She’s coached Grammy award winners, X-Factor finalists, signed artists, actors and comedians.
Most recently she’s worked as a vocal coach on the BBC1 series, The Voice UK.
She has performed with artists including Damon Albarn, Imogen Heap, Paloma Faith and at venues from the Royal Opera House to Glastobury.
Now we’re pleased to announce that Juliet Russell is VoiceCouncil’s Vocal Coach in Residence for the next 8 weeks.
We’ve given her only one sentence to answer each of our questions:
Vocalists who inspire
So many… Bjork, Feist, Amos Lee, Bill Withers…of course Stevie Wonder.
Probably Off The Wall by Michael Jackson, partly as it was my first one and it’s dance-y, it’s heartbreaking and it’s fabulous – I love his voice break on She’s Out of My Life.
Where most singers mess up with vocal health
Not warming up and cooling down and working the voice too hard.
The perfect mic for you
It depends on the job, but a Neumann TLM condenser for recording is always a good choice
What about a live mic?
An SM58 with the bottom end rolled off a bit (I have low timbres in my voice); I’m quite sibilant so the top end also has to be spot on.
Best advice someone ever gave you about performing
It was more of a realization that singing isn’t about me, it’s about the music and the audience.
Anyone who takes action to make the world a better place.
An early singing lesson you’ve never forgotten.
When I was little there was a children’s painting competition in Trafalgar Square in London – I was too shy to go up and do a painting; my Dad said to me, “How can you be a singer if you’re too shy even to go up and do a painting?” He was right. I painted a picture, won a prize and never forgot the lesson.
I usually I’m cramming stuff into a bag and rushing around before leaving (I don’t advise this!), then I arrive early so I have time to warm up and acclimatize (I do advise this!).
A favorite nerves remedy
I have a positive memory that I focus on if I want to get in the zone, but I actually like being a little bit nervous before singing.
Weirdest thing to happen in a performance
A mic stand collapsed and sliced off a tiny bit of my finger, which bled A LOT.
Tell us more…
I carried on singing, sucking my finger between songs and squeezing it against my thumb to stem the flow! (If anyone noticed, they didn’t comment).
Worst singing advice you ever heard:
You need to do a bit more of a jig; this didn’t really suit the a cappella set I was doing.
What you’d never leave home without
Water, red lipstick, phone, purse, keys
What drains your batteries?
Taking too much on, which I am getting better at not doing.
What charges them?
Friends and people I love, music, singing, nature, running, dancing, traveling, learning, being vegan, MEDITATION
Top recording tip
Take tracks to play as musical references of sounds and effects that you like or are trying to achieve, as trying to explain sound to a producer / engineer in words and imagery can be next to impossible.
What’s different about a vocalist vocation today compared to 20 years ago?
I think there’s a lot more knowledge about singing itself, which is great & the music industry has changed hugely so it’s a lot more about building your fanbase before you approach the industry.
Bad thing to say to a sound engineer:
That sounds awful
Good thing to say to a sound engineer:
Wow, how did you do that? (and listen properly to the answer)
Favorite quote about singing
“I sing just to know that I’m alive” – Nina Simone
Your life philosophy in 10 words or less.
Be honest. Be kind. Be brave. Be yourself.
The perfect day
I had a perfect day last week in the Orkneys. It had everything from amazing music, to stunning landscapes to great food and belly laughs.
If you’re signed up to VoiceCouncil’s Peer-Review, you’ll be receiving unique coaching feedback from Juliet for the next 8 weeks. You can sign up now.
Juliet Russell has coached Grammy award winners and X-Factor finalists and is a vocal coach on BBC1’s The Voice. Passionate about developing aspiring artists, she co-founded Sense of Sound She has collaborated with artists and companies including Damon Albarn, Imogen Heap, Paloma Faith, Ringo Starr, BBC, Channel 4, Universal Royal Opera House, Greenpeace and Glastonbury, and has written music for film, television and radio. Juliet holds a Masters degree in Music and is in huge demand as coach, vocal arranger and musical director. Juliet is passionate about developing aspiring artists and supporting individuals and communities to explore their voices and creativity.
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