Sunday, December 16, 2018

Vocals Quick Fix Africa Project: Pre-Studio Recording & LIVE Gigs

In association with Nam Radio Local, an all African music channel that gives power to the upcoming African artist by creating a platform for those typically lacking media access, we proudly present Vocals Quick Fix Africa to provide training that will equip artists with skills and knowledge to attract their recognition by mainstream platforms.

When news of Nigerian artist Tekno surfaced, regarding what they alluded to being the collapse of his voice box, I thought the time had come to at the very least, try to fix an endemic problem afflicting African singers.

Shouting and putting weight on your throat when you sing damages the vocal folds. And this is why it is SO important to re-balance the voice with specific vocal exercises.

From my eight years experience as a voice coach in East Africa, I have come to realize that voice training—unlike with our friends in the West—is not deeply rooted in African culture and that the way around the inability to deliver a song with dynamic range, resonance and control has led to the auto tune conveniently come to the rescue. And so—sadly, listen to almost any mainstream song by an African artist and you’ll find the excesses of auto-tune use.

It’s as though the entire industry, is built on it.

But it is never too late to begin to fix the problem.

Vocal rebalancing that ultimately frees the singer from ‘strain and pain’ takes consistent training and commitment, something I find lacking in the attitudes of many African singers—especially the more established ones.

On that note, I have decided to create and make available to the struggling vocalist, a Vocals Quick Fix solution for African singers. What this means is that an artiste can get a pre-studio recording session vocal warm-up and similarly, before a live gig.

It requires no long-term commitment and very little effort, but in 30 to 40 minutes it will adequately prepare the voice for a recording session or a live concert.

I did this with Jux on Vanessa Mdee’s opening night to their In Love & Money Tour in Mwanza, Tanzania.

After giving Vanessa a vocal warm-up, I worked with Jux for about forty minutes. When he took to the stage a couple of hours later, Vanessa—who has been my student since 2011—looked at me in shock backstage and asked, “What the hell have you done with his voice? I’ve never heard him sing like that. He is SO opened up!”

What I’m trying to say is, rebalancing the voice for a gig OR for a recording session is something that can be done in just a few minutes, but to maintain that level of vocal delivery and to further develop your range and vocal technique, you’ll need regular training.

Jux never came back for more voice lessons, which is quite normal with African singers, always in a hurry to get that next record out and to go gigging to rake in the cash. The more established artists seem under the impression that they don’t need to train. But when they do train, as did Jux that one occasion, they get to see the immediate benefit.

When Jux came off the stage that night I asked him, “so how did it feel?” And he replied with a really broad smile, “Joett, it was SO easy. Thank you SO much!”

Vocals Quick Fix (Pre-Studio Recording Sessions & Gigs)

I have created something that is tailored to the mindset of African singers, a program that doesn’t involve a lot of time and requires absolutely no long-term commitment from the artist whatsoever. It is what it is. A ‘Vocals Quick Fix’ for the job at hand. Plain and simple! This, I feel, should work well for Africa. And to give you a better idea, below is a Before & After video you MUST watch.

How It Works

I’ll want to liaise with recording studios and artist management anywhere in Africa. My modus operandi is pretty simple. If you have an artist going into the recording studio and they need help getting their vocals in order, I will gladly work with them for up to an hour prior to the recording session.

And in the case of the live gig set—similarly, I will prepare them for it right before they hit the stage.

Ideally, whether we do this via Skype or I work with you in your country and city, you have the option to book a four-hour program so as to get even MORE value for YOUR money!

The four hours will be evenly spread into an hour-a-day slots, and can be scheduled to begin three days before the recording session, with the fourth and final hour taking place on the day of the recording session OR day of the gig, as it were.

Concert Tour Voice Coaching

It is very common for major acts in Europe and North America to travel with a voice coach on tour. If you are an African artiste or band going on a concert tour and you would like to travel with your very own personal voice coach, look no further, I’d be more than happy to join your entourage. Please ask your management to discuss with me the finer details, options, and financial implication via correspondence (contact info in #VocalsQuickFix banner above).

How to Setup for Skype Voice Lessons with Joett

  1. I'll need your email address to send you some working files.
  2. You'll require two devices: a mobile phone and laptop or PC
  3. Download Skype to your phone and laptop or PC. 
  4. Add my Skype ID 'tojona' so we can talk for free Skype to Skype.
  5. To playback the sound files I send you, one of your devices, say--your laptop needs to be connected to external speakers... like Bluetooth speakers or home theater. 
  6. When you come on the Skype call make sure everything is ready: i.e. your music system is set up and the sound files are ready for use. Also, ensure your email is connected for easy delivery of additional working files to your inbox during the session. During the call, in addition to playing single-note-cues and in real-time on piano, I'll be recording a series of short piano scales which I will deliver in the Skype chat window.
  7. We can also do this on Zoom. My Zoom email is 
Finding it hard to figure this out? Don't worry, we can do a trial run session.

You are the instrument, learn to sing like a pro!

JOETT – Voice Coach & Author
“101 Letters from a Vocal Coach”

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