[ Music Info ] How to Become a Music Star
Guest post from Josh Hayward
I think this a question that is on a lot of minds because everyone wants to be in the spotlight, unfortunately not everyone can be. Every aspiring musician or band can learn all the steps to becoming great by simply watching The Voice. Yes, I said that! Why? Because it’s true!
I think this a question that is on a lot of minds because everyone wants to be in the spotlight, unfortunately not everyone can be. Every aspiring musician or band can learn all the steps to becoming great by simply watching The Voice. Yes, I said that! Why? Because it’s true! One of the biggest aspects in making it to the top requires you to be VERSATILE. I stress being versatile to every musician I know or have worked with because there are more genres than the one you WANT to be stuck in.
A death metal guitarist can indeed play in a blues band, a rock vocalist can make an easy transition to pop, so on and so forth. A lot of musicians complain about not making money in the industry but they have nobody but themselves to blame. What reason is there to not spread your abilities across the board? None. (I don’t like that genre doesn’t count) You could be taking that bass skill and applying it to hip hop tracks while simultaneously delivering some round country bass to another song and not only bettering your musicianship but your knowledge of other genres.
It’s more than just being a quality musician, it’s being an entertainer; working the crowd utilizing your body AND your musical talent. If you’re a rap/hip-hop artist, learning some dance moves can help you out a lot on stage or on video, bands can move around the stage more, crowd surf, bring a fan on stage to sing along, hold the mic out to the crowd and let them sing along, just have FUN!
When people SEE you enjoy playing your music and truly synergistic with it and them, then pile true FEEL on top and spark an emotion inside of them their enthusiasm for you will skyrocket. Fans want to FEEL, not just hear that you’re invested in your music and ability from start to finish.
If you actually watch The Voice, you’ll hear a lot about emphasizing what’s INSIDE and externalizing it through your chosen instrument, you can do it with more than a voice, every instrument can have that feeling you’re trying to portray, something as simple as digging into a guitar chord or as complicated as a vocal part can be with the nuances of inflections, pitch and tone control, dynamics and other intricacies.
You also need a look, it counts because having a marketable look is a good thing and very favorable (remember your grandma used to tell you “look your best?” she meant it!). All bands have a look (image) whether they truly LIVE that image in their personal lives or not, you need to have a gimmick, but one that incorporates the REAL you with the entertainer INSIDE of you, it’s not fakery to dream up a persona, it’s marketing. A lot of stars don’t really act like they might in the public eye because deep down, they’re still real people with real feelings.
Many people view Lady Gaga as some sort of “freak” due to her outlandish style and some of the things she says but in reality, she’s a sweet person who does a lot of charity work with her success as a musician and doesn’t treat her fans like crap.
All of these aspects tie together to really WOW an audience and make you stand out from everyone else out there. Some of you might be wondering what specifics they’re judging for and I can definitely give some insight into that. When it comes to judging on The Voice, they’re looking for everything I described above, but more specifically:
1. Pitch control (are you as bad as Erin Martin?)
2. Dynamic control (soft to loud)
3. Tone (can you sustain that note without wavering in pitch?)
4. Emotional response (Did you make Cee-Lo cry?)
5. Inflection (pitch changes between words you can call this “Style”)
6. Note/word integrity (how clearly you hear them)
7. Phrasing (how do you group and transition from note to note?)
8. Projection (how impactful can you make moments in a song?)
9. Risks (get out of your comfort zone)
10. Personality (What quirks show through you?) I could add a few more things but this is a pretty accurate list of what they’re judging for and not everyone has it all, you’ll find that a lot of vocalists just need to be molded, it’s just like production in the fact that you NEED another set of ears or two to bring that something special to your album!
Sometimes a vocalist needs that special push from a third party who can truly hear what they’re doing and trying to achieve. Once they “get it” the sky’s the limit. There is definitely no formula for stardom, but doing all of these things and putting FEEL into your playing, will send you further than you might imagine. While you’re at it, learn the industry and quit asking people for free production. That’s an instant door closer.