es salaam record producers sent me four bongo flava artists to train, I realized from the outset that, indeed, there was a huge gap in the market for a professional vocal coach in Tanzania. But I didn't stop there. I decided to sling a classified ad in the local newspapers, and not only was I amazed at the response (the phone rang incessantly), I was delighted to be in a position to help. You know? Like giving something back to my local community? I for one was fortunate enough to have worked with one of the top record producers in the United Kingdom, multimillion-selling composer Tambi Fernando, and to have been trained by Sybil Esmore, a highly acclaimed  vocal coach who's also trained chart topping UK acts like MN8 (who toured with Janet Jackson). I have been privileged, to say the least, and nothing would please me more than to help singers in Tanzania, those of whom seriously want to sing like pros, develop their talent.

Did you know that there are dozens of subtle secrets, little magic techniques, all of which make you a slightly better singer? Now when you throw in some hard work you can become a great singer. Or if not great, then the best singer your talent will let you be. Talent counts. Hard work counts more. Training counts most of all. At the end of the day "You Are the Instrument!" All you need is someone to show you HOW to take the voice back down the throat to the larynx (or voice box) and use the vocal chords. That's all there is to it! And, needless to say, that's where I come in. I'd be thrilled to be given the opportunity to help improve the voice you already have. Not only will I help you improve your range, pitch accuracy, flexibility, articulation, I'll also show you how to breathe properly when singing, and where and how to place your voice (voice placement) and much more besides! If you're in Dar es salaam, please feel free to call me to book a FREE half-hour assessment session any day of the week except Sundays.  

Thanks for dropping by, and have a great day!

Mobile# 0715 364 045 / 0787 364 045.