VoiceCouncil will no longer be updated. Articles will still be available for some time.

Kelly Uchima – Use Somebody – Kings of Leon Acoustic Cover

Bio: Hey guys, I’m Kelly Uchima and I just love to sing. I started performing at 10 but have been singing tunes around the house since I was in my kindergarten days. I’ve always wanted to make a youtube channel and I finally decided to make one last month (February 2010). love sharing my voice and singing is my escape.

  • Hello Kelly,

    Good of you to reach out beyond the family and friends. Brave of you to step out into the world with your voice!

    Something I always mention to those posting covers is that we, your internet audience, rarely get to see what you're really about, when singing someone's music, other than your own.

    It's very human to pick songs by artists that resonate with us on a personal level but not always the best singing style to try and recreate.

    IOW, you have a high, soft voice. Although you may love Stevie Nicks, trying to sing like her would be a disaster even though you sing well. I often see singers do this, where they love a song, and sing great, but just don't have the voice or the passion to pull that particular number off…typically this ends up being due to the fact that the song simply wasn't in their natural register and the singer hadn't taken the time to transpose the piece in a comfortable key with his/her band.

    The song you've chosen is a tough number because it's relatively new. The Kings of Leon are great songwriters, the singer has a pretty unique voice, and they're all good looking to boot.

    I don't feel that you've found your own voice just yet. And this song was not a good choice for you to cover. Of course this is my opinion. For fun, I'd like you to check out the following artists on youtube. Check out the original and then the cover. This is my own conviction, but to be moved by a cover, I'm taken aback by another artist's ability to put a completely different spin on a song, while still capturing it's original essence and greatness.

    Tainted Love: Original by Soft Cell / Cover by Marylin Manson
    Comfortably Numb: Original by Pink Floyd / Cover by Scissor Sisters
    Hurt: Original by Nine Inch Nails / Cover by Johnny Cash
    People are People: Original by DePeche Mode / Cover by A Perfect Circle

    Whether you like any of these tunes or not they were all hits and the covers are as interesting and striking as the originals. Check 'em out. If you can find a way to cover a song with this kind of commitment you'll probably also be at a point where you're writing fantastic songs of your own.

    I think voice lessons would do wonders for you, but not from a classical teacher. If you want to be Celine Dion then yes…but if you want to rock out like the Kings you'll need a pop-rock teacher and you'll also need to get some dirt in that voice of yours :)

    I find the best way for me to sing in a soulful manner is to write as honestly as I can from whatever message I am trying to convey. Sing to us from Kelly's perspective. Your voice is good but sounds very young and untrained. I notice a nervous, almost quivering sound, to your vibrato. Work to reign that in and turn it into something truly dynamic!!! Perhaps try using it at the ends of sentences to give a lil' extra push, or to toss up a long power note!

    I'd also like to hear you get away from using your vocal mask so much, also known as the nasal area. Singing from your nose and the top of your mouth restricts your notes and steals away the true vocal thunder that resides in your belly and lower extremities.

    If you will, take the time to explore your body and watch how it reacts to singing. Stand in front of a full length mirror, relax, and start to breathe. Once you stop thinking about it you'll notice that your breath's natural progression will be to fill from your belly and then expel through the nose and mouth. Singing needs to happen the same way.

    I encourage you to then try breathing from your belly, then your chest, then your head. Notice how it makes you feel and pay attention to the pressure in each area. Singing is as physical as it is mental.

    Once you've done all of this, cycle breath through those same body cavities, only this time add your singing voice to them. Practice this as much as you can and you will find out where your vocal power lies. Honestly I use all of those physical spaces to create different types of voices.

    Some will tell you there is one correct way to sing but Rock and Roll isn't about perfection or perfectly clean notes…it's about emotion, letting go, and throwing the rules to the wind at times…or all of the time! I'm not telling you to be careless but I am asking you to drench your voice in your life…happy or sad…using your own words and voice :)