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Category Archives: Inspirational Thoughts

My Motivation – Death

21st August 2020

People ask me how I stay very motivated. 

 

Well, the honest answer is this – from time to time I will contemplate my own death. This may sound weird to you or even depressing – but it’s really not. 

 

We live in a world where people are obsessed with petty problems, things that just won’t matter when we are at the end of our lives. 

 

Contemplating your own death can give you an amazing perspective on life. 

 

I used to think this was ‘weird’ that I did this, but then I read ‘The Obstacle Is The Way’  by Ryan Holiday where he has a whole chapter on this topic. He described how it was a stoic way of appreciating life. He also referred to a book ‘Meditations – By Marcus Aurelius’ (which I highly recommend) where again, to think on ones own death was mentioned a lot to live your best life. 

 

There’s a brilliant interview with Ryan Holiday and Gary Vaynerchuk where they both say how much they think about their own death as fuel for life. I’m the same in that regard. 

 

Remembering that you only have one life, and someday it will be over, are you really living the life you want right now? I always ask myself this when i’m about to start a new project, venture or chapter in my life. 

 

I’ve been ‘blessed’ in a way because I was a few days away from my death at the age of 27. I saw my death head on and thought that maybe this was my lot, my end. I remember feeling a moment of acceptance of my death. 

 

With that awakening, I now use every moment I have to do what I believe in. I only do what I’m passionate about and I try to make the most out of life. If I’m not enjoying something or I’m not happy doing it, then i’ll change. 

 

I don’t want you to have a near death experience like me to encourage this spark in you. But do me a favour and sit on your own for 15 mins (at least), and just think on your own death. Just sit alone and think on it. How many years may you have left in your life? Will it just feel like a long sleep that you never wake up from? 

 

Ask yourself, ‘Is how I’m living my life right now the way I would want to be living it’?

 

If there’s a problem going on with your life, put that into context after you contemplate your mortality. It probably won’t matter. 

 

Do this not in a depressing way, but in a way that wakes you up and makes you realise how lucky you are to be alive. Incredibly lucky. 

 

Let that realisation become your compass and guide you to how you should live your precious life 

Your Time Becomes Your Expertise

19th May 2020

Spend time doing lip rolls on a 5 tone scale and you will become an expert at doing lip rolls on a 5 tone scale 

 

Spend time thinking about vocal technique and you will become an expert at thinking about vocal technique 

 

Spend time performing on stage to a live audience and you will become an expert at performing on stage to a live audience 

 

Spend time reading books on singing and you will become and expert at reading books on singing

 

Spend time challenging yourself outside of your comfort zone and you will become an expert at challenging yourself outside of your comfort zone

 

Spend time worrying about your future and you will become an expert at worrying about your future 

 

Spend time taking action towards a goal and you will become an expert at taking action towards a goal 

 

Spend time doing what makes you happy and you will become an expert at doing what makes you happy 

 

Where are you spending your time? 

Singers – Raise Your Profile

29th January 2020

When I search your name in Google, what comes up? Anything?

When I look through your social media, is it a fair representation of you?

Are you on Spotify or Apple Music, as we would expect of successful singers? 

How many hours of online content do you have which shows your craft?

Have you got a website that’s up to date? 

You may wonder why do all this….but we are in show Business or the music Business aren’t we? 

Times are changing, and gone are the days of waiting around for a phone call from your agent. The internet has changed everything and gave everyone an immense opportunity to be creators of their own success.

If you’re wanting to work as a singer in 2020 in a crowded competitive industry – there’s no excuse not to have a strong online presence.

You should be seeing yourself a one person business and doing whatever you can to succeed. 

Social media is free for everyone to upload content, songs, covers of them singing or just put out what inspires them and show that to the world – there’s no excuse not to do it

I’ve set up The Recording Artist Programme with Oli Delbos – Music Producer 

He often has major labels in the recording studio who meet with a new artist. One of the first things the label will do is to check out the artists online presence and profile.

What’s their social media look like? What comes up on google? How active has the artist been in putting out songs. What do other people say about them?

Imagine if ‘Apple’ didn’t have a website or a successful singer or band like ‘One Republic’ was not on Spotify. We expect those things because we see them as high profile. 

Raising your profile as a singer can be hard work and it’s not a short term fix. 

The easy thing to say is ‘yeah just send a singing reel to a top theatre agent with a nice covering letter’ or ‘just send your demo off to Simon Cowell’ But that’s like me sending a direct message on Instagram to Ariana Grande and asking for a date – it’s not going to happen, she doesn’t know me. 

The process of raising your profile takes time and a mindset of treating your singing services like a business. I’m start to coach this more and more with my clients, because being a successful singer is about much more than singing.

