I have been to several karaoke parties and found that I am terrible at it–Ha! It seems as though the goal of karaoke is to emulate and sound just like the original artist. I have met people who do amazing at karaoke, and if you had your eyes closed you would almost think it was the original recording artist. However, when you ask these same people to sing a song in their own style, they struggle trying to find their own voice. So, how do you find your unique sound in the midst of so many talented vocal artist?
As a vocalist, there have been numerous times in my life where someone would come and tell me, after an amazing worship set, you sounded exactly like “so and so.” In some of those moments I felt honored because of the anointing and gifts these people carry. Other times, I was frustrated because I didn’t want to sound like someone else, I wanted to have my own unique sound. So, I would go from one extreme to the other–trying to sound exactly like the original artist of a song, to then putting so much effort to not sound like the artist I wasn’t enjoying the song I was singing.
As a side note, the audience or listener may only know how to describe the sound they are hearing by comparing you to another artist. The challenge with this, is to guard your heart from falling prey to comparing yourself to others. This can turn into a rapid cycle of disqualifying yourself, jealousy, and stifling the very creativity of discovering your own voice. (More to come on this topic.)
Growing in maturity and confidence over the years as a vocalist, I have discovered my own unique sound. It is very much a craft still in the making as I continue to hone my skills and expand my capabilities. However, staying true to the sound I was given by the Father has been liberating. In my process and growth I have learned there is nothing wrong with sounding similar to another artist, as long as it is not your goal to stay there. When I listen to other strong vocalists I love and admire, I recognize their strengths and abilities, and note those areas where I would like to continue to grow.
In this discovery of my sound, I experiment, try new things, take risks, and partner with Holy Spirit in my private time. Then from this place, I will cross the chicken line and bring these new sounds to the more public times of worship as Holy Spirit leads. Sometimes it’s a hit, and other times it is–let’s just keep that in the private time. Ha-ha! But it is all part of the journey in finding your unique sound.
From one vocalist to another, I want to encourage you to discover and develop the unique sound you have been given. It is a sound no one else will ever be able to release accept you. As you practice and partner your unique sound with the moving of Holy Spirit, you will soar into new realms of sound you never thought possible.