You walk on stage with a tight grip on the microphone, the hot lights beaming down at you makes it impossible to see, you swallow your nerves and the band begins to play. Raising the microphone to your mouth you take a deep breath in, ready to start singing. You open your mouth and suddenly realise you have no idea what the lyrics are! Beads of sweat form on your forehead and after what seems like an eternity in your head you’ve missed your cue… Help!!!
Forgetting your lines, as daunting as it may be, isn’t as uncommon as you may think – it’s happened to the best of us. Remember everyone will be in this position at one point of their career – just take Justin Bieber for example when he forgot a whole verse of “Christmas Eve” during a concert in Toronto!
Obviously you don’t want to be forgetting your lines often but if it does happen, it’s important that you learn from your mistakes and know how to handle it in the future. Learning your lyrics back to front is critical and the longer you have been working on the song the more confident you will be with the words. However, it is really important if you have been singing a song for a while that you don’t go in to an “automatic mode”; which is when you have been singing the song for so long that you don’t need to think about it anymore. This “automatic mode” is dangerous when you’re performing live. The moment that you want to connect with the lyrics and you forget where you are, can leave you flustered as you struggle to try and pick up where you are in the song.
Now it’s all well and good to tell you not to forget your lyrics but like I said before it’s bound to happen, so with that in mind I have a few ideas for you to use when you are up there on stage and have absolutely no idea what those lyrics are
*The first thing that I would recommend doing would be just to sing some oo’s or ah’s in tune with the music while trying to think about what the next line is. This is a great way to recompose yourself and find your place.
*So you have been ooing and ahing for a couple of bars and you’re still drawing a blank on the first verse, what do you do next? If you can remember the lyrics to the second verse, then go for it!! Now you might think ok well that’s alright in theory but what happens when you get to the second verse? My answer to that is sing the second verse again. Before you think it’s a crazy idea I had a friend who did exactly that. She forgot the lyrics to the first verse so she sung the verse that she knew then sung it again. And guess what, not one single person in the audience realised that she was singing the same thing!!
Just remember that forgetting lyrics is natural and happens to everyone at least once. The most important thing is not to panic – not only will your audience pick up that there is something wrong by the sheer horror that is spreading rapidly across your face but it is easier to remember your lyrics with a clear head; it will help you finish strong. I guarantee that if you nail the coda or the last chorus the audience won’t even remember the one line you forgot at the beginning!
Music courses Sydney: Attention all Artist studio artists if you are writing songs you should submit your best to this competition. As we all know , APRA is a great company that is built on protecting and nurturing the rights of all Australian songwriters/artists and this is great initiative for young songwriters.
If you’re writing songs, bring them in and lets work out which ones to submit and if you have half finished songs that might need work come in for a songwriting session and lets get them up to speed. Click the link to our blog below for more details….
Songwriters around the world are invited to enter the 2016 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition.
With thanks to Alberts and APRA AMCOS, this year’s winning songwriter/s will take home a cash prize of A$50,000and join the eminent company of past winners Megan Washington (2009), Kimbra (2011), The Preatures (2013) andHusky Gawenda (2014).
Two runners up cash prizes are also on offer with second place receiving A$10,000 thanks to AMPAL (Australasian Music Publishers Association) and third place taking home A$5,000 courtesy of sponsor AEG Ogden.
The Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition is one of the world’s most prestigious songwriting competitions. It aims to support talented songwriters while raising much-needed funds for not-for-profit organisation Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia (NRMTA).
Your entry fee will go directly towards the work of NRMTA, which uses music therapy to help people cope with the struggles of living with a wide range of needs. These include children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities, autism, trauma, illness, dementia, behaviour disorders and learning difficulties.
Learn more about the organisation’s great work here
You will need to provide:
– A copy of your works or songs in MP3 format – you can enter as many tracks as you’d like!
– A digital photo of yourself and 300 word-max bio (to be used in print or online if shortlisted)
– If you are under the age of 18, a scanned letter of authority from your parent or guardian
– Your contact details
The entry fee for the competition is A$50 per song – you can pay at time of entry, or save your application and pay at a later date. All payments must be made before the entry closing date.
By clicking Enter Now, you agree to the Terms and Conditions and that you are applying as an individual.
