So last weekend was the Super Bowl, GO BRADY! And it was a fun game! (So I hear from my husband who watched it, I just popped in for the halftime show- The Weekend was talented, interesting choreography, too.) In order to win a football game you have to play by the rules. If you don’t you’ll get referees yelling at you and it will hurt your team. Rules. Never liked them myself. I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. Luckily, I chose to be a musician not a football player (for lots of reasons)!
But maybe there are some rules in music, too, that I am not doing too well in following either!
But I have been doing some deeper self reflection lately.
*****WORSHIP: Still on line! (Though last week I sang as a guest worship leader at Lighthouse Fellowship in N Quincy.) My regular Sunday services are on Facebook or Youtube. You can hear a bunch of great sermons and worship songs (I am on some of them) at https://www.youtube.com/c/BostonChurchofChrist/playlists
Back to my story: When an actor goes to audition for a role, certain things are expected in how they will sing the music depending on the genre. If the music is folk, it should be simple to sing along with (the same with most contemporary worship music); If it is jazzy, the phrasing is more complex as are the grooves (also true of R&B), and there may be some or lots of improvisation needed (Love that SCAT!). If the song is country, it should have a certain amount of twang and if it is rock you should usually forgo the lofty articulation and vibrato to let the raw emotion take over. Pop rarely has vibrato and is lighter than rock. Classic musicals, like the Sound of music require singers with more classical training.
So if you aren’t auditioning for Broadway you ask “What do I care?” Well, what if there was some artist that you listen to that completely defies categorization? What if that person were ME?
I used to think I just couldn’t decide what genre to choose- I mean, I love SCAT singing (Jazz) and I love the messages in folk and the family friendliness of country (and humor- and BOOTS!) I enjoy the groove in R&B and the energy of Rock. And of course I LOVE to worship! But it isn’t really about choosing. After some deep introspection I realized, I don’t fit ANY genre! I am too complex for folk and too deep in my lyrics for jazz. I am too white for R&B (and certainly not sexy enough). I don’t have a twang when I sing country and I sing with too much vibrato for pop. I am not rebellious enough for rock, or is it that I am not angry enough? And I am both a bit too edgy and jazzy for contemporary worship. I represent the true melting pot of American musical styles!
These generalizations don’t cover every song I song, but probably most of my originals. But if you like what I do- THANK YOU! If I am nothing else, I am an artist!