I've been singing since I was a small child. The voice has always come easily to me and frankly, I didn't really need to work hard. I just open my mouth and it comes out. I've had a few lessons but mostly self-taught natural ability. Sometimes I was very cocky and felt like I was the best singer out there. That's probably what goes along with being young and full of yourself.
I listened to all kinds of vocalists. I love lyrics. What a song is saying means a lot to me. I've come to understand that your words, whether spoken or sung, will find their way into the heart of the listener, so it's very important that you deposit truth and love.
I've discovered as I get older, its harder to hit some of the notes I used to, or really belt out a tune loud like I did in my early years. I have to work now at it. If I don't sing regularly, my voice tires easily and I don't have the strength.
What I've discovered in my third act is that I have to be kinder to my body and voice. Sing songs that compliment my range and vocal style and make sure my voice is warmed up. Don't get me wrong, I can still belt out a tune, and hit some notes, but I'm very judicious and choose what I'm willing to do. I find that the way a song is interpreted and treated along with amazing lyrics makes the singer and the song great.
I look around and see all these amazing people with voices that can hit notes only dogs can hear and it blows my mind! If I'm not careful, I find myself comparing my voice to theirs. Not a thing to do.
I am understanding now, that I have been given a unique gift from God. and to compare my gift with anyone else is a trick and a trap designed to discourage and derail.
Think about the gift that The Father has given you. Do you treat it with respect, understanding that you were specially chosen to carry this gift? Don't take it for granted, but use it how God intended. Bring joy and pleasure to the world.
Like Spike Lee, develop a method of perfecting your craft, whatever that looks like, research, look at the work of other artists you admire. Go see them in concert, buy a painting, read their book, listen to their CD. See what they are doing and borrow some bits. Its Ok, I do it all the time. (thank you Betty, Ella, Sarah, Chaka, and so many others) Everybody does.
Be your best you. Own your style, approach, method and master it.
Always be a student of your craft, that way it will always be fresh.
You are here to be light, share the light and be the best you can be. Always reach for more and you'll always be growing. In doing so, you glorify your creator.
In the words of Fred Rogers, "There is no one else exactly like you" So go forth and create!