Please be aware, you MUST be a writer or a co-writer of the songs/compositions you are seeking to enter.
Entries close: 11.59pm (AEST) 13 July 2016
Shortlist announced: September 2016
Winners announced: October 2016
We all know the story of the fresh faced Canadian born pop superstar, Justin Bieber. After posting covers of hit songs on YouTube he was discovered by Scooter Braun, a young party promoter, who convinced Justin’s mother to fly him to Atlanta where soon enough he was singing for Usher. His first album, My World 2.0, was certified triple platinum and he was the first artist with a debut album to feature 7 songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100.
If you want to know more of the story I would recommend Bieber’s first full length movie, Never Say Never. It is a surprisingly entertaining film detailing his rise to fame layered through live concert performances, guest stars, visits to his hometown and even a duet with pre-wrecking ball Miley Cyrus. Fast forward and Justin Bieber is 21 years old and at the height of his fame. He had already had a wildly successful career before going on hiatus after the release of his 5th album, “Journals”. He has been listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 10 most powerful celebrity in the world not once, but 3 times. His album and single sales equal 44.7 million in the U.S alone! However, after a much needed break Bieber got back in the studio and collaborated with Jack U (the partnership between Skrillex and Diplo) on “Where Are U Now”, the song that would prepare his eventual comeback. On August 28 2015, after much anticipation and a celebrity themed marketing campaign he released a new single, “What Do You Mean?”. This hit song charted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and even earned him a Guinness World Record for the youngest male artist to debut at the top of that chart.
Bieber’s 6th record, “Purpose” was released on November 13 2015 and exceeded all ‘Beliebers’, and the media’s, expectations. The album charted at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming his sixth album to debut at the top of the chart. An incredibly impressive feat for a mere 21 year old. Justin Bieber’s rise to fame wasn’t slow and eventual like most artists, it was like the world exploded over the rosy cheeked boy with the falsetto voice and swooney love songs to go with it. Ever since the age of 13 he has been one of the biggest pop stars in the world and is somehow still gaining fans by the day!
His most recent album release saw people you wouldn’t associate with Justin Bieber fall in love with his hit singles, “Sorry” and “Love Yourself”, two extremely catchy and soulful songs. After 8 years of albums, singles and tours he is still releasing number 1 content with a sound that changes by every release. I don’t know about you, but I am extremely excited to see what Bieber has in store for us with the future of his music.
CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
So as most of you know, writing a song isn’t something easy. It takes a lot of time, experience and practice. if it was easy then everybody would be doing it. As an touring artist and songwriter myself i know how hard it can be to keep challenging yourself to write a song that cuts through, a songs that reaches it’s intended audience, a song that people can love and appreciate , a song that means enough to someone else that they will, buy/download/stream or in this case VOTE for you song.
On Australia day , i was listening to triple j’s Annual hottest 100 (like a million other people) and i was and hoping that ASTA’s song ‘dynamite would make and appearance and it did, not just because ASTA and i write songs together, not just because she is a mentor at the Artist Studio, not just because she is so frikkin’ awesome, but becasue i know how hard it can often be to keep writing music in the hope that people will embrace and appreciate it.
One of the main things i have learnt by being so firmly planted in the music industry for over a decade is that you HAVE to celebrate your wins, sometimes the person inside you is just saying ‘i want more’ ‘this isnt enough’ ‘okay, what’s next’ but it is so important to just stop, smile, be in the moment and celebrate every victory you have in this industry…. big or small
With The Rubens taking out the top spot and the list flooded with amazing artists like Tame Impala, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, RUFUS, Hermitude, Flume, Lorde, Disclosure ETC, It is an amazing achievement to score so highly in such a prestige countdown.
So with that said, from everyone at The Artist Studio, i wanted to congratulate ASTA on scoring #47 in the triple hottest 100 of 2016. You’re a bloody legend and deserve the win and every continued success that follows after. Keep killing it ya big superstar!!
Social media has completely changed the world of music today. In the days before the brilliant world wide web, artist to fan interactions were restricted to face to face encounters and were extremely limited; these days artists are able to talk and connect with their fans through a variety of online platforms such as twitter, instagram, facebook and more. Without fans there would be no one to buy music, attend gigs and view videos so it really is important to create a lasting relationship, of which is easily created online.
