Jonathan was a runner up with his singing partner Charlotte in the 6th season of Britain’s Got Talent.
Since then he has enjoyed a glittering career, performing around the world in front of star-studded audiences, and his debut solo album reached the top of the classical chart.
Which singers inspire you the most?
In the classical world it’s definitely Pavarotti – who else would it be? But I’m almost exclusively into heavy metal which is perhaps a bit odd for a classical singer!
How do singers from other genres affect your classical performance?
It’s all about finding interesting techniques those singers are using and adapting them for classical singing. Freddie Mercury for example, is one of the greatest rock singers of all time but he is also a great classical singer.
A musical business you’ve learned the hard way
Don’t say yes to everything. It’s very easy to be swayed by people with remarkable offers. They are usually too good to be true. You are in control of your life and you are allowed to say no. I know some people may think I’m not serious because of my talent show background, I’m very choosy about things I do these days to grow myself as an artist.
What obstacles have you had to overcome for your love of singing?
I’m still dealing with breaking into mainstream as an artist who creates something that isn’t mainstream, as someone who doesn’t look mainstream.
Do you have faith this will happen for you?
I believe the general population feels that the formulaic way media is produced is becoming stagnant, and I think in 15-20 years there will be an artistic renaissance. Maybe I’m blinded by optimism but I have a lot of hope for the future of creative arts.
A performance FAIL
I had to sing ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ in dedication to a teacher who had passed away. I couldn’t even get the first words out and had to leave the stage. It was a mixture of emotions.
A performance SUCCESS
The last performance I did was a surprise performance for a 60th birthday. This lady had no idea there was even a party happening. For the whole day I was hidden away downstairs and when the time came, I snuck round and entered through the French doors!
How do you maintain vocal health?
Finding a balance between practice and rest is what I strive for. When I’m not performing or in the studio I keep singing to a minimum. I do try and sleep a lot…
Do you have a vocal routine on gig day?
I eat something hot on the way to the venue, ideally with dairy. I find dairy actually coats the throat nicely so there is no dryness when I get anxious. It sounds weird, but it works for me.
I distract myself as much as I can. I’ve taken to drawing before shows. It helps build a coordination between my body and mind.
What about warm ups?
I spend time waking up the body and connecting it to the voce, because without the full musculature support there is no voice. I do light stretches, rolling wrists and elbows, tilting head from side to side etc. It is essential to be fully connected.
Tell us about your singing training
I switch from teacher to teacher which I find super valuable. I like to get all the different viewpoints. It’s helpful to have all their tricks up your sleeve. You can get caught up in over thinking technique, but is so helpful to know how to fix a problem you are experiencing.
3 ingredients for a memorable vocal performance:
One part mental preparation, another part physical preparation, and the final part enjoyment.
It would be great to have a massive jam band with people from Pantera! Also, Elliot Coleman is an impressive soul singer with a really high voice – I would love to sing with him.
What advice do you have for people wishing to make the leap out of the day job to pursue a music career?
Do something that you like. If you make something that you truly enjoy, regardless of what it is, there will be other people who enjoy it just like you do. No one can tell you what your niche is, but once you’ve found it, you will create magic!
Jonathan Antoine caught the nation’s attention on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, where he reached the finals as one half of the singing duo Jonathan and Charlotte. Since then he has embarked on a solo career, become the youngest ever tenor to have a number one classical album and been compared to the great Pavarotti by classical experts. Jonathan releases his new album ‘Believe’ on August 19th 2016. Visit his website to find out more: www.jonathanantoineofficial.com