Ep. 22 Paulette McWilliams (Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Steely Dan)

iTunes Button (via NiftyButtons.com)

Paulette McWilliams has recorded and/or toured with the likes of Luther Vandross, Bette Midler, Marvin Gaye, Celine Dion, Lauryn Hill, LL Cool J, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Diana Ross, Ray Parker Jr., Billy Idol, Michael Buble, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Irene Cara, Johnny Mathis – just to name a few! Paulette chats about her journey into music, what makes a great background singer, and how to stay focused while on the winding road of a singing career. Pour yourself a nice tall drink and settle in for this wisdom packed interview, folks!

MENTIONS:

SINGING LESSONS:

  1. A good background singer has mastered the art of blending. You have to emulate tone (of the lead singer), their vowel sound, you have to be mindful of pitch,
  2. You have to give the producer and the lead singer what they want.
  3. A great background singer let’s go of his or her ego.
  4. It’s all about the law of attraction and keeping your dream in your sight.
  5. Keep your eyes on the prize and the prize is you. Keep your focus on yourself and what you’re supposed to be doing and don’t let anyone dissuade you from whatever it is.
  6. You have to be versatile. You have to be confident that you are a vocalist that can sing whatever the job is calling you for.
  7. Get out of your head and follow your heart.

Download your “singing lessons” freebie here!

Thanks for listening!

Subscribe & review on Apple Podcasts, join the Facebook community, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Special thanks to Paulette for joining us this week!

Ep. 9 Carol Hatchett (Tina Turner, Sheila E., Bette Midler)

iTunes Button (via NiftyButtons.com)

How do you go from majoring in communications to touring the world as a one of Bette Midler’s Harlettes? Carol Hatchett chats about what she learned working with the likes of Bette Midler, Tina Turner and Sheila E., what compelled her to move from Chicago to Los Angeles, and golden wisdom she gives to her own students.

MENTIONS:

SINGING LESSONS:

  1. You’re going to have to decide what you want and then do the work.
  2. Surround yourself with great people.
  3. When you work with the greats pay attention and take notes.
  4. Stay classy and remember what your purpose and point is.
  5. You have to be skilled at what you do and know the ins and outs of what you do. Understand the work and the reality that goes behind it.
  6. Sometimes you have to decide who you are and what you can live with.
  7. You have to love yourself way more than your desire to book a gig.
  8. Don’t get into this business thinking you’re going to climb to the top. There is no arrival. It’s a business of ups and downs and you have to find yourself in those ups and downs.
  9. Just because an opportunity is there and shiny doesn’t mean it’s gold.
  10. You have to be tough and pliable all at the same time.

Get your freebie “singing lessons” pdf here!

Thanks for listening!

Subscribe & review on Apple Podcasts, join the Facebook community, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Special thanks to Carol for joining us this week!

Ep. 6 Melanie Taylor (Aerosmith, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow) Part 2

iTunes Button (via NiftyButtons.com)

In part two of this interview with Melanie Taylor she discusses her work with Donna Summer, what she’s learned working with Barry Manilow, her thoughts on cultivating interests outside of singing, and her advice on singing as a business.

She is a seasoned performer who in her extensive career has worked with the likes of Aerosmith, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, The Righteous Brothers, Connie Stevens, Donna Summer, John Mayer, Joe Walsh and many more. Melanie shares what she’s learned along the way, how she helps young artists develop their creative process, and insights on what it takes to be a serious performer. 

MENTIONS:

SINGING LESSONS:

  1. Don’t pigeonhole yourself. You never know what’s going to show up for you when you’re in a different season.
  2. When you’re singing you’re telling a story. You have to know who you’re speaking to or who you’re singing about, why you’re singing to them, where you are, what you’re doing and not doing, and know how the story is going to play out. These things will completely change how we hear your song and the meaning behind it.
  3. The work you do is your investment in your craft.  What you put into it you will get out of it.
  4. Watch yourself in the mirror when you’re singing.
  5. Figure out a way to open up and have ease in your body that will make your song and performance richer.
  6. You have to be a well-rounded person. Cultivate your interests and be interested in life – travel, books, museums, culture, etc.
  7. Don’t be afraid to be more of who you are.

Get your freebie “singing lessons” pdf here!

Thanks for listening!

Subscribe & review on Apple Podcasts, join the Facebook community, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Special thanks to Melanie for joining me on the podcast this week!

Ep. 6 Melanie Taylor (Aerosmith, Bette Midler, Donna Summer) Part 1

iTunes Button (via NiftyButtons.com)

Melanie Taylor is a seasoned performer who in her extensive career has worked with the likes of Aerosmith, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, The Righteous Brothers, Connie Stevens, Donna Summer, John Mayer, Joe Walsh and many more. Melanie shares what she’s learned along the way, how she helps young artists develop their creative process, and insights on what it takes to be a serious performer.

MENTIONS:

SINGING LESSONS:

  1. Decide what kind of learner you are — aural, visual, kinetic — to help develop a creative process for yourself.
  2. Be mindful of things that work for you (during your learning process) that might not work for others.
  3. Give yourself uninterrupted time to learn new material.
  4. When you’re going over new material jot down questions you have and make sure to get them answered for your own clarity. Having them answered clears the way for learning and absorbing the material.
  5. Glance at your material just before bed to help reinforce what you’ve just learned.
  6. Be gentle, but be focused.
  7. Know the logistics of whatever gig you’re on — location, dress code, meals — if you don’t know, ask.
  8. Do your best to over prepare and to be a strong link in the performance chain.

Get your freebie “singing lessons” pdf here!

Thanks for listening!

Subscribe & review on Apple Podcasts, join the Facebook community, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Special thanks to Melanie for joining me on the podcast this week!