Canadian Musician - March / April 2018 - Page 32

VOCALS Micah Barnes is a singer, songwriter, and vocal and performance coach. He travels between Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles on a regular basis to work with clients and also offers private sessions online. His Singers Playground performance workshops, which he developed at The Highways Performing Arts University in Santa Monica, CA, have helped thousands of artists deepen their skill sets as performers on both sides of the border. By Micah Barnes Practical Tips for Building the Perfect Showcase Part 1 A t some point in every artist’s career, we are asked to per- form a showcase set. Giving an audience of industry folks a snapshot of who we are as artists can certainly be a daunting task; however, distilling your musical world down to a short set of songs can be a useful exercise that will teach you a whole lot about who you are as an artist, and relay that to other people. Song Order When figuring out the order of songs, I rec- ommend beginning by figuring out the top and bottom of your set. Those are the songs that folks will remember the most and should therefore be your strongest tunes. Once you know how you are starting and ending, it will help you choose the rest of your songs and build up your set. First Song The set opener. Yes, it says, “Welcome to my party,” but it also has to let the audience know what kind of party we are arriving at! It should make clear the style of music to follow, and establish your identity and musical personal- ity as clearly as possible with a single song. Second Song Your second tune is more important than you think. If it doesn’t deepen your identity, then the audience will think it has you “figured out” as an artist and performer and start to lose interest. Remember, an industry crowd is full 32 • C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N of people who likely attend showcases every week, if not more. Very few artists can hold an industry audience past the first song unless what they do next is surprising, interest- ing, and deepens the story in some way. Cover Songs Most artists that develop their own material resist the suggestion of adding cover material to a showcase set, which is understandable, but trust me on this: You want a well known song or two in your set. Having attended hundreds of artist showcases over the years, the one thing that I’ve noticed consistently is that although industry folks are honestly interested in discovering new artists, as soon as they have a sense of what you do, they are Յ䁅́ȁѼэݥѠѡ)х͡eȁ́Ѽэѡ)ѡͼݕٕ́)ٕ͕հɅѕ丁]䁹Ё10+qٗtݥѠȁɥѕɥ́ԁɔ)ȁչЁѱ)ѡЁ́յєѡɥѕɥ)ɽչи)QЁͅԁɅєٕȰ)хѥѼɔӊéɕЁЁɕ)ȁٕͥɕ͠ȁݸ쁑e)Ёѡɽ܁ЁѼȁ͕Ё́еє)eԁ䁡ٔѼɥЁݥѠ)ͽ́ɔѡɥЁи%Ёݥ)ݽѠЁѡո)ɥȁՑ́ٔѽԁѡ䁱ٔ)ѡЃLѡͽ́ԁ܁ٔѱ+qtѡ%䁍ɽݐ́ѥ)ѕѼԁȁЁ܁ͽ̰ӊe)͔ѡ䁅ɔɕ͕݅ЁѼ)ȃqյ̻tQݥ݅ѥѼ͕)ԁٕȰͼɔѡЁԁ)MхAѕ)$ݽձɕɕͥ ѡqѕˊt)́Ս́ѡͽ̇ ٕ䁍ȁݡ)ԁ݅ЁѼٕȁՉЁݥ͔)ݡɔԁɔȁɽ͕́)Օ쁽ѡݥ͔ѡɥͬ݅ɥȁ)ѼхЁ͔ٕ́)Ѽ丁5䁅٥ȁ䁅ѥЁݡ)́хЁ͡ݍ͔́Ѽ)䁄镸̃͡L̰)͡܁ȁɥьLݥѠхѕȁ)ȁЁ̸QՑݥȴ)٥׊eɔЁͥ䰁Ёѡɗe)ՅɅѕѡӊéѼͼ$)ɕѥȁݽɑ́́ɕձ)́ԁȁͽ̸)ɔ)MЁ ͕́ḛԁݥɔQ́)䁍ɽݐ٥ԁɔɔ)ٕ͵ЁԁɔЁѡ䁅ɔ)ȁɔӊéȁѼո)٥ѽ䁱!ٔͽѡɕɕѡ)́ѡȁɕ䁙ոȁݕəհѡ)ԁ܁ݥٔѡɅѥԁ)ѡȃq܁͍ٕ䇊t)QЁ܁ͽ́ȁ͕Ё͡ձѡ)ٕɽЁԁٔ ͔ѡє5ɔѥ́AЀȸ