How do you choose your songs? Some people love a great power ballad, while others go for something they know that they can really nail, some choose a song that their parents listened to when they were growing up. These are all great reasons, but sometimes when picking the song we like the sound of, we forget to ask – what is the song really saying?
Great singers see the song as a vehicle for communication, not just for helping them sound good. They interpret and extract the meaning of every lyric and somehow, it just seems to come from their heart. If you’re choosing a song, consider how you relate to the lyric. Can you relate to anything in it? Can you empathise with the story?
Here are a few things that can act as starting points for you. Firstly, ask questions; “What is this character experiencing?”, “What do they really want?”, “What have they gone through in the past?”
From there you can use your imagination to flesh out the details. Let your mind be visually active in this process so you can create a vivid scene around you. If you move, moment to moment through the song, those details of your imagination will help you to react vocally as you need to, and the lyric will start to come alive!
Don’t be afraid to bring your whole self to the performance. Don’t hold anything back. Let the audience, the camera or the microphone experience an abandoned and open version of you. Let people in and they will relate and you’ll help them understand themselves better – all through the power of music.