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Honing Your Craft

Feb 6, 2019 06:00 AM

Cari Cole

15 Grammy-Winning Singer’s Secrets Revealed

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A version of this article originally appeared on Cari Cole's Standing in the Spotlight blog.


It’s Grammy time again. I already sent off the Grammy ballots for the nominations for the 2019 Grammy Awards and it was a tough choice. There was sooo much amazing music this year, and I’m very interested to see how it turns out!

One thing is true: Grammy-winning singers and artists are badass. They have badass vocal chops, vocal techniques and killer vocal arrangements.  It’s important to know that in the entertainment industry, nothing is “natural.” Voices are worked on, worked over, and worked through, in every which way possible, to make them stronger, better, and shine greater.

Matter of fact, all big stars have a vocal coach at some point, if not on speed dial.

Here’s a glimpse behind the velvet curtain of the top 15 best-kept secrets of Grammy-winning singers from a behind-the-scenes view.

Performing, Honing Your Craft, voice

Jul 20, 2017 06:00 AM

Cari Cole

Struggling With Singing? Achieve Vocal Freedom in 5 Easy Steps

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A version of this article originally appeared on Cari Cole's Standing in the Spotlight blog.


Vocal freedom. It’s what all singers want. But how do you get it when your voice is stuck in your throat, wears out too quickly, or doesn’t respond the way you want? Are you stuck with the voice you have, or can it be improved?.

The latter. Your voice is an instrument. You just have to learn how to play it. It’s a sensitive and invisible instrument. You can’t buy it at the store. Its inner processes are tucked away. You can’t see it working. As a result, it’s tougher to navigate, tougher to control. The problem is so many singers think you’re dealt a deck, and that’s it. But there is soooo much you can do to improve your voice, it’s astonishing.

Performing, Honing Your Craft

Sep 20, 2016 09:00 AM

Cari Cole

How to Win Over Your Audience at Every Performance

Image via caricole.com

This article originally appeared on Cari Cole's Standing in the Spotlight blog.


Every performer has good days and bad days. It’s par for the course. However, the goal of any superstar or rising star is that even on bad days, you still can rock the stage.

And that’s a tall order when your voice punks out on you, or you’ve got personal stuff to deal with, or maybe your label just dropped you... sigh. But you still have to go put on a show, no matter what. That’s the life of a performer.

So, how do you still strut the stage when you’re underwhelmed yourself? You gotta have a few tricks up your sleeve. Don’t worry; Mama’s got you covered. I’ve been in the trenches with artists over the past three decades and have some handy solutions for pretty much every possible scenario.

Performing, Honing Your Craft, voice

Mar 28, 2016 08:00 AM

Cari Cole

The Three-Day Rule: Performance Tips for Singers

Image via Shutterstock

A version of this article originally appeared on Cari Cole's Standing in the Spotlight blog.

The three-day rule is my magic formula I’ve used with my private clients over the past three decades of coaching professionals in New York City. It’s a list of tips for exactly what you need to do and stay away from for three days before a show to ensure a solid vocal performance. You may want to do longer than three days, but at least three days as a minimum preparation. Once you follow the three-day rule, you’ll never look back! Works like a charm.

Songwriting, Honing Your Craft

Mar 23, 2016 06:00 AM

Cari Cole

How to Find Your Perfect Songwriter Match: The Dos and Don'ts of a Great Music Relationship

Image via Wikimedia Commons

A version of this article originally appeared on Cari Cole's Standing in the Spotlight blog.


As an artist who wrote most of my own songs during my solo career, co-writing always seemed like a cop-out. I was a child of the days of the great solo songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, and Bruce Springsteen. I was more than hesitant to co-write, and when I did, the songs were never that good. But, what I didn’t realize is that I hadn’t found the right writers.

Right now, there's a trend of songwriters writing for and with artists, and a lack of emphasis on going solo. And it’s working. Many of the biggest hits have several names following the title.

Billboard says that according to Hit Songs Deconstructed‘s recent report, "Who’s Writing the Hits?," roughly 90 percent of Billboard Hot 100 top 10s in 2014 were written by two or more writers, and nearly half were written by at least four. "If you plan on writing a hit song, you’d better find a writing partner," Penn advises. "Preferably, four or more."