What makes a song memorable? Is it the lyrics? The way the melody flows? The energy and excitement of the rhythm? All of these could be true. For me, the most memorable songs are the ones that are made entirely unique by the singer. It takes a song to a whole new level.
Singing is all about the interpretation. Whether you’re playing a character in a musical theatre song, rocking out to a Linkin Park song, or rapping along to a Jay-Z song, each song is a lump of clay that is waiting for you to form it. If you choose to form the song “Defying Gravity” the way Idina Menzel formed it – with the same riffs and notes – that’s up to you. But now, you’re the singer and you have full control of this song. How do you want the song to sound? Do you want to change Beyoncé’s upbeat song “Love on Top” to a slower bluesy feel? Do you want to add your own riffs in the song “Shallow” by Lady Gaga? How do you hear the song presented in your head?
Something that can help in making a song your own is figuring out the story the original artist was trying to tell through that song. How do you relate to this story? Once you know and understand both of these, you can mold a song to fit your interpretation while still staying true to the original intention of the song.
A different approach is figuring out your identity as a singer. What is your style? What makes you tick? What makes goosebumps appear on your arms? How far can you stretch yourself? Once you know the answer to these questions, your unique interpretations can blow people away. The better you know yourself and your voice, the more confident you will be in finding your own rendition of a song.
Explore these ideas and answers in your voice lessons. Take risks. A great vocal coach won’t try to fit you into a mold but instead enhance and encourage your unique, individual voice. Together, you can determine who you are as a singer, the story your song is telling, what you want to convey through the song, and how to vocally make it all happen. Soon, you’ll make your chosen song both unforgettable and your very own.