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Hi. I’m Anya Singleton, and we’re going to talk about how to connect with your lyrics. This seems like a basic thing, but, actually, a lot of singers kind of miss this step when they’re putting a song together. It’s really easy to think about what to do as a singer, in terms of technique. “All right, this song has this range. There’s these high notes. I want to make sure that I hit these notes, and that they’re beautiful and they’re supported well.” And those things are important, but your song doesn’t matter really so much, I feel, unless you know what the song is about.
So I think the best way to connect to lyrics is to kind of put the singing stuff aside for a second and look at it as a monologue. Take the song, sort of write it out, look at what the words are and pick out keywords that are there. What jumps out at you? What do you feel when you say those words? Okay. How do you feel connected to those words? Because the reality is, if you’re not connected to the song you’re singing, then your audience isn’t connected either. So being a great singer is a lot more than, I think, just singing well. I think it has to do with: How are you conveying the meaning of the song?
So I would take it apart, really look at it as a monologue or as a poem, if that’s easier for you, and then put it back together with the music. Are there certain parts of the song that stand out more to you? You’ll find often that the way a song is written, the lyrics go along with what’s happening in the song.
Let’s say you have a song that is very low key at the beginning, and then it ramps up and there’s this very sort of . . . the tempo changes, and it speeds up, and it gets dynamically much louder. Chances are that’s the climax of the song. That’s where the biggest emotional realization is happening. It’s hand in hand. Just being a great singer is not enough. Thinking about what the song means and being a great singer will be a home run every time.