I grew up singing. It had always been a part of my life. When I turned 24, I had to undergo a medical process that involved me taking a medication that seemed to take that away from me. Being someone who loves music, I was determined to find my voice again. I spent years breathing, pushing myself, trying different ranges, vocal lessons….but nothing was really getting me there. For a good four years, Richard kept telling me “You CAN!” but in my mind I had it set…”I can’t”.
You can take as many lessons as you want, you can use autotune and melodyne to excessive amounts, you can harmonize with yourself in layers, upon layers, upon layers. But until you find self confidence and inspiration, you will never hit those notes that you’re supposed to be hitting.
Back in June of 2011, I had a life changing surgery. 6 weeks after the surgery, I decided to go see Richard again at Digital Sound Magic Studios. I walked in and it’s like the first time I’d seen the studio. Just like the first time in 2007. But my energy was different. My self confidence had risen. We got the music down and the next day I came back to do vocals. I sang with so much more depth and heart than I ever had before. It only took a couple of takes. That had never, ever happened before. The song I wrote was for the surgeon who performed my surgery. The cool part was, before he became a surgeon, he too was a musician (he still is involved with the industry, but on a smaller scale). His band hit the bigtime in the 80s and 90s. His band was also one of my faves growing up, so I had a lot to go on with inspiration. He heard the song and he loved it. It boosted me and whenever I start doubting myself, I pull up the email he sent me telling me how he ‘loved the song’, that’s it’s a ‘great song’ and to ‘keep up the beautiful work’.
Since then, it’s only been a few takes until I ‘get it’. ‘Getting it’ simply means holding your own personal character. Don’t worry about trying to be on tune, you’ll just stress yourself out. While JUNO awards are amazing, they are no match for self confidence. You’ll never get that award if you don’t believe in yourself and your work. Just get into that booth, hold the biggest inspiration in your heart and sing your truth. No matter what the subject is, your fans want to be convinced that you know what you’re singing about. That you feel it.
A standard I’ve set for myself is that every song I bring to the studio to record should have at least a couple of lines that sends chills down my own spine or shakes my core somehow, and the whole song has to really flow naturally. That feeling means I’ve spoken my truth.
Now, when Richard says ‘You CAN!’, I believe it, and I do it. Rich has an excellent ear and is incredibly intuitive. In my experience, he has never been wrong. He pushes me to do things I may not even realize I can do. And then I do them.
Remember, it’s not about being the worlds greatest, it’s about being the best YOU can be. So think of your favourite artist that’s local to you….if you’re serious about music, there is a good chance they’ll hear your stuff. Hold on to that and give it your best. What’s meant to be will fall into place if you let it!