Here are two simple exercises to help uptight singers spice up a performance.
While some singers relish the chance to be coquettish, flirtatious or downright provocative, others freeze up at the prospect of delving into their sensual side on stage.
This isn’t necessarily a problem (no law states you must look or sound sexy), but sometimes a singer wants to tap into this part of their personality.
Perhaps they’ve been called on to perform a cover version of a sexy song. Or maybe they want to play a femme fatale or serial seducer in Musical Theatre.
So how can a vocal coach help singers feel more comfortable expressing their racier side? Speaking on the Singing Teachers Talk podcast, artist development expert Wendy Parr says authenticity is key. Sexiness can come in different forms and doesn’t have to be overt or follow a specific stereotype.
“If someone tries to be sexy, it’s not sexy,” she says. “What makes someone sexy is them being themselves.”
In the podcast interview, Wendy revealed two simple exercises she uses to help singers explore their sexual side.
1 Perform a mash-up of your favourite icons
Encourage your student to identify two artists they find sexy and channel them when singing a song.
Wendy suggests selecting artists who offer different things. Eartha Kitt, Harry Styles, Pink and Stevie Wonder were some of the names mentioned in the podcast, but it’s entirely down to the student’s tastes.
Ask your student to consider how their chosen artists would move on stage, their phrasing and what they’d do with the rhythm and melody. Experiment with different songs and different combinations of artists until the singer has a better sense of who they are and what they want to show on stage.
2 Imitate an animal
Take inspiration from Eartha Kitt, who famously purred, growled and hissed her way through performances. Ask students to identify an animal they consider sexy and then incorporate some of their physical and vocal traits into a performance.
Listen to the full interview with Wendy Parr to discover:
- How authenticity can be reflected not just in vocal style, but in a singer’s look, album artwork and movement.
- What a singer should do if they’re singing a song that they really hate!
- How understanding yourself as an artist can help you make important decisions about the direction of your career – especially when it starts to take off.