Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Diary Of A Vocal Coach On Vanessa Mdee

I met Vanessa Mdee at a mutual friend's funeral in 2010 (of all places). The first thing that struck me about her was that she was EXTREMELY beautiful. I approached her and I remember saying to her..."you're such a pretty girl, you look like a movie star. Who are you?" (Yes, I can be pretty bold). And she smiled, laughed a little, said thank you and then she gave me her business card. At the time, she was MTV rep. And then I gave her MY card...and she went... "WHAT! You're JOETT?" And I said, "Yes, I am!" "OMG, I've heard so much about you, I see your ad in Advertising Dar all the time," she went on. I'm always amazed when people recognize my name. I don't show my face a lot -- especially in the old days I didn't (I hate images), but the brand certainly does do the rounds through advertising and word-of-mouth.

And then she asked me if I would train her. I asked if she was a singer, and she said she wasn't, but that she wanted to get into the business after she'd had the training. She wanted to do this properly I recall her saying. And I said, "no problem, come to my studio and I will train you."

Vanessa is not only one of my best pupils, she's certainly one of my favorite pupils. Yes, because she's exceptionally talented and works REALLY hard to hone her craft. She knows what she wants. And that's what this business is about. It's about commitment. Wanting to do this properly. I think Vanessa Mdee is a shining example of what you can achieve when you put in the time and effort to achieve your dreams. And Vanessa is such a darling. She tells everybody about me and refers a lot of people to me. A very good human being, she is. And what I particularly admire about her is that she got there in the end...through sheer hard work, AND continues to train. Diligently. She is smart enough to realize that vocal training is a continuum. There is no end to it. IF you want to WORK as a singer you'll have to continue to train. Come on guys, Michael Jackson trained his voice till the day he died. I am SO very truly proud of Vanessa. She will always have my support, and I wish her all the success in the world.

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