Last week we announced the Semi-Finalists of the VoiceCouncil Singing Competition Summer 2017
9 of them have made it through to the final round, let’s have a listen!
Meet Last Year’s Winner
Jayna Brown won our competition last Winter. Despite being busy with school exams, she has still found the time to form her new band Fifth Note, perform around the U.S and write new material! You can follow her adventures on Facebook and Twitter
The Final Round
Our finalists have had to submit a brand new video for us, which we will be using to make our choice for an overall winner. We asked them to perform a song – the catch being we wanted it to be a unique interpretation; for example:
- Sing it in minor if it’s usually in major
- Sing it slower or faster than the original
- Sing it in a different genre/style to the original
Here are the finalists who were brave enough to take on the challenge:
Final entry: Rise
Self critique: I love doing genres outside of my box even though I don’t really live in a music box it’s important to challenge what’s in front of you. This song is super fun and relates to me in just trying to understand who we are and life itself without the pressure of someone else’s opinion. So that is why I picked it.
Original entry: Hello
Final entry: All By Myself
Self-critique: I always chose challenging songs, songs that cannot be performed by everyone. I think this suits my range very well and it is currently my favorite song. I sang it in a slower tempo, changed the key of the original song, gave it more rhythm, used more high pitches and also produced some riffs. The only difficulty I found in this song was the timing of breathing. But I focused and worked hard on it until I managed to keep the long notes for more than 13 seconds.
Original entry: Forever Young
Final entry: Closer
Self-critique: It was a song that I really enjoyed and liked at the time. I sang the female and male leads of the songs and accompanied it with a piano instrumental. Getting the takes right of course is the biggest difficulty when recording a cover song.
Original entry: One Republic Medley
Final entry: Runnin’
Self-critique: I chose this piece because I love the original. I wanted to mess around with a more relaxed version, which really highlighted the emotion of the piece. Obviously the piece has been slowed down, and a piano part replaces the upbeat electronic style. I changed some of the melodic phrases towards the end, and timing of the phrases throughout. Naturally, I have a pretty high voice so I struggled with the low notes in the song. Even though when with the correct technique for that part of my range (which is taking me a while to get to grips with) I can get down there and it sounds fine.
Original entry: If I Ain’t Got You
Final entry: Aao Balma/Swasame
Self critique: This is a mash up of two Indian songs in Tamil language by the same film composer A.R. Rahman. It is an experimental recreation of Aao Balma and Swasame from the movie Tenali. I chose this piece to showcase the variations in my version of these two songs. I made them jazzy and also in minor as opposed to the originals that are in a major key. There was a tight deadline for this project and this was recorded and the video was shoot together in less than 3 days.
Original entry: Me, Myself and I
Final entry: A Broken Wing
Self-critique: I related to the song’s deep emotional message that no one can take away your dreams. We took out a little of the “country” sound, slowed it down creating a slightly rockin’, bluesy acoustic version; all the while keeping the emotional message of the original.
Original entry: 2 From the Heart
Timothy Christian Liu
Final entry: People are Strange
Self-critique: I also chose this piece since this song resonates very deeply to me, especially since I have been through the situation the lyrics are about personally. I sang it in a higher key to get those notes right within and above my bridge since I felt that I could then nail the emotional depth of the song slightly better by bringing more chest resonance up. I improvised near the end in order to heighten the climax of the song. I added a few vocal harmonies in the second chorus as a tribute to psychedelic rock harmonies of the mid-late 1960s, while I also improvised the guitar solo and replaced the keyboard solo with several guitar harmonies.
Original entry: Blackbird
Final entry: Bird on a Wire
Self-critique: I think this song allows me to express my full vocal range, particularity the deeper aspects of my baritone. It also lends itself well to varied dynamics when delivering the story in the lyrics. The original is in ¾ time (or maybe we could say 6/8). My version is in 4/4 time. Even though the strumming is faster and more syncopated than the original, I actually sing the melody at a slower pace. I feel the slower melody allows me to bring out the emotion of the chorus by sustaining the higher notes longer, which does justice to the most desperate part of the song. Getting the timing right on the chorus melody was a challenge.
Original entry: In the Cool of the Night
Ruth Anna Mendoza
Final entry: One Day
Self-critique: I chose to cover Matisyahu’s One Day in connection to what’s been happening to the world. With the wars, chaos and everything that’s been happening now. Most specially here in our country, the Philippines. The song tells us that we should never give up hope; hope for a better world, hope for world peace and that people will no longer live in fear. I just really want to share positive vibes to my listeners/followers that is why I chose this song. I played the song using my ukulele so it made it more cheery and lively.
Original entry: How Deep is Your Love
Choosing a winner
We will be basing our decision on the final round of video submissions – but we will also be taking your comments into account.The VoiceCouncil team will be choosing and announcing a winner in a special article very soon!
Who do you think is the worthiest winner?