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What I Have Learned by Singing with Famous Recording Artists

I have learned different things from working with different artists but they are all so clearly driven – says Denosh Bennett.

Denosh Bennett is an in-demand backing singer who is currently on tour with Robbie Williams. She has previously sung with Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Drake.

She tells a few tales about being on the road with superstars…

Superstars have a vision

When you’re on the side of coaching developing talent, you see a lot of talented performers who lack drive – they want to be told what to do and don’t really have a vision for themselves.

When I work with established artists, they may not be hands-on in rehearsal but you can see their influence. That informs how the rest of the camp feels and how the director puts the show together. It comes from the artist’s vision.

You can tell from these artists that this is all they’ve ever wanted to do. They’ve never done anything else. When I think about my journey, I have only done creative endeavours – music, dance or theatre. I’ve always been a creative person so I know I’m in the right company.

They keep looking forward

These artists may be successful recording artists but they also struggle to maintain that. Every time a tour ends, they are working on the next album or the next project.

They are figuring out how to keep the fans engaged and how to get better. It’s just the next level of what we are already doing as developing artists or support talent.

It’s important to not stop that flow. Robbie Williams recently told me, “I’m planning my five next albums!”. We’ve not even finished the tour and he is already planning and writing for his next release.

Justin Timberlake’s vocal care pays off

I’ve also been able to see, up close, what protocol these artists have towards vocal care, health and warm ups which is interesting because some have some and some don’t!

Working with Justin Timberlake was really great. When I first joined his camp, we worked with his vocal coach who also did all of his arrangements (and N-Sync’s). She trained us which was really dope!

He would always do his vocal warm ups and he would never hang out. If we ever did it would be an organised dinner or bowling night but he would never party.

He very much took care of himself. I would always see him in the gym in the mornings – his trainer would train us too!

He was a great example to us and you can clearly see how it pays off for him in his live shows. He can run around the stage like it’s no one’s business.

Alicia Keys works on the details

Similarly, when I sang for Alicia Keys we worked with her vocal coach who helped us get a blend with Alicia.

We also worked on phrasing and warm ups which was helpful. Alicia would then have her scheduled time with the vocal coach each day.

I really admire when Alicia would come into rehearsal and she would sit with the band and singers and really musically direct her show.

Even though she had an incredible talented team of musicians and dancers that were working tirelessly to perfect the music, she would come in and make sure that it was just the way she wanted; vocals, music and choreography.

The rule-breakers

I’ve picked up all the good things from working with these artists probably only because I’ve been doing this for many years.

There was one artist who shall remain nameless who used to drink a glass of champagne before she walked onstage – she had the sort of voice where she could do this.

There was another singer who smoked loads of weed but sounded like a song bird! Everybody’s different!

Transferable skills

Just being on stage with great artists gives you so much confidence – which you can transfer into your own work as an artist.

By singing backing vocals you can cultivate stage craft, and you learn how to carry other people on stage. It’s an honour to be trusted with that.

Very few performers have as impressive, extensive, and broad a resume as Denosh Bennett: with a two-decade career in entertainment, she is an accomplished, versatile, and highly sought-after singer and dancer who has mastered every aspect of the live performance, making her an invaluable asset to any artist and tour. As artistic director she is the go-to expert and one-stop-shop, to turn a good show into a great one. www.denoshbennett.com