Singers sound off 2017

Annual Feature: Singers Sound Off! 2017

Heather Davis – Hollywood Records

He might be just 22, but Jordan Fisher has been as busy as a seasoned pro lately. The Birmingham, AL native has had roles on shows like The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Teen Wolf and Disney’s Teen Beach movies, but in January 2016 he got much more attention for his stint as Doody in FOX’s Grease: Live! While Fisher’s exploits in musical theater (Hamilton on Broadway) continue to impress, he is equally adept at singing soul/R&B, which he proves on his recent self-titled artist EP.

Influence on style
I listened to a handful of records that I loved that have all been kind of the center piece of my artistry, and Brandy’s Full Moon, well, they say 10,000 hours makes a master, I’ve spent probably just that much listening to that record. All three of the background vocalists came into rehearsal today, and in the car on our way to get photos for visas for some shows in Japan, we were listening to Full Moon, and every run, every lick, every everything she has done is something we all know like it’s the back of our hand. Then there’s Whitney and Mariah and Lisa Fisher, who is somebody that, if you’re a vocalist, especially in the R&B world, you study. Another one, in terms of vocal performance was Beyoncé’s debut record, Dangerously in Love. Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life was a clear no brainer. I loved Earth, Wind & Fire’s All ‘N All as well. Pretty much everything Michael ever put out; Bad is obviously amazing, and Thriller, of course.

Acting out the songs
How do I say this? I am an actor as well, I’ve been in television and film for a number of years, grew up in theatre. Once that song is created, if I made it, or somebody else did, I am then the vessel, I am the catalyst, the two hopefully being able to represent the song as the artist, as Jordan Fisher. That’s just me doing it, which basically just means the same way that we all sing in the shower is the way that I’m performing that. It’s so much more than the melody, it’s so much more than the construct of the song, the formula of the record, so much more than the lyrics and how it all came together, and the feeling that you feel when you listen to that song.

Laying down the tracks
I love the booth. I will post up in the booth, get the vibe right, get the lighting right, get some coffee, get some tea, whatever I need. I’ll post up in there pretty much until the song is done. Once we cut and once we mix and master, that’s going to exist for forever. I’m a relatively quick artist in the booth. Of course we have some favorable producers that I adore and we just kind of know what I need and what they need and so on and so forth. I guess it just kind of depends on the record as well; I am all about everybody just feeling good that is collaborating on the song before we move on.

Working on the range
For me that is part of the 10,000 hours, man, that is very much so a part of the blood and the sweat and the tears of hours spent traveling in the car, on a subway, walking, driving, whenever and wherever you get the opportunity to just do that. The same way I learned how to run listening to Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men, I would sit and rewind and rewind, and pause, and break it down slowly, and try to get the dexterity. It’s muscles, it’s the same way a body builder doesn’t just go to the gym and start lifting 500’s.

From musicals to R&B
It’s a matter of respecting the room, the same way I would differentiate my performing at Berklee School of Music, when they all want to hear the stylistic approach to the songs. You can tell the difference between that room and performing at the University of Alabama where they’re not even necessarily looking for a stylistic approach to songs; maybe they’re looking for the story or what have you. But generally speaking, [everybody wants] a concert, they want kind of an all-around format, and that’s the thing I kind of strive to do. I think it’s just a matter of reading the room.


1 2 3 4 5