IAMA Winner Wins Grammy Award, takes the Music World by Storm
by Jessica Brandon
Meghan Trainor who started out as an unknown indie artist, won IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) as a 16 year old, just won Grammy award last night for Best New Artist. She has broken a staggering number of records of IAMA: youngest to win IAMA (at 16), the only IAMA winner to have to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts, #1 on the Billboard 200 Charts, and main category Grammy award of Best New Artist. Her hit “All About That Bass” is one of the best-selling single of all time by a debut artist, hitting #1 in 58 different countries (US, UK, etc) and selling over 15 million copies.
This shows you that anything can happen as an indie artist. When Meghan first won IAMA 6 years ago, IAMA entrants laughed when she won. But when she got signed and chalk up one hit after another, they were shocked. She has a total of 6 songs that have hit the Billboard Hot 100 Charts so far and shows no signs of slowing down (Watch her Grammy Acceptance Speech Below).
Meghan Trainor couldn’t hold back her tears While accepting Best New Artist Award, weeping through her acceptance speech. Past Best New Artists winners include: John Legend, Carrie Underwood, Sam Smith and Mariah Carey
“I have to thank L.A. Reid for looking at me as an artist instead of just a songwriter,” she said while accepting the award from presenter Sam Smith, who won the award last year. “And my mom and dad.”
Last year she was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year (both for “All About That Bass”), but lost out on both.
“This is me forever balling my eyes out. Can’t believe what happened”, said Meghan. “My dad whispered “you made it” before I walked up and I lost it. I love my family so much. Without them I wouldn’t be here today. Thank you to my team and everyone who got me here. Gonna cry happy tears all night”, said the jubilant Meghan Trainor.
Besides winning the Grammy Award, Meghan has also won two Billboard Music Awards.
MEGHAN IS NOT THE ONLY IAMA WINNER
Meghan Trainor was not the only nominee of IAMA. Ron Korb (this year’s Best Instrumental Winner of the 12th Annual IAMA) was a nominee in the Best New Age Album category. Ricky Kej (this year’s Best Open Winner) won a Grammy Award at last year’s Grammy Awards.
For more information on IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards), go to:
IAMA is extremely proud to announce that our winner Meghan Trainor has just been nominated for Record of the year and Song of the Year at the prestigious Grammy Awards. Meghan Trainor hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts for the 9 weeks, making it the biggest hit of the year by a female artist. She has beaten the biggest names in music today: Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, etc. Also, she is also #13 with a bullet on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts this week (at press time) with “Lips Are Movin'”. She was nominated for Best New Artist on American Music Awards. This is an unbelievable success for such a young music artist.
HER BEGINNINGS & STRUGGLES
Most music industry people laughed when Meghan entered and won Best Female Artist in 2010. But, when she hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, heard her Multi-Platinum selling song on the radio, they were left completely stunned and speechless. The entrants of IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) were surprised and even angry when a 16 year old girl won 4 years ago, completely unaware of the incredible success she was going to achieve.
Meghan Trainor has continued to shock the entrants, winners, judges of IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) and now the music world.
TOP OF THE CHARTS, BREAKS RECORDS
Her song “All About The Bass” has sold over 5 million copies and reached #1 in 25 different countries. The video has garnered over 300 million views on YouTube (at press time). From June 2014 when she released “All About That Bass”, in a span of 4 short months, she has gone from obscurity to superstardom within in short time. With her debut single staying #1 for 9 weeks, it is also the second biggest debut single of all time by a debut artist. The biggest debut is Debbie Boone’s “You Light Up My Life” which stayed at #1 for 10 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. However, Meghan, at 20 years old, is the youngest most successful debut artist in history with most weeks at #1 for a debut single. This is because Debbie Boone was 21 years old when she hit #1 in 1977.
MOST WEEKS AT #1 For A PERFORMANCE COMPETITION WINNER
With Meghan’s debut hit staying at #1 for 9 weeks, this officially becomes the most successful hit single in history for any music performance competition winner. Meghan’s debut single stayed longer at #1 than any American Idol, The Voice, X-Factor winner’s debut single. Yes, it stayed longer at #1 than any debut single by Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, Taylor Hicks or Clay Aiken.
ABOUT IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards)
IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) promotes the art and artistry of acoustic music performance and artistry. In it’s 11 year, IAMA has a proven track record of winners going on to hit the Billboard Charts. 2nd Annual IAMA winner Zane Williams’s winning song was recorded by country music star Jason Michael Carroll, that song hit #14 on Billboard Country Charts and #99 on Billboard Hot 100 Charts. Jeff Gutt, finalist at the 9th Annual IAMA was a runner-up on X-Factor USA. For more information on 11th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards), go to: http://www.inacoustic.com
How to Prepare for a Live Vocal Performance
13 Tips from Celebrity Voice and Performance Coach, Jeannie Deva
An impressive performance appears effortless to the degree that the artist has put effort into the preparation of every detail.
It is a given that you’ll learn your songs musically and lyrically before you perform them, but don’t neglect to practice the performance of your show.
