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The Singer Who Needed an Audience

Cheryll had a great voice and powerful original songs but was in danger of singing only in the shower -says Rachel Bennett

When I met Cheryll I was deeply impressed with her gifts.

She had arrived for lessons with a great voice already in place and simply needed direction with presentation of material and some warm up tips!

She went off to practice and returned having clearly applied all the tips and ideas; she had a great set!

Anybody Out There?

I suggested that her next step was to get out in public with few performances so that we could address “real world” details in our lessons.

But Cheryll didn’t move on this front and, after her third visit, I began to feel she just wasn’t getting her money’s worth out of her lessons.

When I discussed her “lack of performing”, it became clear that Cheryll just didn’t know how to get started and get herself heard!

Check out the simple opportunities first – the dreams come later!

We googled ‘open mic nights’ in Cheryll’s local area and she found that she could book herself into at least two without auditioning.

Then I sent her to her local recording studios and she found several ads for singers to support local bands and audition opportunities for acoustic nights.

Now she is playing regularly in two small venues and has begun to grow a fan-base.

Her next move is to save up for a promotion deal to get some reviews and maybe even radio-play.

(Promoters have websites and its worth checking out who they have worked for before –it’s always advisable to test the waters and start small when money is involved!)

Move Out of the Shower

Whatever changes the music industry takes us through, there’s one constant: we need an audience in order to develop!

It’s easy to start out with great plans and then to find that your confidence begins to ebb when you have no specific direction for your work.

Performing brings us essential feedback – and even if the response from our audiences is neutral or critical, it is a vital component in our growth.

Start simple and build slowly; you can’t make people buy your tracks or offer you deals but you can prove your worth as an artist with hard work and determination; all the best A&R men recognise those qualities!

A Sneak Peek at Cheryll Now

Cheryll has joined the PRS – the Performing Rights Society – an organisation that liaises with venues to ensure copyright, and royalties for songwriters and composers.

(The equivalents in the US are Ascap, Bmi and Sesac though PRS do make links internationally.)

She has also made a whole new set of friends who appreciate her very real talent and who call on her when they hear of opportunities.

She’s busy now recording her first EP/demo.

-Rachel Bennett

Rachel Bennett is a London-based vocal coach and singer songwriter. She is the lead singer / songwriter of RAIE and a Musical Director for theatre, television & recording studios across London. She has associations at WAC Performing Arts and Media College and Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama. You can learn more about Rachel on her Website or Facebook. You can see more of Rachel’s writing here.