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It’s nearly that time again

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THERE are five things to keep in mind in any audition. FACEBOOK PHOTO

“The Voice of the Philippines” and its baby sister show, “The Voice Kids,” are in the process of holding auditions for artists who want to join the competition. Kids will hold Blind Auditions (where they’ll be performing for the singers that will be their coaches—only three this time, not four) in March while the grown-ups will have theirs in June.

“American Idol” is also about to start its search; if I’m not mistaken, today’s the day.

Doing our show last year was great as far as finding talented singers to fill the slots required. We, coaches, were so fortunate to have found 13 singers to form our individual teams. However, I’ll be honest: I wasn’t always sure what to look for, all genres aside. Now that 2014 is here, and another season is about to begin, I’d like to think that I’m a little better now at figuring it all out.

So… if I was back in my red chair right now, this is what I would be looking for:

Intonation

Let’s get down to brass tacks, ladies and gentlemen. Sing… in… tune… please.

You know those really outlandishly terrible auditions in “American Idol” that seem to rake in the ratings? Please don’t do that in “The Voice.” If there’s anything I appreciate about TVOP it’s that once artists arrive at Blinds, the awful people are weeded out. To get past the preliminaries, you’d better be good.

The staff members are so excited about the singers they’ve found for Season 2. We’re all going to find out soon enough if these new finds are worth the superlatives being heaped upon them. Right now, I’m being cautiously optimistic.

 

Emotional content

In more simple terms, “singing with feeling.”

Every song on earth can be spun to evoke different emotions, depending on what the artist wants to convey. You can take a romantic love song, for example, and pump something entirely different emotionally to turn that once lovesick little ditty into an anthem of anger and disappointment.

When we’re looking for “feeling” and “emotion,” we’re looking to be moved by you. Don’t default into bombastic, because “loud” does not always mean “emotional.” If your increase in volume is due to an upsurge in what’s happening in your heart, then that’s awesome. If it’s just to impress us with how far you can turn your internal volume up, then it won’t earn you any points with any coach. At least not with me.

Musicality

What makes an artist musical? This is all about pure feel. It’s about going with the ebb and flow of a song, not fighting its natural inclinations; about being able to tell a story, working with and not against the dictates of the composer. It’s about oneness and unity.

It’s an almost miraculous meeting of artist and music where you don’t know where one ends and the other begins. It’s as if one was made for the other, that the singer wouldn’t exist without that song, and that the song wouldn’t exist without the singer. We all know it when we hear it. Our hearts let us know when it happens.

 

Attitude

My presumption is that you are willing to learn from the coaches, which is why you’re joining “The Voice.” Well, apart from all the prizes offered and the promise of superstardom.

After each Blind Audition, we’d speak with the candidate asking them about their life and desires, trying to get a feel for the person behind the voice. I’ll be candid… there were a few that put me off. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was—a manner of speaking, or the way they’d answer questions—but there would be something that would rub me the wrong way for some strange reason.

It’s great to stick to your guns as an artist, and we all hope that each artist is paired with a coach that really gets him and helps him along on the road to fame, but it should be a collaboration between the two. There is insight that the coach can offer the artist from the wealth of experience the coach has been through, and there needs to be mutual respect in the back and forth communication between the two.

Preparation

If there’s anything I can’t stand it’s a singer that clearly did not prepare himself for an audition. This should be a given, something I shouldn’t even have to batter anyone on the head with. Know your music, know your lyrics, and know all of these like the back of your hand. Give yourself a little time, devote a bit of your day to the almost obsessive practice of preparation. We’ll know when you’re not prepared.

So, are you ready to give it a try? If your answer is yes, go for it. Good luck, and may you be lucky enough to see the back of a red chair.


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