I’ve always loved singing. When I was a boy I was a boy soprano [insert nervous mocking laughter here], my clear crisp voice would turn heads wherever I went. When puberty hit and my voice broke I was suddenly lost. I wanted to sound like Bono and tried my hardest to sing exactly like him. I couldn’t really, my voice had turned into a deep bass and Bono’s high tenor was out of my reach.
But boy did I try.
If you’ve got the skills you can copy anything, make it sound almost like the original as long as you don’t push it too far.
So I did.
It took me years to be comfortable with the sound of my voice. It didn’t sound at all like Bono’s, but if I covered it up, I could make it sound almost similar.
Then one day I picked up my guitar and started singing some lyrics I had written the night before. I tried my faux Bono, but it felt wrong. After a while I started singing with my own voice and all of a sudden everything fell in place. All the nuances I had missed trying to sound like mr Paul David Hewson finally bubbled up to the surface. I was using my voice the way it was meant to be used and all of a sudden I had a whole new range to play with. My voice was different, but it was my voice and it was more honest than anything I had ever tried to copy.
I had found my voice.
So why am I telling you this?
Well, I’m sitting here in a hotel room in Madrid. I’m on a whirlwind tour around the world and I get questions all the time about how I edit my images or why I compose images the way I do. People want to get under my skin and even though I find it absolutely ludicrous, I do understand the urge to sound like someone else.
But do you know what?
It’s absolutely ok to do so, but it’s not until you start trusting your own voice you’ll reach your full potential.
It’s as simple as that.
Don’t be a copy, you’ll end up being a Jasmine Star Light, a [p]ecker or Shit Sean Flanigan.