How many great voices do you need to make one track? We’ve all heard of the great songs like ‘Feed the world’ and ‘We are the World’ where there has been a combination of world famous vocalists singing together.
The question is how easy is it to put a group track together and when the lyrics are written, do too many vocalists spoil it………..too many cooks as we say, or is a case of the more the better?
Making great sounds is like mixing the worlds best voices together into one drink until you get the right flavours.
After writing the track ‘Make you Mine’ last summer, I had the opportunity to find out. I decided to put together a soul, R’n’B song with some elements of gospel in it. I remember coming back from a trip up north after mentoring Junior Star Singer artist Emily Taylor Smith, a.k.a Isolde, and suddenly hearing a melody and words from a chorus just bounce into my head. I had no option but to record it onto my loud speaker voice recorder.
There I was coasting down the M1, humming away melodies to myself at 70 miles an hour (paying attention to the road of course…), trying to figure out lyrics. It was clear to me I really had a moving, passionate song and that being the case needed the right combination of voices.
I have always loved legendary singers from Motown, in particular Arethra Franklin, Stevie Wonder, as well as some of the more recent acts like Jennifer Hudson and Beyonce. Now we have great current artists like Lewis Capaldi, James Arthur, Adele in our midst. I wanted to be able to know what it would be like if I blended in artists of this calibre into one song. Evidently it would be amazing if I could pull it off successfully!
And so I managed to get together Billy and Louie, Chloe Dunne and Georgia Lois – all ex-contestants from my Junior Star Singer Songwriter competition – who in my eyes have very passionate, strong vocals and could make this track as real as possible.
We drove up to the studio in Finsbury Park and after they had been in rehearsals for a few months, planning parts and getting the energy just how they wanted, the time had come to lay the track. It was incredible watching these young stars achieve what they did. Without a doubt, their voices blended, like different caramels running through a bar of chocolate. It was something amazing to hear.
Every bit of energy and drive came out of these young stars! And there it was in front of me, generations of legends had influenced stars like these, to make tracks like this. Based on their performance, I think we are but a step away from seeing more legends.
So to return to my opening question, how many voices were really necessary to make this track great? Well this one only needed four, because if there were too many there wouldn’t be enough consistency. We wouldn’t be able to hear just how great these voices were if they had to break off suddenly. The trick is to make them last, and let them harmonise well together.
Making great sounds is like mixing the world’s best voices together into one drink until you get the right flavours. It’s achievable and even placing the right voices together makes sense.
So go ahead – just like making the creamiest bar of chocolate or the most flavoursome of cocktails, the answer is in the ingredients. It has to be the best.