These platforms make it possible for connections to be made from all around the world; an artist can tweet out from America and have their words read from Australia, England, New Zealand, literally anywhere that has internet connection! Social media not only allows an artist/fan connection but can be used as a promotional tool for brand awareness. Through various online sites an artist can alert their fans of a new video, album release, concert announcement and more to create hype and engage the maximum audience they can. It is actually a very important marketing tool as the posts tend to come from the artists themselves so they can be tailored to the audience and feel like a more personal request rather than simple advertising
YouTube is especially intriguing as anyone with a camera and an internet connection can upload interesting video content. If there was no such thing as this video sharing site we wouldn’t have some of the biggest acts in the world right now such as Justin Bieber and 5 Seconds of Summer.
Justin Bieber was discovered by his current manager Scooter Braun and the young Canadian born pop star was shot to stardom. Had it not been for YouTube we wouldn’t have his loveable hits today such as ‘Where are you now’, Sorry and more! Same goes for 5 Seconds of Summer, The four talented boys from Sydney were slowly gaining traction by posting covers of new and old popular songs when Louis Tomlinson from One Direction tweeted out their videos. Fast forward and they’ve been the support act for 1D, sold out arena stadiums around the world and had number 1 songs. An entire career was made possible by the simple act of creating a video and sharing it online.
Some people even make a living off YouTube by creating tutorials, music videos, covers, vlogs and more! There are some brilliant artists on YouTube, such as Boyce Avenue, Tyler Ward, etc who post multiple covers weekly and tour around the world.
It really is amazing how social media has allowed geographic locations to be completely dismissed as you can be hundreds of miles away from your favourite band/singer yet still be up to date with their music, touring schedule, release dates and more. The easy connectivity we experience has changed the face of marketing in music and the way in which artist/fan encounters occur.
In a technological world with the ability to listen, watch or view anything with a click of a button, streaming services such as Spotify and the widespread availability of torrenting websites the act of physically or digitally purchasing something has become an increasingly rare thing to do, especially when it comes to music. That is why Adele’s 3rd full length album, 25, has made history with its record breaking sales figures. Set to be the fastest-selling album of all time, 25 sold more than 3.378 million copies in 7 days in the US (which beats the previous record of 2.416 million copies held by ‘N Sync’s No Strings Attached), achieved triple platinum ARIA accredited sales in Australia (210,000 sales), 1.7 million physical copies sold in the first week (that figure itself would be a record breaker) and took over 42% of all recorded music sales the week it was released.
The last time an artist experienced this kind of first week sales in Australia was Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian with his debut album Just As I Am in 2003. This is extremely impressive as in the past 12 years the world has become much more technologically innovative and streaming services have surpassed downloading sites such as Itunes and Amazon in terms of popularity. The most reported (and overrated) theory for the albums success is the fact that 25 is not available for streaming on Spotify or Apple Music which means the only way to listen to Adele’s recent release would be to purchase it. However, there is no saying how the streaming service would change sales figures as “Hello” (the albums lead single) broke all time digital singles-sales records even though it was available on both Spotify and YouTube. In fact, “Adele 25 album purchase” was searched more in Google than the album was in Spotify, Apple Music and torrenting sites combined.
Although it was the most highly anticipated record of 2015 (there were more than 900,000 Itunes preorders!) most of the success is owed to the singers lasting impression, winning over the world with her nostalgic second album 21 and classic singles such as Someone Like You and Rolling in the Deep she took a well earned hiatus to rest her throat and raise her child, which has only further amped up her sea of devoted fans and casual listeners. Adele blazed back into the charts like an unexpected meteor shower and awakened her listeners with her cathartic single “Hello”, the perfect introduction to her flawless new full length album. Adele has become one of the most loved musicians of the modern world and her impressive sales figures have only further confirmed the success of the UK songbird, it is no surprise her return has made a big splash on the charts. The astronomical sales figures of 25 is a positive sign in the music industry where physical and digital sales have dropped significantly in the past year alone, remember to purchase your music whether digitally or physically and/or to stream from a recognized site such as Spotify or Apple Music as its not just the artist who benefits from your listening but the entire team behind the record. Congratulations to Adele and her glorious new album!
