Top Vocal Coaches In The World

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Top Vocal Coaches In The World

Top Vocal Coaches In The World

Jan Smith is chilling in his recording studio on a summer night in metro Atlanta’s North Druid Hills, trying out raw vocals for an as-yet-unreleased song from his new boss. Dressed in a black shirt with lace sleeves, white pants and open-toed black shoes, the 63-year-old Smith sat quietly in tune with a book called “Karma,” a 21-year-old country pop cut. singer-songwriter Grace Asbury plays the preacher. For the next few hours, Smith and the singer, together with two singers, sing hum, red and “yabba dabba doo”, a combination of broken voices with performance and it is difficult to imagine that they are in different songs.

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Asbury, a student at the University of Georgia, was looking to improve her voice and musical style when a family friend suggested she hire Smith, known as “Mama Jan,” last year. Smith heard his music and, according to Asbury, told his father he didn’t need his money. A respected voice coach has long had a thriving business and an established reputation in the industry; instead, Smith wanted to work with Asbury because he believed he could help him become a successful country artist. Coming from Mama Jan, who counts Justin Bieber and Drake as former students, that’s high praise.

For more than 35 years, Smith’s work has been associated with Atlanta’s emergence as a music and entertainment mecca. His success comes from his undeniable strength as a voice teacher, but also from his proximity to the promotion of talent: In this capital of music, a teacher with a southern part and a tall but strong man who takes you on a journey of artists like Usher. . , Rob Thomas, Young Jeezy, and a few real stars.

Smith, who started out as a singer, never expected to become the woman behind so many megastars. But as an active player in the industry and an advocate for Atlanta’s music industry, Smith says there’s nothing he’d rather do than promote talent where he grew up.

Earlier that day, Smith met with a former client for a recording session in his room, located at an undisclosed business location. Eager to show what Smith has been up to since they last spoke, the Pioneer rapper asked his producer to record his new single. Quickly, Smith pulled out his phone and began filming, kneeling and twisting the rapper to get the right angle as he moved the camera. He screams, embraces the words of the song as he plays. Mama Jan is respected in the industry for her kind and caring demeanor, as well as the power of her voice. You probably don’t curse in front of your mother, and Smith’s customers don’t curse in front of you either.

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Smith’s career as a vocal coach began in the early 1980s, when he walked into a guitar store in downtown Atlanta looking to buy one and left with a new gig: Wanting help a builder by day/rock musician by night. who lost his voice.

At the time, Smith wasn’t interested in a career as a voice teacher—he was a touring artist, not a teacher—but he quickly realized he was in a unique position to help others. As a singer with a classical and rock background, Smith was able to influence pop artists in ways that many voice teachers, who emphasized a classical education, could not. “A tough, hot-tempered factory worker who drinks and smokes doesn’t go to (training). He didn’t do that,” Smith said. “Nobody meets the needs of what I call street musicians, rock and roll, R&B, pop, [and] rap [artists]. I started nurturing [them], and they started coming out of the tree.”

Before long, Smith set up a small house in the back of a music store where he went looking for a new guitar. Michele Caplinger, who is the executive director of the Atlanta chapter of the Recording Academy (the organization behind the Grammy Awards), was a singer in the group Lipstick Stain when he first visited the “studio of recovery,” Smith said. That’s when the office was decorated with 8×10 photos of Smith’s clients taped to the wall and tape. “You have a tape, a desk and a microphone,” Caplinger said of the set. It is Smith’s experience, not the environment, that makes the picture clear.

Top Vocal Coaches In The World

See this post on Instagram @recordingacademy … and who shared the whole crazy journey with me and gave me the best verse of them! Congrats to 3 Grammy winner @thisisrobthomas #grammys #grammythrowback #grammyspast #mamaonduty A post shared by Mama Jan (@mamajanmusic) on Jan 28, 2018 at 6:31 pm. PST

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One of Smith’s first collaborators was Rob Thomas, lead singer of Matchbox Twenty, who a former student referred to him before the band released their first album. According to Smith, Thomas jokingly called himself “the voice”, a gift to his regular teaching methods, but he became known by a nickname: Mama Jan, created with love by his two clients, singer – singer Jeffrey. Butts and John Hopkins (later a member of the Zac Brown Band).

The nickname took hold at the same time that a woman approached Smith to seek help in the training of her son Usher Raymond. Usher was signed to Atlanta’s LaFace label by La Reid and Babyface and achieved success with his breakthrough album.

, performing songs like “Nice & Slow” and “O Make Me Want…”, as a teenager. But it came a little later than expected and half of his voice broke. Smith came and coached Usher before the release of his latest album

Years later, Usher first hired Smith to help his teenage son, Justin Bieber, adjust to his voice after puberty. The voice master can be found in the 2011 documentary

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Not only does he teach Bieber vocals, but he helps him adjust to the demands of youth fame by describing his own experiences as a young singer. He sees it as his responsibility to do on his studies hard. Bieber and Usher joined Smith on stage when he was inducted into the Georgia Hall of Fame in 2011.

Smith has worked with voice actors of all kinds, including singers, on-air writers, ministers, public speakers and others. In 2005, after being awarded his most famous award

Young Jeezy had vocal cord surgery. He does not learn to act effectively without ruining his voice and fears that he will lose his career as soon as he begins to succeed, he enlists Smith to help him recover. At that time, few people thought about working with singers to make sure they didn’t damage their voices. But not Mother Jan. “It’s just important for [rappers] to be able to maintain their vocal health,” Smith said.

Top Vocal Coaches In The World

Jan Smith received her induction into the Georgia Hall of Fame on September 17, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Usher (left) and Justin Bieber (right) stand behind him during his acceptance speech. Rick Diamond/Getty Images

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In 2008, Smith was contacted by singer-songwriter Dallas Austin (TLC’s “Creep,” Pink’s “Just Like Pill,” etc.) to take voice lessons for a friend. There is a small warning: the party will be filmed for a new TV show.

At the time, Smith was not familiar with the photo or the network it was spreading, but agreed to help.

In a prominent scene in the Bravo show’s first season, Smith examines Kim Zolciak’s wife, who he says is a country singer. “It looks like you have a nice building that’s already been built, and we have a lot of orange lights and good lights and all that stuff,” Smith said. “And we’re basically divided,” he says of their musical skills. In an interview that aired during the episode, Zolciak said he felt Smith was “hot” and wasn’t sure what to do with music in a room. Reflecting on the awkward meeting now, Smith said, “I don’t know what to think. I’m not sure if… is this important? Like, I’m here

As a viewer, it is difficult to see the scene with the right eye. But Smith, himself, was not laughing. Zolciak’s voice working out, the piece is a perfect reflection of Smith’s working style. During her years as a voice teacher, Smith’s simple yet charming personality has made people come to her for her honest answers.

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Born in Atlanta and raised in a Christian family with his two brothers, Smith says he was gifted with music from an early age which suited him well.

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