That which touches the heart is never boring.
Even if it is repeated over and over again. We always come to the same truth: it’s essence what matters, not the stories themselves, nor the clothes, nor the letters, nor the make-up. But the essence.
When you sing a song which is not yours, do you follow the music by reading the notes or/and lyrics from a music score? do you put a bit or a lot of “you” in it? we should always be seeking to breathe life into what, hopefully, has been the composer’s experience of an inspired moment. The notes are a skeleton which we then bring to life with flesh and blood (tears if needed too!). However, if you only sing songs that someone else has written… you will not necessarily find your own essence. And I am not talking here of just giving “personality” to the song, but also channeling truth through your singing, through your expression.
I was one to idolize, but not a common one [internal giggles] – this reminds me of a period in my life… when I… well, I’ll leave that for when I write my book 🙂 – I admired a few singers because I wanted to learn from them, I wanted to become them, not only because everyone admired them but because of the persons they were through mastering their talents. But I also had my own messages, my own way, and I didn’t feel that my songs were less meaningful than those of other ‘recognized’ artists.
I encourage my students to imitate other singers’ styles and voices… to ‘learn’ and integrate their skills into their own. The same way they would learn from a teacher or mentor. But I never tell them to hold on to them as if they were absolute truths to swear by, because they are not, and nothing is. The thing is, if you idolize someone and perceive yourself as inferior, you will never develop your own potential, your own divinity, your own essence. Recognise the greatness of your talents and your unique abilities. When you express yourself, that expression is the reflection of your higher-you (hopefully!), so it makes no sense to look at someone else’s expression and compare it to your own, it creates a limiting effect.
The experience of expressing your own essence creates a uniqueness, a substance, a flavour, that teaches you to be daring. Improvisation is then born, but that’s another subject.
Remember this: Don’t sing, allow yourself to be sung 🙂