You have heard Tessa Niles’s voice without realising it – on records such as ‘Simply the Best’ by Tina Turner and ‘When You Say Nothing at All’ by Ronan Keating.
She has also toured with Robbie Williams and The Police, performed with Eric Clapton for his iconic MTV Unplugged and sung alongside David Bowie at Live Aid in 1985.
Tessa recently published her book ‘Backtrack’ detailing her life as an in demand backing vocalist, and this month she is our Vocal Coach in Residence!
The Police – Synchronicity Tour 1983 – 70,000 people
Most embarrassing moment onstage
Standing too close to a Hammond B3 organ and having my chiffon dress sucked into the Lesley. I had to be cut out of it. Embarrassing!
Worst venue experience ever
Dropped my in-ear pack into the toilet just before a show
Favourite song to sing in the shower/car
Gotta Get You Into My Life – The Beatles
If you had to have someone else’s voice for a day who’s would it be?
Favourite vocal health remedy
Favourite philosophical singing quote
‘The voice is the exquisite messenger of emotion’
Ever been star struck?
Worked with Stevie Wonder and could barely speak as was utterly starstruck!
Simply, to sing for a living
Worst stage costume you’ve ever worn
The cerise chiffon number I mentioned earlier. I looked like a giant cupcake
4 features of an incredible vocal performance
Emotion, Storytelling ability, Authenticity and Connection with an audience
If I were not a singer I would be a…
Biggest lesson you’ve learned about the music industry
Do not give your power away to others. Stay in control of all aspects of your career even with things that don’t particularly interest you.
Tessa Niles first entered the music scene in 1981 and has since become one of the best known session singers of the past three decades. Her first big break came when Sting asked her to join The Police on the Synchronicity world tour. With her versatile voice and ability to blend within a myriad of styles, Tessa has hundreds of recording credits and live appearances to her name.Tessa has recently turned author with her first book, a memoir titled ‘Backtrack’ – the voice behind music’s greatest stars. Recently described as ‘the most famous person you’ve probably never heard of’ Tessa proves that you can still shine brightly whilst in the background. www.tessaniles.com | www.backtrackbook.com