Winter 2015 Singing Competition finalist, Miguel, is celebrating his 20th year as a professional singer.
Miguel Pires is also an experienced piano and keyboard player and is the resident singer in Casino da Madeira, Portugal. Last year he performed over 450 gigs.
One influential singer, and what it is that makes them stand out to you?
Stevie Wonder, because of his clear vocal abilities, his beautiful songs and the sweet mix between jazzy, bluesy and pop sonorities.
Biggest challenge to breaking out and sharing your music with new people?
I think the biggest challenge is, considering the amount of information people get nowadays, you have to be very lucky to get across and really stand out.
Something that’s worked for you in reaching a larger audience?
Definitely my YouTube channel, because it allowed me to share a large number of videos, singing in a variety of different genres.
A performance FAIL?
There was one, about 18 years ago, when I suddenly lost my voice, due to a polyp on my vocal chords.
A performance SUCCESS – and why…?
I have a weekly show called “West End Dreams” where I sing hits from musical theatre and, because I have the ideal sound and lighting conditions, I am able to get the message across. All the songs sound as they should and the audience becomes really emotional sometimes.
Favorite Vocal Gear and why?
My favorite vocal gear is a combination between the Beyerdynamic TG V70D microphone and the TC-Helicon Mic Mechanic, because this microphone is ideal for my voice (both in the low and high areas) and, combined with the Mic Mechanic, I get that pre-amp sound, the reverb I like and the amazing tone correction which almost provides me with my own sound guy!
Watch the video that made Miguel a finalist
A musical lesson you’ve learned the hard way?
If you’re not comfortable in a certain area, don’t get up and sing.
A vocal-singing lesson you’ve learned the hard way?
Eating just before you sing is a very bad idea.
A few ingredients of a memorable vocal performance?
For me, there are three elements to a memorable performance: ideal sound conditions, ideal lighting conditions and a respectful audience.
Most important lesson you have learned about social media?
On the one hand you need to be assertive in the songs you want to share; on the other hand, if you are a versatile singer, you need to cover as many genres as you can, when sharing your performances.
Most important lesson you have learned about vocal health?
Always keep your vocal cords wet, with room-temperature, still water.
A question you wished we asked you – and your answer?
“What do you wish for the future as far as your singing career is concerned?” – I have always loved to travel and get to know new places; so, I wish my talent would bring me more opportunities to go around the world and sing for as many people as possible.
What is an area of your singing work/career that is a little (or a lot) unique or different that you could elaborate on.
I think the one thing that can make me stand out is the fact that I am a versatile singer. Language-wise, I sing in Portuguese, English, Spanish, French and Italian. Genre-wise, I sing pop, rock, blues, soul, swing, latin, theatre songs, big band arrangements, jazz standards, bossa nova, etc. I never say no to a challenge. I try to sing everything, at least once. If I think I can’t do it, it will never see the light of day. But if it feels and sounds good, I’ll bring it to the audience. And the audience will decide if I do it again. :-)
Miguel Pires is a 41 year old Portuguese singer. He has been singing and playing piano for 20 years in hotels, bars, casinos, festivals, small and large venues. Music is his life.