This week’s guest is a vocal coach, singer-songwriter, vocal producer, arranger and artist developer who has worked with the likes of Justin Timberlake, the Dave Matthews Band, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Lizzo, Kelly Clarkson, and Kelly Rowland. Listen to Robert ‘RAab’ Stevenson on Singing Teacher’s Talk.
- RAab came from a family of singers; his sister and mother sang in the Florida Mass Choir. Whenever the family visited a church, people would recognise his mother and ask her to sing; she would be the one who would set the atmosphere for worship.
- He started as an artist back in 1993 and released a couple of singles and an album that did really well. After briefly leaving the industry, RAab returned and joined a group called 911. The band quickly folded, but RAab was still signed to the label.
- One day Justin Timberlake was in Virginia Beach working on his album with Pharrell Williams. Justin was looking for a background vocalists to go on tour with him. RAab’s former 911 bandmate Darrell Adams had a connection with the mix engineer, and hence RAab got the call.
- As a vocal coach, RAab believes that when singers stop training, they start to develop bad habits. And with bad habits comes bad technique, which leads to singers performing in ‘survival mode’ – taking any means possible to get the notes out. The next thing you know a singer’s confidence drops, and then they start dropping keys of songs.
‘I used to call her the vocal magician. She was able to do all kinds of things with the voice’
‘They might think I might be harder on them or easier on the big pop star. Nobody gets a break’
‘Sometimes they’ll be like “I don’t have time for a voice coach”. They go back out and repeat the same thing, then they come back to the same doctor with the same problem only worse’.
Relevant Links & Mentions:
- The late Robin Lee Wiley
- Clayton State University: clayton.edu
- Brandi Carlisle & Joni Mitchell: com/watch?v=4aqGjaFDTxQ
- Mercy by Trey Anastasio: open.spotify.com/album/41lEQWwC9dVwn7bA8Puzjl?si=ZUX1geZ4QemBnQEO6Svj8Q
ABOUT THE GUEST
Vocal coach, singer, songwriter, vocal producer and artist developer, Robert “RAab” Stevenson has worked with some of the most famous voices and producers heard on pop radio today. Among them are Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, The Dave Matthews Band, Zac Brown Band, Ne-Yo, The Lumineers’ lead singer, Phoenix’s lead singer, Kelly Rowland, and more.
RAab started working for Justin Timberlake in 2002 and is still presently working for him. He has coached Justin and his backing vocalists for world tours and their 2018 ‘Super Bowl’ halftime performance and has also toured with him as a background singer, vocal arranger and vocal coach.
RAab started coaching Lizzo in 2020, preparing her for upcoming performances and has coached singer/songwriter Charlie Puth since 2017.
In 2010, RAab partnered with vocal coach Mindy Pack, to create “Voice Tutor”, a vocal coaching app for the iPhone and iPad.
Check out kimadproductions.com for RAab’s full profile!