Olle the Death Metal Viking


We’re heading deep into production mode at the moment. So for the next while, this newsletter will probably be a bit shorter, and it will mostly be about the stories we’re working on. It used to be the norm that journalists kept their work under wraps until it was published. But there’s a swelling group of folks who think transparency in journalism is important, and they're starting to share their work as they go. I’m one of those folks. I like transparency, because it lets you build a closer, more collaborative relationship with your audience. It’s fun, and it’s also really helpful because you guys have great ideas.

So here’s what I’m working on: I’m researching a story about vocal health, and how much singers do or don’t worry about it. Initially, I became interested in the story after I had been out of classical voice lessons for over a year. I still sing of course—in the shower, in the car, in the kitchen while I do the dishes—but probably not with the best technique. Recently I’ve been wondering if maybe I’ve hurt myself screaming along to Potty Mouth too many times. Something about my voice just doesn’t feel right.  

But I don’t want this story to be about me. Instead, I’m thinking about the athleticism of Opera singers, the pop star’s grueling tour schedule, and heavy metal vocal technique. How do these different singers maintain their voices? How sustainable is their particular singing style?

Do you know a singer who’s lost their voice or been forced to make changes to their style for the sake of vocal health? I’m talking about friends and acquaintances but also celebrities and musicians you love from afar. John Mayer, for example, had to go on vocal rest for months, although I maintain that had far more to do with karma than singing technique.  

At any rate, I’d love to hear from you. Tweet @hearpitch, find us on Facebook, or just email me back, and let me know which singers you think I should be talking to.

Oh, and watch this video of Olle the death metal viking doing vocal warm ups. The first time I watched it, I laughed so hard I cried.