Be Yourself : Artists Who Unfaked It
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken -Oscar Wilde
Had enough of those same tunes being fed to you upside-down & sideways? Do you think all these musicians coming up with cliched mash ups are fake? Well, calm down, take a few deep breaths! Things are not as askew as they look. Over the years there have been those who were not afraid to walk the untrodden road, who didn’t bother about conformist norms… who unfaked it. Unabashed, unwavering, unorthodox and unconventional, here are 5 artists who managed to do just that.
Eclectic !! That’s the only way to describe the work of Icelandic dame, Bjork. She first got international recognition for her work with alt-rock band Sugarcubes. A solo career followed & flourished from the mid-90s & continues to this date. She possesses a soprano vocal cord, which helps her deliver a unique brand of offbeat vocals, which are her signature. She also has a penchant to experiment with various genres & comes good more often than not, as the horde of her fans will testify.
A demo release at the age of 11 & a studio album release at the age of 17, was an indicator of something special that was to follow & Alanis didn’t disappoint. With deep, at times dark yet honest lyrics, her songs reach out to a large portion of the community & are well complimented by her mezzo-soprano vocals which gives her numbers a dash of psychedelic taste. This has led to the Rolling Stone coining her as the ‘Queen of Alt-Rock Angst’.
Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong, or better known to us as Dido, has captivated one and all with her dreamy & soulful voice. But it wasn’t smooth sailing from the beginning, as her brother (an accomplished music producer) discouraged her from taking up singing as a career, as he thought she couldn’t sing. But she persisted & eventually convinced everyone of her talent & there was no turning back since.
Imogen Heap is a virtuoso in the true sense. With a D-I-Y approach, and having been trained in classical instruments such as Piano, Cello & the Clarinet, there is nothing musically logical that she can’t do. Apart from her high pitch vocals (which she manipulates brilliantly), she dabbles a lot with various electronic as well as ambient sounds in that, and manages to come up with new sounds out of the unexpected. To give an example, her hit number ‘Hide & Seek’ has the sound of frying pan using for cooking, in the background.
In a time when electronica was the way to go, Amy Winehouse led the way to revive & relive the (almost) lost genre of female Jazz & R&B vocalists. Known essentially for her raspy, deep, contralto vocals coupled with fervent lyrics (as well as the 60’s beehive hairdo to match the vibe), Winehouse carved a unique niche for herself by creating music that was cross-cultural as well as cross-genre. Although undone by an early demise, her legacy is up for grabs & hopefully someone who’ll carry her torch will come around soon.
So, there you are, examples of people who abandoned commonplace norms & unfaked it the way only they knew how. Question now is, do you have in it you to break the shackles & unfake it yourself? Go figure!
Image credits: pitchfork.com, otracancion.com.ar, wordpress.com, lozzamusic.com
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