February is Black History Month. It is always highlighted at the beginning of the month in social media and on the news and then the topic seems to go forgotten. To eliminate racial biases, we must keep the conversation alive. I am of the belief that true appreciation comes year long, not only a few days of the year. However, dedicating a full month to Black History is essential to remind everyone of its importance and that there is still work left to be done. Therefore, I am ending February by honouring Black people once again. Here are 5 extraordinary Black singers whom you most likely already know. Whether they directly or indirectly influence your life, the outstanding creativity and talent they bring to the music industry is undeniable. Let's take a moment to think about what you can learn from them in order to step up your own singing skills.
Photography credits to Getty Images. Please see below for details.
To this day, Prince's voice and music remains one of a kind. There was never a half dose of intensity in his work. He always sang to the true expression of his heart. Super immersed in his art, he was as captivated by it, as he was captivating to watch. Prince was able to expand the norms of pop culture with his gender defying statements. It is the combination of his fashion style and vocal approach that mirrored his individuality the best. Indeed, Prince demonstrated incredible versatility in his singing by constantly moving from a clean tone to falsetto to raspy to belting. Prince's soaring melodies and catchy tunes are a testament to his love of music. The extend of his leadership is truly inspiring and impossible to describe in just a few words. But if there is one thing that I'd like to remember from Prince, it's to embrace who you are and dare to be yourself.
Doesn't Beyonce make it look ridiculously easy to sing? Not only is she a fabulous singer and gorgeous woman, she is also a fierce dancer! I honestly don't know how she manages to sing with such a high level of skills while dancing at the same time. It's mind blowing! She obviously has impeccable vocal technique. In fact, I often refer to her live performance to illustrate some of the strategies that I teach my clients. Her tone is smooth as honey and her runs are extremely precise. She can sing anything and she sings with sincere conviction. Her facial expression is always natural yet dramatic. Love it!
When I think about Rihanna, confidence and charisma come to mind. She is a gifted singer although she apparently never had any official vocal training. It makes sense that she comes across as so spontaneous in her interpretation of songs. It's also cool that she can rap because that adds a bit of edge to her persona. I have a feeling that her vocal skills go far beyond what most of her hit songs let transpire. She is playful and passionate about her art and watching her perform is fascinating.
4) Bruno Mars
Here is a multi-talented artist who can play several instruments and sing absolutely any genre effortlessly. Because Bruno Mars began his career performing alongside his parents in Hawaii as a child, he's the living proof that when the seeds of music are cultivated at a young age, it can mature into a fantastic gift. I find it interesting that he once earned a living impersonating artists like Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. Instead of losing himself in the mist of these influences, Bruno Mars was clearly able to figure out who he is so that his unique vocal style shines through. That is a great lesson to learn; model and study other singers but always stay true to who you are and bank on what makes you special.
5) Aretha Franklin
The Queen of Soul! Like many singers of our time, Aretha Franklin began to sing at church. I can relate to that! It's no secret that religion has been and continues to be one of the most prominent sources of music. It gives meaning to singing being the ultimate God given instrument. Find answers to questions within yourself by connecting to your heart source and channeling your feelings and beliefs through music. This is a power that transcends all cultures and unites us all. Elevating our conscience with her powerful singing, she did! Aretha Franklin had the pipes of an organ! Her voice mesmerized anyone who cared to listen. I was surprised to spot Mick Jagger in the audience of one of her gospel concerts in the documentary "Amazing Grace". Many of her songs defy the passage of time and remain relevant in today's climate. Our world would be a better place if we could just all have a little more "Respect"; what do you think?!
I would like to personally thank all Black People for your AMAZING contributions to our families and communities. I celebrate your beautiful minds and kindred hearts and everything that you do to brighten our days... I acknowledge the similarities in our diversity because every culture is noteworthy and valuable. We can learn so much from each other! Let's be strong and united together.
Seeing that music is a compelling tool to fuse our differences and close the gap, I'd like to encourage you to take the next step towards expressing yourself vocally and reach out so that we can become one world, one goal, one people.
Just like the 5 singers in this blog, you too can make a difference. Let's chat about your singing needs and aspirations. Head up to my calendar to schedule a FREE consultation session together:
"If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change"
-Michael Jackson (Man In The Mirror)