As a project voice and performance coach I’ve helped an array of talent, from rising stars to Grammy winning recording artists, prepare for live shows and studio recordings. The following 13 tips are essential guidelines for your impressive performance preparation checklist.
Plan Your Performance Set List
1) Know your venue: Creating a set list for a small intimate coffee house requires different planning than for a stadium concert. The dynamics and energy potential is vastly different between the two. Before you create your set list find out as much as you can about the venue and its vibe.
2) Know your set length: Clock the playing time of each of your songs. Then determine how many songs you can play within the required set length. Factor in additional time for up to one minute of applause between each song, any dialogue with the audience, stage adjustments or instrument changes and any other segues. It’s a bit of a mathematical estimation that improves as you get more experience doing it. Also plan an extra song or two for encores or just in case they ask you to play longer.
3) Know any equipment and size limitations of the venue: You may have been booked to perform in clubs with a different electrical voltage than your equipment or other types of unforeseen limitations. A band I coached once mixed tracks from their iPad in with their live band sound. When they arrived to play one of the gigs on their tour, the venue was not equipped to connect iPad to the sound system. Needless to say, the stress and pressure of having to figure out what to play and how to play it made for an unpleasant evening for the band and unprofessional show for the audience. Make a list of your needs and check with your booking contacts so that you solve equipment and facility issues before you arrive at the venue.
4) Know your audience: Depending upon how many shows you have done and how long you have had fans, you hopefully will know what songs in your repertoire get the best responses. Plan to use your most popular songs as the emotional peaks of your set to create dynamic motion in your show. If you’re opening for another band, familiarize yourself with their music. Then design your set to both complement and contrast with their music in such a way as to possibly win over their fans. This is a great way to expand your fan base.
5) Determine your opening and ending numbers: Think of your opening and closing songs like bookends. A set should start with a song that grabs the attention of your audience and end with a song that either rouses or calms them to the energy level you want them to have when they leave the venue. Then arrange the rest of the set to navigate your audience through planned emotional transformations – from one bookend to another – based upon the tempo, key changes, subject matter and instrumentation of your songs.
6) Vary your vocal range: Even though your songs keys may be different, it’s common for a singer’s melodies to center in the strongest area of their vocal range. If this is true of your music, you may want to find a way of varying this with a song that brings the voice lower or higher or in some way gives the listener a sonic contrast which will help maintain their interest.
Practice the Performance of Your Set
7) Practice technical as well as performance skills: Attention to the technical aspects of a song is of course part of how you develop it. Improving any needed vocal technique to sing a song well is or course important, but so is honing performance skill.
Once you know a song begin singing it as though you were doing so in front of your audience. The more you practice as though singing to the audience the more your song will come to life. Often your phrasing and vocal tone will improve as will your emotional consistency when you practice singing to someone. This is because singing is communicating and that is done TO someone. Practicing as though you’re ON stage and singing TO people – your voice will naturally become more expressive. Doing this will influence your phrasing and tone because these are now aligned to their purpose of expressing something to someone. This kind of practice bridges the gap between rehearsal and performance.
8) Practice your set in set order: Once you’ve achieved comfort singing each song in your set, it’s important to rehearse in set order. While doing so look for and make adjustments as needed: Ensure you like the energy and emotional flow and sequence of your selected song order; explore your dynamics within each song and from one song to the next; decide between which songs that you’ll speak to your audience. If your set contains equipment changes and utilizes backup singers, group songs in such a way to ensure that any stage changes don’t dampen the momentum of your show.
9) Video your rehearsals: Use video to validate your improvement and highlight what needs more work. Analyze your practice videos objectively for the purpose of improving — not to beat yourself up. If something needs more technical attention such as singing higher notes on pitch or better phrasing, go back to working on these issues before further practicing the performance of the song.
10) Practice entrances and exits: Also practice how you’re going to walk on stage. At the end of the set, practice how you might walk off stage. Other things to consider: Are you going to have the band start playing and then enter? Are you going to exit while the band is still playing and then reappear for the final applause?
11) Practice band/ensemble staging and interaction: Performing is as much visual as it is audio. All aspects when aligned add to the magic and power of your show. This begins in the rehearsal room and then comes fully to life on stage.
12) Practice talking to your audience: There are times to talk and times to let your music do the talking for you. If you’re comfortable talking to audiences, I still suggest making decisions on where in your set you’ll do so and decide on a theme. Instead of leading in each song with “I wrote this song…” try saying a few lines about the theme of the next song and then go right into it. Remember, even if you’re expert at talking spontaneously to your audience, talking between numbers changes the energy of your show. If you want to maintain high energy, when you do speak, say less and play more.
13) Schedule low pressure gigs: If you’re starting out and want to become a professional level performer, consider booking some low pressure gigs to begin working on your presentation. Musicians rarely if ever make it to the big leagues without a lot of playing out. As you perform, you’ll raise your level of expertise, reinforce your strengths and discover those areas in which you need further development. Live performance keeps your rehearsals and personal practice focused on what really needs improvement. Remedy any shortcomings, get better, gig out again and step by step you’ll become a top professional.
Cheering you on to success!
