Friday, June 17, 2011
My Top Influential Singers
#1 - Prince: Ever since I was a little girl, I loved Prince. My mom says she took me to see "Purple Rain" thousands of times and said I couldn't move my eyes off of the screen.What I admire most about him is his originality. Some artists are copycats and carbon copies but he is in a category of his own. His musicianship is beyond amazing. His lyrics made me hope that someday I'd be an artist and also got me through some tough times when I was a little girl.
#2 - Mariah Carey: I will always believe that her voice was a gift from God. I don't know how someone can sing so beautifully. I have to admit, I am referring to early Mariah when she was still quite unknown and scratching the surface as a singer. Her debut album blew everyone out of the water. Her vocal control is phenomenal and I always loved how she looked so delicate back then. If I'm walking around a store and old Mariah comes on, tears run down my face. I get chills when I hear her riffs.
Listening back to that collection of songs, I hear my mother but in a different way. She does too. She says she had an idea I would inherit some things musically but just wasn't sure how they would develop. As a baby, she said I would sing and imitate Chaka Khan notes before I could talk but when I hit like three years old, I couldn't really sing. It's funny, I remember trying to sing but not hitting the correct notes. She said she wasn't worried. I just had to find my own voice.
As an artist, my mom has taught me not to be afraid to belt. We are on the short side and people always get blown away at how my mom's voice sounds like it's coming from a huge, gospel singer. When they see this little petite woman, it's kind of shocking. She has also taught me not to be afraid to be different. She is one of the few people that has NEVER told me I should change my songwriting to be more mainstream. She encourages my weirdness and says that it's original. "One day they will try to be like you." Well, Mommy, they will be trying to be like you because that's what I do:)
I remember I used to be able to emulate Fiona's voice almost perfectly. I wanted to be just like her...and then something changed. I think it was when I turned 18. This is when "Shaharoh" emerged. If I had to name my top vocal influences, I would say Fiona Apple, my mom, Brandon Boyd and of course, me.
Umm...ok, enough with that digression. What is "me" or my style is the way I sing my words, the way I write and the way I execute my melodies. I like to sing extremely soft and then let the beast out with belting. My vibrato and the way I ad-lib is my own. I am not saying that I have the best voice on the planet --what I am saying is that I have my OWN voice.
I don't expect people to like me or my style of music because everyone is entitled to their own opinions. When people compare my mom and I or ask us who sings better, I always point out that she is an Entertainer and I am a Singer-Songwriter/Musician. There's a huge difference. She writes music too and can play piano but she is a crowd mover and is magical when she is on stage. She's more like Look at me! I am more about the element of surprise. I like to begin a song and let it creep up on the audience. I am more like Listen to my music and if you like it, Great. If not, Oh Well! I am The Anomaly.
There are so many singers, artists and entertainers who have moved me but the people on this list have played the most important part to how I formed my artistry. I love them.
*Here are the artists' websites - just in case you'd like to check out their latest music, concerts and info.
Prince - His official website is closed so here's a fan site.
Celine Dion Facebook - Her website is under maintenance
Shaharoh and my other musical adventure In Lieu Of