How Many Hours Does It Take to Get to the Center of Global Stardom?
According to Ed Sheeran—in order to master a craft, he lives by the 10,000 hour rule,
made popular by Malcolm Gladwell in his best-selling book “Outliers.” Sheeran gives the
analogy of a broken facet. When the tap is broken you must let it run dirty water until it
runs clean water. He explains that is the same as become a master of your art.
And this is true, for many artists they play hundreds of awful gigs before they start to
get the hang of it. Sheeran claims to have played six gigs in one day in Glastonbury when
he was starting his career, and most of the time, largely playing to an empty room.
Sheeran explains that art is like that and admits that he wrote many terrible songs
before he came across one worth sparing. He explains that once the facets running
clear, it most of the time does run clear except for a bit of “sh*t” here and there.
Ariana Grande attributes her success to being Broadway trained and having to get used
to that Broadway schedule of eight shows a week, and countless hours of rehearsal.
Ariana knew the sound she could produce and really wanted to sing in that soulful tone
she is so famous for today. She recalls when she was in school, she wanted to sing
“RESPECT” by Aretha Franklin, and her vocal coach at the time wanted to change this
song selection opting for something more traditional Broadway—sweet and operatic.
Determined to prove herself, and her abilities she claimed to have just sang constantly
and sang a lot.
Whereas she believed in her vision and practiced tirelessly, Broadway gave her
the structure and repetitiveness to teach her proper vocal technique and properly rest
her vocal cords when performing this much. Grande explains that her register is
naturally high, so it’s much harder for her to go low when her voice is tired, so she had
to learn quickly in order to perform at Broadway’s high level.
Both Sheeran and Grande offer the same take away—if you practice constantly, write
the terrible songs, do the early gigs, defy the naysayers who believe you should sing in a
different style or try to change you—you can accomplish anything. Sheeran ended his
interview saying the only other advice he would offer new artists, is to be kind. He said if
you work hard, and are kind, you will go the farthest. From Grande’s experience on
Broadway, she learned the importance of resting in between shows, proper vocal
technique and how to keep that stamina going which translates to her ability to endure
multi-city tours today. Both Sheeran and Grande demonstrate consistency that is
unmatched. With kindness, consistency, proper technique and the belief in yourself
both artists prove anything is possible.
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