DO YOU SING BACKGROUND? @therealwil.com
As I walk behind my son carrying all of his bags and mine, he is being discharged from the hospital. It has been a long month’s stay and we are glad it’s over. It’s not the first time I’ve had these thoughts, but they seem to be running around in my head today. I schedule his appearances and appointments, I run interference for him, prep him for interviews and strengthen him mentally and spiritually. It dawned on me that I have become the secretary/ manager and he is the Celebrity. I do everything behind the scenes prior to the onstage appearance and once he leaves the stage, I have already laid out what’s next. He is Harold Melvin and I am the Blue Note. Even as I write this blog, I have already showered and dressed prior to Harold waking. As he slowly drags out of bed, I am at the table prepared with the events for the day. Let me be clear, I am doing what I love to do and I am not complaining. God has me right where I am suppose to be and I love it.
Here’s what came to mind.
Every great Lead singer needs background singers, and every GREAT PERSON NEEDS HELP AND SUPPORT.
It is impossible to EFFECTIVELY sing the lead part of the song and the background at the same time!!! You need background singers. Let me explain. In the studio, you can continue to dub over the song and add back ground, but when you sing LIVE or REAL LIFE, it is impossible!! Maybe some try it so they won’t have
to split the check or the limelight, I’m not sure. I know what you are thinking, PRINCE plays it all. Well, he may write, record, produce, and perform all of it in studio, but when he goes on stage, he needs help.
The late Luther, Teddy, and even Gerald Levert, all needed help. YOU NEED HELP!!
I’m no expert, but watch how it works. In singing a love song, the goal is to communicate the message. If the lead singer is belting it out, the background echoes the sentiment.
To convey the complete message using call and response, the repeating of what I just said, and even harmony is necessary and genius I might add!!
When I grab the mic and sing the words, “It’s over baby,” the background singers will repeat these same words in harmony, and it should seal the deal, unless you are in denial. It will clear up any confusion that the dumped person might have about what just happened, IT’S OVER.
Of course this is not about music, it’s about support and playing your part.
1. Nobody can be GREAT on your own. I loved the late Barry White, but Barry without a band, background, lights, sound team, and hair stylist would be a big cat with a situation on his hands.
2. Because the applause goes to the lead singer, does not mean they stand alone. Success is a team effort.
3. Bob Marley and the Wailers, Rick James and the Stone City Band, Gladys Knight and the Pips. You my friend have an “AND.” If you don’t have one then you are a part of the “AND.”
4. JESUS and his Disciples!! Need I say more.
5. The role of the Background Singer is not to take off on a solo during performances. You job is to PLAY YOUR PART or GET YOUR OWN BAND. On a bad day, take a walk, drink some tea, but get your head right.
6. As a parent, I love watching my Harold Melvin do his thing and I love being the BLUE NOTE!! It teaches me to appreciate everyone who is a part of the background when I’m on stage.
7. You won’t always sing in the background. Just ask Teddy. He and I were Blue Notes. One day your turn will come. While you are waiting, work on your own music
at home. Leave your agenda in the car. There can only be one Harold at a time. Unless this is McFadden and Whitehead.
8. The best Lead Singers are the ones who were great at background. I know limelight is addictive but be the best at what you are assigned to do.
9. BONUS POINT- God will promote the background singer on stage quicker than from the crowd😳😳😳!!
Hurry up and get in somebody’s band. I think I just said something!
Until then I will follow Harold!! No pics, no autographs, no interviews, just grateful to be the Blue note in my baby’s band.
Confession: In the making of this blog, I have been tempted to use and make up words like backgroundin, backgrounding, sanging, and Martin’s “What you know know good.”
Be BLESSED by being YOU!!