Ever wonder about the secrets of singing success? I would not want to win American Idol or The Voice. Why? Well, those are TV show popularity contests, and while some strong singers have come out of them, like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, for the most part it’s a bunch of kids singing karaoke and trying to get noticed.
Granted, we live in a 24-7 “always on” world these days, where you can have your own YouTube channel, Facebook page, etc. That means the ability to “reach the world” with your music is there for anyone willing to give it a try.
There are millions of aspiring artists in the world today. You could spend a lifetime just watching their videos online. But what are the secrets of singing success in the world we live in today?
I’ve recorded some albums, I’ve written some songs, and I’ve performed live in front of all sorts of audiences. I’m not a household name, I’m not on award shows, and I don’t make millions– but I do know the secrets of singing success.
The day I decided that chasing the idea of fame and fortune was not my desire was the day I became a successful music maker. I look around at fellow music makers today and see them feeling utterly disappointed that they didn’t “make it big.” Yet they have audiences who love them, venues to play, and songs to record and share.
What is it about this world we live in that convinces us we’re not successful music makers unless we have a big house, a fast car, songs on the radio and endless devotion from the masses?
I would rather sing for a small group of people where I can look into their eyes, they see me and we truly connect than to stand before a crowd of 20,000 in an arena show. By the way, I’ve done that– I’ve been on stage with Kenny Loggins in front of thousands, and it was fun–sure–but it wasn’t intimate. When music is allowed to be intimate is when it’s at its best.
I believe music is about making a connection between the performer and the audience. I also believe music is God’s divine gift to people– a way to express emotions and truth and ideas in a way that speaks to our collective souls.
One of the secrets of singing success is to truly believe the words you’re singing to an audience. If you believe it, they believe it. You’re there to reflect back to them what’s on their mind but they can’t seem to express in everyday life. You help them get out their feelings. Your music helps them communicate what they believe and what they feel. Your music has the power to change their whole day for the better, improving their outlook on life. That’s powerful.
Some say you have to shock your audience to get their attention these days by dressing oddly and doing on-stage antics like Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Madonna often do. While that can lead to “success,” ask most people what they think of artists like that and they’ll probably tell you they wish they’d “just sing.” Spectacle can be fun, but simply singing from the heart is often much more touching– that’s why Adele and Sam Smith became stars…
One thing I’ve noticed about some musicians is they beat themselves up mentally– they verbally berate themselves for a missed note or a wrong chord. The reality is this: we’re all human…we all make mistakes…we’re not perfect. An audience is more sympathetic than artists think. Rather than be so self-critical, learn to be okay with failing sometimes, because being a successful music artist HAS to involve failing. You have to have bad days to appreciate the great ones, you know?
Here’s a secret to being a successful music artist: create stuff daily.
Some stuff will be awful; other stuff will be brilliant. Write lyrics, draw doodles, take photos, post blogs, etc. Create stuff both without people in mind and with people in mind. Sometimes you should create just for the pure joy of creating. Other times you should create something to encourage or inspire someone else. You will have critics– they’re to be expected. Keep in mind that people will criticize your creations because they have neither the time nor talent to create–and secretly they envy you!
Finally, I’d say this: be yourself. As cliché as it sounds, there’s only one you in this world. To be a successful music artist means becoming who you are in front of an audience. You are in charge of you. You have the want and desire to lead people using music, exploring ideas and emotions in a shared and intimate environment. Share love and truth and talent– all gifts from God– with people thru music, and you will be a successful music artist in the world we live in. –Mark Weber