But if you’re persistent, smart and dedicated to doing everything you can and raising your online profile – in the end you won’t be cold calling asking for people in the industry to ‘pick me’ …..but people will reach out to you 

Why I Told My Health Story

17th October 2019

 

A few weeks ago I decided to literally bare all and tell the authentic truth about my battle with ulcerative colitis, life saving operations and living with an ileostomy bag.

I’m pleased to say it’s now had over 900k views. But why did I do it? After all, I didn’t have to – it was a hidden illness, and I could have gone through life keeping it a secret 

 

The truth is that earlier this year I felt really low. I was at points – completely miserable. And I couldn’t work out why. I had got my life back, I was grateful to be alive. I had completed that journey of piano from scratch, being fully booked as a coach and living my life purpose. I couldn’t understand why something just felt wrong. 

 

I decided to seek professional advice and talk to someone. I saw this as a strength, not a weakness. If I have the self awareness to know that I need help, then I’m happy to do something about it. 

 

I told the therapist my full story and he said to me, ‘So you’ve been through all that, and you’re basically keeping that under wraps and not telling anyone’ He continued ‘You’ve been through the most transformative time in your life, you have a lot of things you’ve learnt from that time, and you’re keeping that all locked in so it’s no wonder you feel an internal conflict’ 

 

It hit me like a ton of bricks, with the realisation that not only was I still very uncomfortable and defensive about talking about the subject, but that I had not been showing up in the world in a true authentic way. I tried to just pretend my past didn’t happen to me, instead of having positive meaning to my story and using my story for the greater good. 

 

He congratulated me on my career success but said to me I was ‘way too orientated outwards thinking external success would heal what’s inside me’ and he was absolutely right, no amount of external success will ever fix you internally. That was a huge awakening for me. 

 

He quoted me the quote they use for alcoholics anonymous ‘You’re only as sick as your secrets’ and sent me off with a book recommendation of Brene Browns ‘Power of Vulnerability’ 

 

I contemplated what he’d said for the weeks and months to come, and I couldn’t believe how true everything was. 

 

My story had become a burden of secrecy. I had a sense of ‘shame’ around it all. I would show up in the world and meet new people, really just as a ‘character’ and not my true authentic self. And it was really tiring. 

 

The politically correct thing to say would be ‘I did it all to inspire others’ but that’s not true. It was probably a 50-50 combo of doing it for others and doing it for me. 

In the end though these things are not separate. Instead, they work together in a full circle and come back around to always heighten each-other in a positive way. 

By bringing meaning to others, it in turn gives you fulfilment. And by sharing your true story it in turn helps others. It’s a beautiful full circle.

 

I’m glad I did it. I feel like everything that came out of it was a positive. I can’t tell you how emotional I was reading every one of the thousands of comments and inboxes I received. It was truly amazing to know that I could help other people with their journey. 

 

I received so many beautiful messages from people saying things like ‘I’ve had the ileostomy bag, and been really lacking confidence in my life – you’ve shown me I can still go out and live my best life’ or ‘I have been told that I am going to have to have the ileostomy bag, and I was dreading it, but after seeing your video, I know I will be ok now’ 

 

My story that I had kept secret was now bigger than myself. It had now been used for the greater good and brought meaning to others. I feel a weird sense of calmness and meaning that maybe now it was all meant to be. Maybe I was meant to have the ileostomy bag all along so that I could share this story. 

 

And if you’re reading this wondering if you should share your truth, I would say, yes, but you don’t have to do it the way I did. It’s a game of incredible self awareness and what’s right for you. It could be blogging about it, telling more close friends, discussing your truth on an online forum connecting with others, writing in a private journal, maybe publish a real book, or social media. It’s whatever you feel comfortable with and whatever is best for you. If in doubt, get advice from a professional and take small steps first. 

 

But just make sure you’re not storing up your truth in a way that is detrimental to your life. 

 

I hope my story inspired you on some level. You don’t have to have ulcerative colitis to understand it. I hope that it’s a story of overcoming adversity which we can, or will, all relate to at some-point. 

 

Even if I don’t know you, or we will never meet, I hope that in some small way I have made your life a bit better. 

Positive Vs Negative Motivation

6th June 2019

‘You’ll see it when you believe it’ – Wayne Dyer 

What’s motivating you?

Theres 2 main types of motivation – positive and negative. I want you to be conscious of which one you are using.

Negative motivation can really work. For a certain time anyway.

Has someone told you that you can’t sing? Someone told you that you won’t ‘make it’? Has someone ever been very critical of you? 

This can storm up a whirlwind of emotions which can build determination and ‘I’ll prove you wrong’ attitude. 

And negative motivation will work in the beginning, it will get you going. 