Music has the incredible ability to make you feel whatever mood it is exuding, and that goes to show exactly how powerful it can be. With that being said, artists all over the world have developed and written songs that have never been heard and probably never will be due to the fact that they lack key components. It’s obvious that every song that has ever been developed cannot be released or produced, but how do you prevent your song from being one of these dead-end projects? Training at schools such as the Artist Studio have been available for a long time and their sole purpose is to help people create successful careers in the music industry, which is achieved by providing extensive training in the many different areas of music. First, students are given vocal lessons that are primarily focused on voice development and artist development. By training the artist in certain skills such as voice modulation, strengthening the vocal chords, and even emanating the emotion of the song, they are made performance ready.
The Artist Studio is not just a singing school we provide a holistic approach to becoming an artist and training in other fields through its different courses, including Music production and song writing, voice and artist development and guitar sessions. All of these components are important in the music industry since they are all needed in order to develop a successful song. This type of approach allows artists to experience the many different dynamics that go into music that they may not have known before, and is the main reason why the artists who’ve trained here have been able to gain international reputations. Another great advantage that you will gain by being associated with the Artist Studio is industry exposure. Students get an opportunity to make song submissions during an annual event in which each individual is able to showcase their talent. This just goes to show that by choosing to train with the Artist Studio, you are setting yourself up for a professional and successful career.
We keep saying that The Artist Studio is about more than just singing lessons, it is a hub for like-minded creative artists to come and develop their craft and take it to the next level; and that we are not singing teachers, we are mentors. With that being said, a bunch of the artists that come and see us have a lot of questions about the music industry and how exactly to get their career started. So, I figured I might start by blogging about the music industry to help give an insight as to some of what is involved.
The music industry is a crazy world made up of many different sectors. For a lot of artists it is sometimes so overwhelming to process all the different things involved in getting a project off the ground and because of this some artists become stagnant as they don’t really know HOW to get things started. Some of the different areas and most important roles within the music industry include Manager, Booking Agent, Record Label, Publisher, Publicist, Producer and Entertainment Lawyer, and over the next few months i’ll give and introduction into the role of each.
The role of a manager is definitley one of the most important – they are the ones who will go in and fight the big fights for you. They are on your team, they generally want you to succeed as much as you do …almost. when finding a manager it is important to look for someone who really believes in what you are doing, someone that might reach out to you BEFORE anyone has even heard of you. Your manager basically acts as a middle man between you and all these other people. They will be the ones trying to hustle for you. It allows you to stick to your job, which is being the artist, writer, performer, producer etc. Being the middle man creates an (often) important separation between you, the artist and whoever else is involved. They will help negotiate contracts and facilitate deals, this can often be confusing and overwhelming for any artist to try and get their head around.
A manager generally takes 20% of your revenue… that’s right, 20%. That is 20% of publishing (which we will discuss another time), 20% of tour earnings/shows, 20% of any corporate offers or sponsorships, 20% of everything unless otherwise stated. Now that may seem a lot, but the truth is that a great manager is easily worth that and more. See, it is in their best interest to make sure you are successful and earning money because essentially the better you do, the better they do.
If a manger is appointed early on in your career it is often their job to try and figure out the best strategy to release your music and get you playing shows and earning money. More often than not that means trying to find you a great booking agent and maybe a record label, (a record label in this day and age isn’t ALWAYS the only way to get your music out there). Essentially you and your manager should work closely together to build a great team around you to achieve WORLD DOMINATION!!! (haha).
It is important to have a great relationship with your manager as they will hopefully be around for a long time. Most importantly, you need to to trust your manager. You need to believe that they are going to go out and fight your battles and have your best interest at heart. However, having a manager doesn’t mean that everything is just going to get done for you. You cannot simply become complacent, as no matter what, it is up to you to always work hard, keep challenging yourself to write better songs, work on your voice, work on your craft, come up with ideas and strategies of your own, push your manager and push yourself. Don’t take the foot off the accelerator once you have management or even a label. A great manager is hard to come by but they are out there!
Keep checking in for regular updates. In Part Two I will discuss the very important role of the Booking Agent.
