Are You Singing With Someone Else’s Voice?

February 6, 2022

How many times have you heard someone talk about “finding their voice?” It’s a common phrase in singing and it’s a powerful idea that can have many meanings.

It can describe the unique sound of your voice or your unique singing style (the ways you use your voice–different than the actual sound of your instrument.)

It can also refer to the way in which a songwriter or singer writes lyrics or uses words–their perspective about life or a certain subject.

Unfortunately, many singers never find their voice because they get stuck sounding like someone else; either by design or unconsciously, because they’ve listened to a particular singer over and over. They unknowingly absorb their mannerisms and sound.

What’s wrong with that? Isn’t it cool to be compared to a great singer?

In the karaoke world, sounding like the singer who recorded the song you're performing can gain you big time popularity. That instant gratification can be so seductive that you never see the downside–not owning your voice, your style, your perspective.

Some singers never move on from that, and never experience making art with their voice. In the painting world, many a graduate with a fine arts degree has experienced the difficult challenge of carving their own path and decided to make a good living painting copies of “the masters.”

Being the singer in a good cover band can be great fun. Getting to sing some of your favorite songs and pleasing your audience by singing what they know and love can be a real rush.

But think about the fact that someone first had to write that song and sing it with their own voice to make it the song you love to sing. I’m not saying you should only sing originals–not at all.

I’m inviting you to get in touch with the “why” of your singing. What makes you want to sing in the first place? Everyone on this planet has a unique gift to share and a unique perspective to share it with. Finding your voice means to do just that.

And, you can do that singing other people’s songs, as well as originals. But you have to make them your own. If you’ve never heard Eva Cassidy, check out what she does with some very well known songs.

And have a listen to all the creatively different covers of Beatle songs in the soundtrack of the movie Across the Universe. There are many other great examples of creative covers of well known songs that are artistic masterpieces.

Hopefully you’ll get inspired to let your “inner creative genius” help you find your voice.

The power of a brave voice is a beautiful thing, and every one of us can share our vocal gifts if we make it an intention! Don’t settle for the low hanging fruit. Be brave, be different, be imperfect, be an artist. Sing with your voice.

And most importantly, be yourself–everyone else is taken…

Mark Bosnian

Mark is an award-winning songwriter and professional voice coach with 30+ years of experience teaching people how to take center stage. He has toured nationally with the 80's hit band Nu Shooz and coached Grammy award nominees, American Idol semifinalists, and singers on The Tonight Show.