So many people in history have started huge success in life from a negative circumstance in life. 

The problem is that it always runs out at some point – Here’s why.

Let’s say that someone once said to you ‘I don’t think you will ever be in the West End’ 

Well…. you could react to that and it could give you a lot of negative motivation and drive. 

But what happens the day when you DO get in a West End Show? What’s going to drive you after that, as you haven’t got that negative motion to drive you anymore? The negative emotions and pain has now gone. 

Another classic example of this in a different context is the gym. Someone may have called you overweight at school. That sits in your mind, and you go to the gym to ‘show them’… until of course the day comes when you are not overweight anymore. Then what? The motivation isn’t there, and without switching to a positive motivation – you have plateaued or worse go back to your former weight. 

But positive motivation never fades. Instead of running away from something (the negativity motivation) you are now working TOWARDS something. A positive image and vision of the future. Be specific.

It’s called a vision because you can see it in your mind. 

This is why Law Of Attraction and vision boards work for a lot of people. Because it puts a powerful positive motivation into your mindset. 

So develop a strong positive motivation. 

A clear precise image of everything you want. Then it’s about following it up with an action plan to get you there. My job as a coach is not just about teaching people to sing. It’s so much more than that. It’s helping people to achieve their unique vision. 

If your future goal is strong and powerful enough, then your motivation will always be there for you. 

‘You’ll see it when you believe it’ – Wayne Dyer. 

The High Level Solution To Getting a Top Agent

26th April 2019

There are a lot of singers and actors in London. A lot!
But there’s not many ‘Top Agents’ in London. Certainly not compared to the amount of actors writing off to them for representation.
So what’s the high level solution to getting a top agent?

 

Well, I could tell you, just hustle away. Day and night! Write off to every agent constantly. Keep persisting until you get a ‘yes’ no matter what it takes. Knock on doors, ring numbers etc. And for some people this may work. But it’s not the high level solution, in my opinion.

 

The right path in life is often the hard path in life.

 

The high level solution is to become the person that the agent wants. Be so exceptional at what you do, that they are seeking you out and ringing you.

 

Easier said than done? Yes, of course, it’s going to be really hard work. But anything valuable in life will be.
It’s hard work to stand out from the crowd and be unique, it’s hard work to stick it out, and it hard work to constantly keep working on your craft.

 

But the pay off is… if you can get to a point where people are saying ‘have you heard this person sing’ ‘did you see that performance they did in that show’ ‘I can’t believe how good this person is in that role’

 

If you can do great work, unique work that stands out from the crowd, then people will come to you.

 

Think of it like dating. If you are running around after agents without first having a strong profile yourself, – well it’s like running around asking 100 people for a date saying please pick me. It’s not really going to work.

 

But have you noticed that the people who have really worked on themselves don’t need to run around asking for a date? People come to them. It’s similar in this industry.

 

Work on your craft to the point where you are exceptional at what you do. And the top agents will come to you. That’s the high level solution and that’s the truth.

 

For further reading on this topic I recommend the book ‘So good they can’t ignore you’ by Cal Newport

Seize The Opportunity

17th January 2019

We are living in the best time ever. Period. There’s no point waiting for the ‘next big thing’ it’s here right now. Opportunity is everywhere….but will you take it?

Not too long ago you needed ‘permission’ to do something. People used to have the power to declare whether or not you could do what you wanted. A classic example being the record label holding the keys to being a recording artist.

Times are changing and we are basically in the Opportunity Revolution. People have made a living and created careers from platforms like Youtube.
Technology has meant that we no longer have restrictions on the people we can reach and opportunities we have.
You no longer need permission – it’s all on you. (and that’s scary but great!)

As a singer, you need to be doing EVERYTHING you can to put yourself out there.
Gone are the times on relying on others (including your agent)

Have you got a facebook page as a singing artist?
Are you posting on ‘Facebook live’ with new songs, lyrics and performances?
Have you got your own Youtube channel? Are you building your channel and community?
Are you consistently putting songs on Soundcloud?
Are you using instagram to connect with other singers you may want to collaborate with?

All of this builds your profile. So when people look you up online…Google does not lie. The more great content you have, the more chance one of those songs will connect with someone. And word can spread at a huge pace over the internet.

Become a creator and create your own opportunities.
There is no excuse not to use all these great social media sites to build your career. Be responsible for your future and use this era of opportunity we are in to make the most of it!

Go out there now and create. Sing. Be heard.
Otherwise you may regret that you missed the opportunity.

