I am always looking for new talent. If you are between 12 and 22 and you have the voice and the look, please send up to 3 songs, picture and bio to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are under 18, please also provide the contact of your parents.
The demo does not have to be well produced as long as I can hear the quality of your voice. You can also just sing without music, preferably your own songs. I care about:
1. Personality and a recognizable voice. When the radio plays your song, you want people to recognize you by your voice. The less you sound like another singer, the better. The same goes for your style. Originality and uniqueness are key.
2. Emotions. You can do everything wrong by trying to sing "right". Every word you sing regardless of if it is loud or soft, high or low, fast or slow, should convey as much passion, urgency and personality as possible. Music is only good when the listener can feel it. "Emotion" in a voice can be a certain breathiness, vibrato, a raspy edge, or so many other colors used at the right spot to help your voice express your lyric with credibility.
3. Range & dynamics. You might bore people if you sing every song with a soft voice. Some singers belt too much and others just always stay in their comfort zone. Unless you want to be in a group with other vocalists covering your weak spots, you need to be comfortable in a wide range. You can start the song with a very low, breathy and soft vocal, take the first chorus in your mid range and then work your way up in to your highest and strongest notes in the end chorus. But then again there are also exceptions like Shade whose style and tone is so unique that her rich soft voice is all you want to hear.
4. Adlips. I love for singers to do their own little riffs, emotional additions and variations of the melody to give the performance an intriguing personality. Adlips are the signature of the artist. Think of singers like M.Jackson, Mariah and Withney and you'll remember their unique adlips.
5. Other Talents. It isn't always necessary but if you can play an instrument and accompany yourself, that's another plus. I recommend all my artists to learn piano or guitar, at least a few basics. Knowing an instrument helps many singers with pitch issues for better intonation. It's cool when you can do one unplugged song in your live set all by yourself. Showcase your instrument skills also on your demo. If you have dance skills you can also include a quicktime video clip.
5. Genius. I think a genius is someone who does something very simple that no one else has done this way before for the first time. As far as song writing, if it sounds like it's been done before it's redundant. But if you can say simple words like "I love you" in a way no one else has ever said them before, then you may be on to something great.
6. The Look. It is not about looking like a fashion model, stars are role models. The "it" factor means that you stand for something your fans can identify with. They like you because they want to be a little like you. Wear your inside on the outside. Create your own recognizable image that sets you visually apart from other artists and people will remember you.
7. Performance. Once the song is recorded the artist needs to be able to perform the song live. A great record can die if the artist screws up a few TV live shows, therefore it is one of the main criteria that you are able to handle an audience and recreate the magic that is on the record. Take every opportunity you can get to be on stage.