Vocalists Who Make It

Daniel Borch reveals the secrets behind a professional career in music.

Our reasons for singing are varied: one person may use it as safety valve to alleviate the pressures of a stressful life, another may be determined to become a star and a third may sporadically use it to add a little joy to their world.

For those of you who wants to pursue the dream of being able to work with music professionally there some key activities you need to engage in.

In my work with television, live performance and studio work, I see some key themes that are essential to address in order to move your singing work ahead.

Vocal Artists: find your unique place, sound, look and image.

Ask yourself these questions: what makes you special, what makes you stand out in a crowd?

Also ask people around you so you get a picture of how you come across.

Remember, you need two very specific things to make it:

1. A special quality to your voice and music.
2. Extremely strong songs, hits, hits and hits – whatever the style you’ll need a hit.

Then you have to choose your path. Do you want to go via popular TV shows or just gigging and building interest around your act.

No matter which path you choose you will not last long if you don’t have 1 and 2 above.

Remember: it is not the one with the best voice who makes it—it’s the one with the best idea.

Back up singers, teachers and coaches: get a solid education.

This is so you can be trustworthy and broad enough to be able to handle a horde of different styles, projects and situations.

Try getting into the best schools or private teachers possible and be selective when Google your way to knowledge.

Remember it’s not always the best singer who gets the gig; it’s often the nicest ☺

Stay a Student Forever

Studying, whether for our own singing work or to support our teaching, requires that we are open to new approaches and free from preconceived ideas.

We are all life-long students in some form and this means that ultimately it is up to us to decide what we learn, why and in which way.

So I leave you with my favourite quote on this subject:

“The individual human himself is the only one that can be
active in such a way as to facilitate learning. All a teacher
can do is to create suitable external conditions for learning
and to stimulate the individual’s activity”
-John Steinberg

My Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids

Phil Purnell – Wonderwall (Cover)

Hi Phil, you have the right sound for this song but would benefit from more aligned posture. Try opening your jaw a little more on the highest pitches (show a lot of upper teeth). It’s more of a taste thing, but I think you should get rid of a bit of the nasality in the sound. Keep up the good work.

Tom Smith – Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles (Cover)

Tom, I love the song and you have a nice voice. However, I want you to be clearer on the pitch. It’s funny but you’re mostly out of pitch on “passing notes” so I think you can easily correct this just by focusing on these instances, maybe without playing the guitar at the same time. You look tight in the back of your neck so keep your chest high and your shoulders low.


See VoiceCouncil’s Feature Interview with Daniel Borch

Daniel Zangger Borch is one of Sweden’s most recognised vocal coaches. He has been a regular on adjudicating panels for popular TV shows such as ‘Idol’, ‘True Talent’ and ‘X-Factor’. He is also a professional singer, recording artist (with seven albums) and songwriter. Daniel holds a PhD in Music performance and is Head of the Voice Centre, Stockholm. His book “The Ultimate Vocal Voyage” has been released internationally. Hear more about Daniel’s career.
Daniel’s Ultimate Vocal Voyage on Amazon