Some celebrity singers have changed music forever. They’ve created unique styles that have inspired the next generation of artists. A new artist wanting to learn how to become a famous singer will want to sound like the greats. But even the greats had to start somewhere to develop their voice. What can we learn from our favorite star performers?
Thanks to the Internet you can see clips of your favorite singers, sing along with them, imitate what they do, and learn by example. This blog will highlight some famous singers and what you can learn from their voices. Embodying your favorite vocalist’s unique style can be a great way to reverse engineer the voice of a star but there are also key lessons to learn to preserve your voice.
Ariana Grande found fame not just from her singing and acting, but also from her impeccable impressions. Compilations of the star’s impressions have been on YouTube since the singer began her career. Part of how she learned how to sing was by impersonating vocalists like Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Rihanna, and Judy Garland.
In an Australian interview, Grande said, “I was doing them [impressions] all the time, and it was sometimes bad for my your voice. I was sometimes getting a little swollen or irritated.”
What we can learn from Ariana: Impersonation is the sincerest form of flattery. Recording yourself singing along to your favorite singers can help you hone an imitation. Bt you have to make sure you’re not straining your voice in the process, making sounds that irritate the vocal cords and make them swollen and red. Imitation is amazing, straining is not.
After you become better at impersonating your favorite singers you can start to form your own style by collecting all of the sounds that work for you. But remember, take your time and be careful about pushing your voice too far in the wrong direction.
Bruno Mars is no stranger to impersonation. He began his singing career as a child by impersonating Elvis Pressley. He told 4Music.com, “I’m a big fan of 1950s Elvis when he would go on stage and scare people because he was a force and girls would go nuts!” Bruno is no stranger to showmanship; his concerts are full of live instruments, amazing dance moves, and girls going nuts.
But what makes Bruno’s voice so amazing is his ability to hit those high notes. The reason he’s able to hit them so seamlessly is that he has a balanced his Chest, Middle and Head voice. Combining the three is the secret to making great sounds and stretching the limits of your vocal range..
What we can learn from Bruno: Hitting those high notes is impressive but can be best achieved if you don’t get stuck in Chest voice. Learning how to transition from Chest to Middle to Head voice without holding your breath or creating pressure can ensure not just a great sound but vocal safety.
Whitney Houston is a legend in music history. Not only was she a powerhouse, nicknamed “The Voice,” she has the awards to back it up. Whitney won 2 Emmys, 8 Grammy Awards, 14 World Music Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, to count a few. She’s the only artist to have had seven consecutive number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and her first two albums are still some of the best-selling albums of all time.
Whitney has influenced music history and has been a major face of the R&B genre. Not just a singer, Whitney also headlined films like The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale, and became a major producer of films like The Princess Diaries, Cinderella, and The Cheetah Girls.
One hallmark of Houston’s singing style is the way she wiggled her jaw while she did vibrato. Vibrato is wave-like oscillation of the pitch. It’s a vocal style that adds audio interest to your voice and makes you sound more full and rich. Houston would also add certain improvisational notes while singing – called riffs.
The only issue with her trademark style is that this is not the best way to do vibrato. Vibrato is best achieved by managing your airflow. Wiggling your jaw while you sing puts a strain on the muscles of your jaw that you need to should keep relaxed to sing without pressure.
What we can learn from Whitney: In addition to her impact on the music industry, we can learn to innovate on Whitney’s style by learning the proper style of making vibrato. Shaking your jaw can mimic the sound but there is still a better way to create vibrato. Here’s a video to help you Master Vibrato Faster while ensuring your jaw doesn’t get overused and that pressure doesn’t do any vocal damage.
While Doja Cat is a gifted singer, lyricist, and rapper, she is on this list for finding a way to lean into her unique point of view. Doja cat is self-taught and found a lot of success in finding her own beats online. She doesn’t only have a great voice, she has a strong understanding of what she wants to say.
The singer was signed in 2014 without much success. But in 2018 the “Say So” singer released a comedy song called “Moo!” This self-produced video was all about Doja’s dreams of being a cow and quickly became an instant viral success and turned the star into a meme.
That wasn’t Doja’s only brush with Internet fame, her songs “Candy” and “Streets” have gone viral as different TikTok dance challenges. “Streets” has been used for the wildly popular #SilhouetteChallenge. Doja really found a way to turn her love of the Internet into a wildly successful career.
What we can learn from Doja Cat: Be yourself and know what you love. A strong point of view can help you build a following for your art. By leaning into what you love you can find fanfare and expose your voice to a larger audience. Being true to yourself can help you find die-hard fans who appreciate the way you do what you do.
So many of the stars you love can inspire and even inform how you learn to use your voice. It’s not only about learning new skills to emulate their career but also learning what mistakes they may have made. Now, more than ever, with access to the internet and countless amounts of footage and audio clips you can learn from your favorite artists to ensure that you not only sing your best but find your way into the art form you love.