One of the most useful vocal exercises in singing is the lip trill, which i like to call ‘The Bubble’. If you’ve ever had a singing lesson i am sure you’re singing teacher would have shown you this. When you come for a voice lesson at the artist studio in Randwick, you will DEFINITLEY be doing a lot of these.
The idea of the bubble is to blow air gently through your pursed lips letting out a sound on any given pitch. you can do the bubble on any scale, on any note ascending from low to high or descending high to low or even through an entire song (‘Happy Birthday’ for example). Below is an example of how to to the bubble and how to apply it to a 5 tone scale.
Being a performer, it’s pretty inevitable that (at some stage) you will come face-to-face with one of our most dreaded enemies…Nerves!
It’s only natural that when you are bravely putting yourself on a public performance platform the ‘what ifs’ start taking over! Here are a few we have encountered in our time…
“What if I forget the words?”
“What if I sing the wrong note?”
“What if they don’t like me?”
“What if I fall over on stage?”
So…. What if? Take a second to actually answer and resolve those questions!
We believe that the only way to get better at performing… is by performing! You can practice all you want in your room, in the car and in the shower but nothing compares and develops an artist more than actually biting the bullet and turning your practice into a performance! Whether it’s at a local open mic night, in front of your family or friends or at a professional gig, the more you do it, the more confident and better you will become! This isn’t to say that you won’t still get nervous! But at least you will learn to manage your nerves!
We have put together a few tips to help you out!
1. Practice! – Der! The more confidence you feel about what you are actually performing, the less worried you will be about stuffing it up! Prepare for your performance to avoid last minute stress!
2. Breathe! – As singers, you should know all about diaphragmatic breathing. Utilise this! Breathing correctly helps reduce anxiety and fear!
3. Mindset! – Nerves can create muscle tension so try to be mindful of your thoughts! Positive thinking and affirmations can help distract yourself from negative worrying and allow you to relax a little!
4. Connect! – Remember why you’re performing in the first place! It might be your passion, your expressive outlet or simply for a bit of fun. Don’t rob yourself of that experience! Be in the moment, tell your story and enjoy it!
Last week I was fortunate enough to surround myself with an abundance of live music at the annual Splendour in the Grass music festival. Now, I’m not really one for camping in the freezing cold or endless walking in mud, but I am definitley down for watching some of the best live acts in the world show us how it’s done.
This was my 7th time at the festival and I was excited about some of the bands I was going to see, and many I had already seen before. A lot of them were great, and some were not so great, but there was one that stood out.
So…. the surprise act of the weekend for me was Florence + The Machine. Having been somewhat indifferent to her before seeing her live, I was transformed into a mega fan for various reasons. Firstly, the control over her voice was out of this world; hitting some pretty mental notes effortlessly whilst she bounced around the stage, oozing energy and charisma. Secondly, the way she connected to the lyrics of her song and conveyed her story to the thousands of adoring fans was mesmerising. Thirdly, her presence was amazing, captivating at every minute while channelling the demeanour of Stevie Nicks.
This was an example of a true, complete artist; a seasoned performer. There was no doubt that she has had plenty of singing training and that she had applied all her knowledge of these voice lessons to every aspect of her performance. The voice came first; I have never heard such a flawless execution of a vocal performance in all my years of watching live music. It made me think about how important the role of a voice coach / mentor / music teacher can be, especially in guiding the artist on voice technique and how to use the voice in the best possible way. With that being said, the discipline and work ethic of each individual is above all the most crucial, and watching Florence soar through the highest part of her range with ease was a testament to this.
So how does one get their voice and artistry to THIS level? That is the question. That is what it is all about at the end of the day. This is why The Artist Studio exists; we want to guide every individual through the fundamental techniques in our singing lessons and voice and artist development sessions. However, it is all going to come down to YOU. How hard are YOU willing to work? What are YOU willing to give up? How much time will YOU put in…..?
Here in Sydney, we are pretty much smack bang in the middle of the season that every singer dreads…Winter!
The effects of freezing cold temperatures mixed with horrifically dehydrating air-conditioners and heaters can take their toll on anyone’s throat, voice and body. As singers, we especially have to do whatever we can to avoid getting sick!