Jeannie Deva is a celebrity voice and performance coach, Grammy member, author and recording studio vocal specialist who has worked with and been endorsed by engineers and producers of Aerosmith, Elton John, Bette Midler, Fleetwood Mac and The Rolling Stones. Seen on E! Entertainment and TV Guide Channels, Jeannie has been interviewed as a celebrity guest on talk shows in the US, Europe and Venezuela. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed “Contemporary Vocalist” series and “Deva Method Vocal Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs” CD and her eBook: “Singer’s Guide to Powerful Performances.” Jeannie teaches privately in Los Angeles as well as online worldwide. For more information on services, products for singers and her popular singer’s blog, visit: www.JeannieDeva.com
For more information of the 11th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards), go to: http://www.inacoustic.com/entry.html
by Gary Ewer
As a musical exercise, nothing beats improvising. It doesn’t just improve your playing chops – it’s a great generator of songwriting ideas. While it’s often thought of as a group activity, there are ways to improvise on your own––just you and your instrumen––that can provide you with great material for your next song. Many of the ideas listed below come from Chapter 3 of Gary Ewer’s new book, Beating Songwriter’s Block: Jump-Start Your Words and Music. The first five activities will help you create melodies, and the next five pertain to creating lyrics. Some involve singing, others will use guitar or keyboards. Most of them work as solo activities, but are fun to try with a fellow songwriter. Feel free to modify them to suit your purposes.
1. Play the following 4-chord turn-around: C F Dm G, or invent your own. Now… start singing––anything. Keep in mind that most good song melodies are comprised of repeating ideas, so try singing the same short fragment repeatedly as you change chords. The key to generating ideas is to keep things simple.
This article is preprinted with permission from Music Connection magazine
GARY EWER is a veteran music teacher, clinician, composer and arranger. His interest in the relationship between the pop and classical worlds eventually led him to write an ebook for songwriters, The Essential Secrets of Songwriting, that looks at hit songs in much the same way a classical musician would analyze a symphony. Through his writings, he shows songwriters how to take their music to a new level of excellence. He is the author of Beating Songwriter’s Block: Jump-Start Your Words and Music, published by Backbeat Books. His songwriting blog can be found at http://garyewer.wordpress.com
For more information on IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards), go to: http://www.inacoustic.com
A.J. Croce is the overall grand prize winner in the ninth annual International Acoustic Music Awards. Croce, who has performed at concerts, festivals and major listening rooms worldwide during his 20-plus year career, also captured first place in the competition’s AAA/Alternative category for “I Should Have Known.”
The son of the late legendary troubadour Jim Croce (#1 hits like “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “Time in a Bottle” ) , A.J. Croce is an artist with eclectic musical tastes. Initially a jazz-influenced blues-based artist with a New Orleans piano style, Croce was signed to his first record deal at age 19 and recorded two albums for Private Music. He has since evolved into so much more than that, embracing and incorporating a number of musical styles into his repertoire — ranging from art rock to Americana roots and beyond. An accomplished pianist, who also plays the guitar, Croce has recorded eight albums since 1993. He has appeared on such television shows as “Austin City Limits,” “CBS This Morning,” “Good Morning America,” and the David Letterman, Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien late night shows. After spending three years in Nashville, where he was engaged in co-writing songs for other artists, Croce returned home to California and began writing for himself again. A new album entitled Twelve Tales is slated for release later this year.
Fellow California-based singer-songwriter Joel Rafael was named first-place winner in the Folk/Roots/Americana category for “Dance Around My Atom Fire,” a co-write with Woody Guthrie that is the opening track on America Come Home, his eighth album.
The International Acoustic Music Awards competition promotes excellence in acoustic music performance and artistry. Awards were announced in eight categories. In addition to Croce and Rafael (a past Kerrville New Folk winner who also serves on the board of directors of Folk Alliance International), first-place winners include Berteal (Best Group/Duo) for “How I Wanna Be;” Kat Parsons (Best Female Artist) for “Love Changes Everything;” Wes Carr (Best Male Artist) for “Blood and Bone;” The Unseen Strangers (Country/Bluegrass) for “Rambler’s Plea;” Loren Barringer & Mark Mazengarb (Instrumental) for “Onward;” and Mayu Wakisaka of Japan (Open Genre) for “Once.”
Chris Volpe was named Runner-up in Folk/Americana/Roots category for “World Isn’t Worth It.” Finalists included Harpeth Rising for “Nowhereland, “Janus Fiddle and The Majority for “Belle de Louisville,” Juke Joint Johnny Rizzo for “Going to Mississippi,” J.W. McClure for “The Reaper,” Terry McLeish for “Auction in Westmeath,” Sarah Morgan for “Hard Times,” Suzie Vinnick for “Save Me for Later,” and Claire Wyndham for “Ordinary Words.”
A panel of music industry judges evaluated entries based on music performance, production, originality, lyrics, melody and composition. In addition to valuable products and services, the winners and top runners-up in each category will be featured on a compilation CD that is distributed to radio stations. For more information on the full list of winners, visit: http://www.inacoustic.com/winners.html