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NEW Vocal Coach in Residence – Simone Niles

Simon Niles Singing
She’s a singer who loves to see the life and careers of her students soar.

She’s sung in The Royal Albert Hall and worked with a variety of artists including Eddy Grant and members of Pink Floyd.

But Simone Niles’ heart really takes a leap when she applies her life and career coaching to the lives of singers.

We’ve given Simone only one sentence to answer our questions…

Best advice you’ve heard on dealing with nerves?
Change your perception. Nerves are really your friends disguised in costume to help you get the best out of your performance.

Is “X-factor” a bad word?
Not at all. Within the right context everyone has the x-factor; a quality that would make them stand out from others; a quality that would make them a star.

Best coaching experience in the past year?
Helping a part-time singer make the transition into doing what they love full time!

Is there anything all vocal coaches agree upon?
Warming up your voice is a ‘must’ not a ‘should’.

Quickest way to hurt your voice?
Singing with a lack of breath and muscular support.

If an alien landed in front of you and asked you to define singing – what would you say?
Singing is a way to express the corners of your soul.

Did you have a career setback that turned out not to be a setback?
I don’t relate to the word ‘setback’, but instead feedback, because anything that didn’t work the way I hoped, was information on how to do different/better in future.

Bad thing to say to your backing band?
“After this show, you’re fired!”

Good thing to say to your backing band?
You guys are the glue that holds it all together and the springboard from which to jump.

Most important thing to know about singing in the studio?
As important as all of the technical things are, it is the emotive element that means most here. If you believe what you are singing, people will believe you.

One way a singer can find their unique voice?
Express their true self vocally and practice WELL.

Quote about singing that inspires you?
Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway. ~ Emory Austin

My Reactions To This Week’s Peer Review Vids

Rebecca Taylor Rebecca Taylor – “9 Crimes” (Cover)

Hi Rebecca, you have a beautiful tone and chose a song that suits your voice well. Think about your diction as it needs to have more clarity and you will find that this will also help you to open your sound on some vowels, creating a natural projection and dynamic. Pay attention to your posture when sitting and accompanying yourself. You will find that with the microphone closer to you will not have to lean into it so much restricting your breathing. Overall, you did a good vocal performance. Well done!

Liz Allen Liz Allen – “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera (Cover)

Hey Liz, good start to the song! You have such a lovely, relaxed tone in your higher range, but you want to consider shaping your vowels better especially when you are not singing lyrics. You have demonstrated good agility and your ‘vocal licks’ were quite good. Pay attention to the starts of some of your phrases, which need to be tighter. Practice connecting with your muscular support, as the ends of some of your phrases lost some control. You had fairly good visual expression just work on being consistent so you can keep your audience captivated. Good job!

Jerameel 'jHegZ' Adlaon Jerameel “jHegZ” Adlaon – “Why” by Avril Lavigne (Cover)

Hi Jerameel. You have good timing and well done for accompanying yourself on guitar. Your tone needs to be more open and this will happen once you articulate the words more. It may feel strange at first, but try to exaggerate the pronunciation of all the words as you sing and you will notice your tone becomes brighter. When recording a video, try to capture your whole face and then you can pay more attention to facial expression. Think about what the words of the song convey. Well done!

If you’re signed up to VoiceCouncil’s Peer-Review, you’ll be receiving unique coaching feedback from Simone Niles for the next 4 weeks. You can sign up here!

Simon NilesSimone Niles is a leading vocal and performance coach and an author on performance enhancement. She has a busy private teaching practice in London and teaches at The Institute of Contemporary Music, where she is MD of the college’s vocal ensemble. Her book “Coaching for Performance Excellence”, gives artists innovative ways to achieve performance excellence; it is available from her website.