It’s not always what you think

I like to look on line for the latest musical trends, new singers or great live music.  I had a post pop up about a 14 year old girl, Sara James, who performed on America’s Got Talent, just a couple of weeks ago, for which she received a golden buzzer from Simon Cowell. Now, don’t get me wrong. Sara’s performance was excellent, she has a very bright future ahead of her, and it was a polished performance for someone so young.

However, we have to be careful not to be deceived that she just one day turned up out of the blue and did this amazing performance. While I was watching her perform there was a gut feeling in me that this girl has not just appeared out of nowhere. She was nervous, however I could tell that this was definitely a practiced performer.

Once I dived into the internet abyss, I soon discover that this is not the first competition she has performed in. Sara has grown up with music in her life, her father is a singer and she attends a music school. She has won the Polish (she is from Poland) “The Voice Kids” and last year came second in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. She has also had a video clip produced and released on you tube only a couple of weeks ago. This girl has worked hard!

Do not be deceived by these competitions. For those who perform well, you can be guaranteed that there has been an enormous amount of work done to get them where they are.

Would you sing on The Voice?

The Voice begins on Monday 25th April

Who won The Voice in 2021? Have you listened to her music recently? Yes it was a girl who won – Bella Taylor Smith. A beautiful and talented singer who was able to win a singing competition in the midst of a global pandemic. But did it guarantee her success? It depends on what you classify as success. She won $100,000 and a recording contract. Has she gone on to do great things with her music. She might think so. Is her name well known? Probably if you watched the Voice, but outside that circle, I don’t think so. What about the winner in 2020? He is a more well known name: Chris Sebastian. What about his music career? Do you think it is much different because of the Voice? Maybe a little bit, but he hasn’t become a household name like his brother.

Singing competitions can be a lot of fun, or a lot of stress. They can give you opportunities to perform in front of an audience and develop your stage craft. You can win money and maybe get a music contract. My concern with a show like the Voice is that it focuses more on the back story of the singers and the judges are given a lot of focus. If you check how long the singers actually sing for, it may be a little over a minute.  How can you truly gauge the skill of the singer in that amount of time?  Does it guarantee success, wealth and the opportunity to tour the world and perform – for the very few, yes.

I think singing competitions are worthwhile, if you treat them as an opportunity for you to improve as a singer and musician. Focus on how you can take this opportunity as a way to grow as a musician. But don’t go into these thinking it will bring fame and fortune. That will only come with hard work, constant, consistent practice and persistence.  Make sure you watch The Voice, even if only for one episode. Appreciate the courage it takes for these singers to get on stage in front of a nation wide audience and then enjoy the singing.