Magic moments happen more now than in my early career, because back then I didn’t know what a magic moment was – says Wendy Moten.
Seasoned session singer and recording artist, Wendy Moten is fresh from touring with Faith Hill as a backing singer.
When we chatted with her, she shared how she has developed her stage craft and emotional delivery throughout her career.
The power to stop them texting
I notice magic moments when I am singing with other people, like Michael McDonald for example, and I get the chance to get up front. The audience don’t know who I am but I manage to completely win them over and they are so quiet!
You can tell, when you have the power to hush a room up, you know you’ve got their attention. You can even hear that they have stopped breathing and they are just listening to you. That is magic to me.
In the modern world, there is a lot going on…there are people texting at gigs! If you can stop people from texting and talking to listen to you, it’s a gift.
Let the song communicate
Julio Iglesias taught me this when I worked with him: I saw this man who doesn’t dance, who doesn’t go all over the stage. He just stands there and sings. It could be tens of thousands of singers, but they are all in the palm of his hand. I had to learn what that was about.
I found out that it’s about travelling into the song, taking my ego out of it and making it just about the song. Then it becomes a feeling which communicates with people – that captures their attention.
How can you reach people if you can’t get their attention? You can’t do this just by yelling and screaming. You have to allow the emotion to burst out of you.
You wanna see your favourite artist over and over again because they make that connection with you. It’s not perfect, and it’s different every time because of the emotion.
It’s up to you to learn to harness this power. If I can’t get your attention in a beautiful way, I need to learn what’s wrong with my performance.
Learn to move your audience
I had plenty of disasters when I was younger where I sang perfectly, and people clapped like, “that was nice”. Nice?! That’s your worst nightmare. That sums up my whole solo career on EMI!
I had a gift with my voice sure, but if I knew then what I know now I could’ve done what Whitney did, or what Amy Winehouse did. As soon as they opened their mouths people stopped in their tracks. Whitney and Amy had a deep understanding, from a young age about what it meant to be a singer. People wanted what they were giving.
Our favourite artists may not be perfect, but they are honest, and when they get up on that stage they are so raw – this applies to all genres.
Connection, not perfection
When you walk off that stage know you earned every applause – because it takes work! And now it takes even more work because everyone is on their phone! We never dealt with that in the early days.
The main thing is connecting with your audience, but it’s not forced, it’s giving and transparent. Then they give back in a beautiful way.
You can do this at church, at school, or down the club. Your goal is to be honest with your music and connect in a beautiful way.
I’ve been going through this journey throughout my whole career. I began by singing perfectly but empty, but now if I’m not touching you, then I have to keep working.
My Reaction to This Week's Singing Competition Entry
Jeremy Ebenstein - No Signal Zone
I love his tone. You can tell he’s more of a pro singer. He really knows how to take you on a musical journey by telling the story. He knows what he’s doing. Thank you for your performance Jeremy, keep it up.