So we winter warriors here at The Artist Studio have put together 6 hot tips to assist you in caring for your voice in these hazardous conditions!
1. Keep Warm! – Your body is your instrument so keep it in its case! This means warm jackets and scarfs!
2. Stay Hydrated! – Make sure you are drinking plenty of WATER!!!
(Alcohol & Coffee doesn’t count… Sorry to disappoint!). Warm water with a teaspoon of Manuka honey is always good idea! All that warm, hydrating goodness is a treat for your vocals!
3. Avoid Throat Clearing! – This can remove the good mucous that we actually need in our throat not to mention bash our vocal chords together in an unnatural and potentially damaging way!
4. Sanitise Like No Tomorrow! – Hands are the biggest carrier of germs! So keep some hand sanitizer in your handbag or your car and use it regularly to avoid catching any nasties!
5. Throat Lozenges Don’t Fix Sore Throats! – Yes…they might provide temporary relief, but unfortunately, as delicious as they can be, throat lozenges such as Strepsils, Soothers and Butter Menthols won’t actually treat the issue of why you have a sore throat! Most lozenges simply have a numbing effect and as a result you can’t feel when your throat is being strained! This could damage your throat/voice even more! So we suggest seeing your doctor!
6. Rest! – Not only should you try and get plenty of sleep…but rest your voice too! Don’t overuse it or strain it! And DON’T whisper! Whispering is hard on you vocal folds! Your voice can get fatigued just like any other muscle. So don’t ignore whatever you are feeling and ensure you allow your voice some recovery time after a workout!
If you are feeling well… keep up with your singing lessons and make sure you always let your vocal coach know if you are feeling anything out of the ordinary with your voice!
Can Anyone Sing ??? It’s a common question floating around the internet and it’s an interesting discussion point. There are a lot of singing teachers, music teachers and voice coaches (The experts) out there who suggest that with enough practice and the correct application of voice techniques, that everyone can sing. The first step, obviously, would be to enrol in singing lessons where you can begin vocal training and ultimately learn how to sing.
Some people are predisposed by their genetic make up, with the structure of their Larynx, vocal folds etc. These people will obviously find the process much easier and adapt much quicker. With others it will take time and a lot more practice, as it does when you want to get better at anything.
The voice is like any other muscle and like those muscles it needs to be strengthened. Think of singing lessons as a gym for the voice, the more you train it the stronger it gets. If you wanted toned or bigger arms, you would add a series of arm strengthening exercises to your program.
On Average the male vocal chords vibrate 22 times per second just from speaking. singing requires much more effort, and the higher you go the more they vibrate (440 times per second when singing A above middle C) With this said. Singing is not easy and it does require a lot of training.
So….. can anyone learn to sing? The simple answer is yes. However, realistically speaking the answer is more complex. The more effort someone is going to put in the better they will get, the more they want it and the hungrier they are to succeed the more likely it is for them. The same principle applies to the music industry itself. It’s not a walk in the park and you’ve gotta really want it and be willing to work for it!
So what do you think, Can everybody sing?
People have been predicting the demise and fall of the record label as we know it with every new advancement in technology that directly affects the music industry. There is no doubt that record labels continue to change dramatically with every passing year but although they remain resilient, they refuse or fear to adapt appropriately. Whether or not the small changes will be enough remain to be seen.
Music streaming is, without doubt, the way of the future. It seems people are getting increasingly tired of purchasing music in any way. The easier the better, the quicker the better. We are a generation that demand what we want, when we want it, If streaming companies like Spotify paid the artists a fairer wage, and avoided some of the backlash that got, it may have been the end of the record label as we knew it right then and there.
However, with Apple’s track record for technological advances and their impact on society, you could assume that this will be the scariest move yet. Music streaming services are allowing consumers to access the worlds music library with little to no effort effort at minimal cost. If you match that with a universally recognised and respected company like Apple, You may have a sure fire recipe for success.
What musicians are looking for, is a service that pays the writers, artists, performers, and singers an accurate amount of money that is representative of the amount of plays and the popularity they have.
iTunes really changed things for a solid period of time, but if anything at all, Apple’s new streaming service is going to give the industry a good old fashioned shake up. Do you agree, or do you think it will take much more to bring down such a long standing institution?