A few months ago I went to see Kings of Leon perform at the Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine, CA, not too far from where I live now, and I was blown away by the performance.
It wasn’t because there was pyrotechnics or that they were even particularly energetic on stage. Neither of which were the case. The thing that drew me in was the passion conveyed in Caleb Followill voice. His tone was haunting; it was as if he were singing the songs for the very first time.
Now, was he singing them for the first time? Of course not, right? He was midway through a tour, and more likely than not, he had written the songs at least a year or two before this point and had played and sang them countless times. So, how is he able to convey the passion night after night, performance after performance? And how can you do the same when it’s time for you to perform in front of a crowd?
I think a couple of factors come in to play here. The first is that he wrote the songs. Inevitably, if you took part in writing the song you are singing, there is going to be more passion there, because it came from you and you can, in some way, relate to the lyrics and subject matter.
But this isn’t always possible. Maybe you are a budding singer but haven’t yet mastered the art of songwriting. Does that mean your singing will always sound disconnected?
There are a couple of things I think can be done to let passion come across while singing, even if you didn’t write the song. The first is to pick a song that you genuinely like, one that connects with you, both lyrically and melodically. If you are disconnected to a song, it will definitely come across to your audience.
The second thing is to be engaged in the song, the lyrics while you’re singing. Think about the words that you’re saying. Your investment into the song will mirror your audience’s investment in the song and in you.
Here is an article I wrote about how to sing better that is worth reading if becoming a better singer is your goal.