She’s coached Grammy award winners, Brit nominees and X-Factor finalists – and is currently a vocal coach on the BBC series The Voice.
Passionate about developing artists, Juliet Russell is in demand as a coach, singer, vocal arranger and choral director.
Now we’re pleased to announce that she is returning as VoiceCouncil’s Vocal Coach in Residence for the next 4 weeks.
We’ve given her only one sentence to answer each of our questions:
One way a singer can find their unique voice?
Be honest, brave and connect to your emotions. Don’t be scared of not sounding perfect or beautiful.
Quote about singing that inspires you?
I sing just to know that I’m alive – Nina Simone
Best advice you’ve heard on dealing with nerves?
There’s no substitute for experience.
Tell us more…
Unless your nerves are debilitating, get out there and get used to how it feels before, during and after you perform. If they are debilitating, seek professional support to help overcome your anxiety.
An unforgettable vocal performance you witnessed?
Yoko Ono and Siouxie Sioux’ performance at the Meltdown festival this year
What made it so?
Yoko’s energy and passion are palpable—you forget she is 80. Her and Siouxie together were incredible and the whole audience joined them.
You were there singing with Sense of Sound Singers– what do you think is really the key to unleashing this kind of audience energy?
There’s a generosity of spirit and a kind of alchemy when an artist is truly connecting to the music and their audience.
Was that the case here?
This particular performance was of John and Yoko’s Double Fantasy album. It had an additional poignancy as it was his last recording and a testament of their life together.
Is there anything all vocal coaches agree on?
I think we can all agree on the fundamentals of how the voice and breath support mechanisms work – there’s so much good anatomical knowledge available.
If an alien landed in front of you and asked you to define singing – what would you say?
Hello Alien: Singing is something that humans are hardwired to do; we make expressive musical, vocal sounds to communicate emotion, to share our stories and as social glue to bind us together.
Best advice about tech you ever received?
Try switching it on and off (after I’d “blown” my speakers on my Mac).
Did you have a career setback that turned out not to be a setback?
When I was starting out, I was turned down for a session that I really wanted to do. If I had got it, I wouldn’t have been free to do the session I was offered a day later, which led to my first dance release.
Most important thing to know about singing in the studio?
That it can feel very different to singing live.
So, what’s your top advice for studio singing?
The most important thing is to connect with the song emotionally and to give a performance in what can feel like an unnatural performance environment. On the positive side, you can sing something again if it goes awry.
If you’re signed up to VoiceCouncil’s Peer-Review, you’ll be receiving unique coaching feedback from Juliet Russell for the next 4 weeks. You can sign up now.
Juliet Russell is a coach on BBC1’s The Voice, and has coached Grammy award winners, Brit nominees and X-factor finalists. She is passionate about developing artists and working with individuals and communities to develop their voices and creativity. As a performer she has sung with Damon Albarn, Paloma Faith, Imogen Heap, Yoko Ono, Alt-J, Seal and Ringo Starr, and has composed music for film, TV and radio. She runs Expressive Voice courses for singers wanting to explore their voices creatively, grounded in knowledge of vocal anatomy. Juliet holds a Masters degree in Music Performance and is also a vocal arranger and choral director..
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