What We Can Learn From Freddie Mercury

3rd November 2018

After seeing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at the cinema, I was once again reminded just how much of a legend Freddie Mercury is.
What made Freddie unique? What made him the remarkable and memorable performer whose music and voice still live on today.
Well of course it’s not just one aspect. There are so many factors that make a star. Where singers or vocal coaches will go wrong is thinking that it’s just about the singing. This would be a mistake.
I could go on for hours in detail about all the factors which made him successful.
Some of the factors include the following…
A singer with a unique tonal quality and fantastic range. A show-stopping energetic performer. A brilliant songwriter and lyricist. His flamboyant style and outfits. His authenticity to be exactly who he wanted to be and say what he wanted to say.
I could go on but today the factor I will focus on today is authenticity.
He was unapologetically himself. He was well known in interviews to say exactly what he thought. More importantly he poured his heart and soul into his art. For me this was the X factor. Everything he went through in his life he turned into his art. The songs he wrote didn’t come out of nowhere, they weren’t fake or fabricated to be a hit. No – they were 100% what he was going through at each stage of his life. What could be more real than telling your own story. Examples of this are songs such as ‘love of my life’ ‘Who wants to live forever’ ‘Days of our lives’ ‘Show must go on’ ‘Too much love will kill you’ …. All these songs were written from specific emotional moments in his life that he decided to put into his art and give his gift to the world.
For me, these songs then become irreplaceable. Even if another singer sings ‘Who wants to live forever’ amazingly well…it can never replace Freddie. It can never replace the original as that was where the story and the true emotion came from.
And you can hear the authenticity in his voice on all of the mentioned tracks.
By bearing all and putting your heart and soul out to the world, you create the deepest emotional connection with your audience and fan base. So people don’t just like Freddie. They love him. They feel like they know him. They feel like he was a friend. This will never come from singing technique alone, instead this comes from the emotional connection created by the authenticity in his work.
Whatever your story is, there is no doubt it will touch someone else’s heart. It’s up to you if you want to tell your stories to the world and how you tell them. If you are a recording artist, then there is no better way than turning your real story into your art.
No matter what the story, if it’s true and authentic it will always succeed.

Put yourself out there to the world

18th October 2018

We are living in a busy world right now. It’s a noisy world of social media and EVERYONE has an opinion. If we took on the opinions of everyone around us, we would not get very far.
You need to be able to stay strong and grounded within yourself. This comes from you discovering your unique and specific life purpose. It comes from you visualising your future goals, then mapping out each step to achieve those goals.
Once you have these in place, then you are on a strong and unstoppable mission to succeed.

An opinion only has power over you if you believe it to be true.

Sit with that for a second. Think about when someone says something about your work, take a step back and think…’Do I actually agree with what they said?’
If you have put out a song cover that you are proud of, then someone you don’t know comes along and says it’s average – do you take that on board? Do you let it stop you? Do you then stop from making further singing covers on social media?

The main issue is people worrying about what other people think. This is a crime because it inhibits singers from doing their best work and putting themselves out there to the world.

People on the internet, people who dislike your facebook post, online reviewers, people who leave a comment on youtube….these people probably do not know you at all.
Do not let these thoughts or worries stop you from producing your great work.

Expect some negative comments from time to time. Expect it. But don’t let it stop you.

This is different to feedback. Feedback is important to us as artists and can help us improve our craft. But be mindful who the feedback is coming from. Is it coming from someone you really respect? Is it coming from someone who is a ‘talker’ from the sidelines with a criticism? Or is it coming from someone who has walked the walked and puts their own ideas and work out into the world?
Personally there is currently only 3 vocal coaches in the world (all in America) that I would really take advice and insights from. I’m still incredibly open minded to new ideas but I take it with a pinch of salt and really look at where that opinion is coming from.

In the end we would look back on life and we wouldn’t worry what people said on youtube or facebook about our singing voice. Instead we would only regret not putting our art out to the world more.

So write those lyrics, get in the recording studio, go to that audition, get back into vocal coaching sessions, put that cover up on youtube, send that showreel off to agents and get on stage on open mic night.

Go create great work! Life is too short not to.

Vocal Style

5th October 2017

You’re progressing well, you’re technique is coming along. The scales are getting easier. You’re hitting all those notes… Now what?
Style!
Think of any artist – even a painter will do… Picasso, did he have his own unique style? Of course! Although a painter, he was, of course, an artist with unique individual choices.
We are artists of the singing voice! There’s so much we can explore with our voices. This could be deliberate changes to vibrato, breathiness, larynx height, mouth shape, vowel changes (to name a few!!).
There are so many tools available to you as a singing artist. Why not Explore all your tools?! Exaggerate and have fun!
You will be surprised what amazing, unique sounds you can make. Like the painter using all their colours. we must use all our vocal colours.
Enjoy exploring your style, and feel free to get in touch for further instruction and tips from a professional voice coach!