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One thing that is absolutely vital to the development and success of a rising artist in any venture is the need to become a student of culture, style, and trends. But more than that, a singer (or artist) needs to become a student of people.

I remember a comment once made by Joni Mitchell, one of America’s most uniquely gifted singers, musicians and songwriters. She said, “hip is a herd mentality” which could also be translated as “hype” is a herd- commodity. Mitchell’s original comment was made to encourage artists to be themselves first. But it’s also important to understand that the “herd” she referred to is comprised of many individuals for which something personally expressed by the artist has some universal truth that resonates or more often than not something that’s easily accessible, a quick fix, or a convenient escape.

Mitchell often referred to her producers as like music teachers slapping you on the hand whenever you played outside of the lesson. Fortunately our coaches at SingingSuccess encourage what’s best and unique about your voice to be fully developed, expressed and shared.

Study People

One of the best ways to learn about what makes people unique, what makes them tick, feel, think and dream is through reading biographies. You can go the quick-access route by visiting websites and getting the capsulated, sanitized versions of their lives and views. But full biographies give you a more in depth look and feel for the person, shadows and light, good and bad, warts and all.

As you read, keep a journal or file where you make note of what you relate to or connect with. This doesn’t have to be detailed, just things that jump out at you and make you say, “I want to remember this” or “I need to know this.”

By reading biographies you gain a broader understanding of what makes people succeed, fail, what they do through times of trial and triumph, and by making note of what you relate to you can help define your path and place in the bigger picture as you create your image, build your career, and develop a following.

Strength In Struggle

Biographies introduce you to potential role models from the past and present. You learn about their strengths and struggles. Biographies give factual information on historical and contemporary figures and bring history and a wealth of experiences to life. It’s an opportunity to closely examine human behavior. In addition biographies can encourage, guide, and inspire.

The biographies you choose don’t necessarily have to be the stories of singers, musicians or artists in general. However that’s certainly recommended so that you can learn about potential pitfalls, opportunities for success, and discover ideas related to your singing or music career.

For some ideas on people you’d like to know more about go to, make your list of people to learn more about, and then visit your local bookstore on online booksellers to see what biographies or autobiographies are available. You can also visit for some recommendations.

Randy Moomaw

Author Randy Moomaw

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