If I had to pass along one piece of advice that I believe factors into the success potential for any singer (and everybody else for that matter) it would be summed up as this: you must never stop growing.
When I say growing, I’m talking proactive, purposeful, directional movement. You want to stay grounded yet at the same time keep yourself open to new ideas, different sounds, fresh material, innovative concepts, life-changing lessons. You want to stay supple and flexible physically, mentally, emotionally, creatively.
You need to feed your muse. But you don’t want to stuff it full of junk and nonsense. You want to nurture it by enhancing taste and perception and understanding. You also want to challenge yourself creatively.
One of the best ways to stay artistically robust is to observe and listen to other singers. You want to not only listen to their performances but interviews where they talk about their craft, experiences, fears, and offer tips on survival.
The Listening Room
I found an exciting site that’s worth bookmarking: www.npr.org/music/. For many people, NPR summons up thoughts of stuffiness, highbrow-hip, or radical left-wing propaganda, but frankly, that kind of babble comes from people who haven’t a clue what the site has to offer.
You can hear interviews with a variety of singers, songwriters, musicians, and music producers from opera to hip-hop, from classic rock to urban folk, from world music to blues. It’s especially vital for those of you who may not have access to a vibrant live music or performance community.
Ingesting the rich range of textures and tastes will serve to whet your appetite for ways to spice or spunk up your own sense of style as a singer, songwriter, or performer.
It’s importance to feed your senses some inspiration, wisdom, encouragement, and accounts of real life experience as an artist and sister. Make it a habit to visit this site at least two times each week just to gain some valuable insights on the bitter and the sweet, the saucy and the spicy, that are a part of life’s musical banquet.
Use your time in this “listening room” as an affirming experience that validates the professional path you personally have chosen. There is also a real sense of satisfaction that will come as you settle into that comforting full feeling in knowing that you are not alone.
The Observation Booth
Just as it’s important to let the listening feed your muse and creativity, you also need visual sustenance. And there is no better resource than youtube, especially when it comes to tips and testimonials from Brett Manning and his associates.
You can use the NPR site in tandem with youtube. Let’s say you were intrigued by a singer that was interviewed, and now you’d like to see them in action. You can then do a search on youtube to discover what clips exist.
This is a great way to reinforce an idea or concept that you’ve stumbled upon. You can also do a search on the NPR site to find out if someone that has caught your eye on youtube has been interviewed by NPR. Also, look for clips of your favorite performers or songs to refresh and revitalize as needed!
At least once three times a week, check out Mastering Mix, Singing Success, Brett Manning, Chris Keller, Dave Brooks, and Jesse Nemitz for encouragement, inspiration, engagement, and information that will feed your muse the fuel it needs to drive you down the road to your singing success!