The job doesn’t involve being chauffeured around to media appointments and ushered about by managers, publicists and record company big wigs. It does however entail getting yourself to gigs on time, under your own steam and performing to the best of your ability regardless of your mood and general wellbeing.
If you can sing to a professional standard (and by that I don’t mean mum and gran think you’re great, but that you can hold an audience for a couple of hours) then there is well paid work out there for singers of most popular styles.
In my 20 or so years of singing for money I have been lucky enough to sing with some great bands, as a solo artist and in duos and trios. I have sung rock classics, indie, pop, Motown, soul and pretty much everything else. Always ready to learn I have recently added classical to the list.
What makes us jobbing singers different from the average want to be pop star is a great work ethic and the knowledge that, no matter how good you think you are, you can always improve. It pains me to see singers on reality shows well before they are ready for local auditions let alone national T.V.
So, if you can come down from the clouds and really do wish to work as a singer at weddings and function etc, my advice is as follows:
You will need a VERY well rehearsed set. In the age of the internet, recommendations and good feedback are essential to a long career so ‘blagging’ it just won’t do. Your song choices should be made with the customer in mind and NOT you. The trick is to find a happy medium between singing songs that you love and songs your audience will want to hear at their event. Don’t just pick all your personal favourites without a thought for the type of event and the demographic of your audience.
If it’s the well paid wedding market you wish to pursue then think about the 3 parts of the ‘big day’ you can offer your services to. In church at the 풀싸롱 service, if you can sing classical or other appropriate styles then offer to sing as the bride enters, as the happy couple sign the wedding register and as they leave the church. Similarly at a civil wedding ceremony. I find the bride and groom have a good idea in advance what kind of music they wish to hear at this all important part of the day.
During the wedding breakfast, couples often like to create a laid-back atmosphere so jazz and swing always goes down well. Be clear in advance as to whether you should be low-key and unobtrusive or if the bride and groom expect you to liven things up straight away.
If an evening reception is planned, it’s usually then that a party atmosphere is wanted so choose your ‘floor fillers’ wisely. Be sure to speak to the DJ if there is one present and ask them in advance if possible to avoid playing half of your set list before you go on.