Thursday, December 12, 2013

I LOVE MY OWN VOICE!


Being that I have been a singer all of my life you would think that this is an obvious statement but quite the contrary.  It has taken me almost 40 years to finally settled in a place of personal peace and unconditional self acceptance that I have actually fallen in LOVE my own voice! 

I've always thought that I had a nice voice and that I could sing. I grew up really really liking my voice. I liked that I could almost imitate anyone alto or soprano as a child.  I liked that I could always harmonize with the tunes on the radio. And I liked the fact that I could even show-off with a couple of runs down the scale as well.  I really LIKED my voice. 

Then there were times as a teenage that I realized that I had a little power and some "umph" behind my voice. I would belt out a Mother's Finest tune, sing-a-long with Chaka Khan, croon with Marvin Gaye and imitate Atlantic Starr.  During those moments I felt joy because I knew that I could hold my own with these singers that I really admired. I really LIKED the fact that my voice could imitate theirs. But I didn't LOVE my OWN VOICE.

Even as an adult, I performed with a girls group and band that I loved dearly. While I thought we were the baddest girls group on the left of the Alabama River I  always felt that in some way I needed to hold back because my voice was...okay. I won awards, state medals, radio contests and even a contract and still I felt in the back of my mind that my voice was okay but maybe not "good enough." 
I really LIKED my VOICE but I didn't LOVE my VOICE.

Then after a seven year hiatus from performing, I found myself unexpectedly singing backup for an established artist and once again faced with the reality that I really liked my VOICE but I didn't LOVE IT!

Then all of a sudden my world was changed with a simple music video (that I hated quite frankly). The video named I Know I've Been Changed received more than 1.1 million views within 2 weeks. No promotion or marketing. It just went viral on it's own. 

I was so confused by the success of this video that I was forced to read the video comments to try to understand what did people see in the video that I didn't. I read comment after comment and kept seeing the words "spirit" "authentic" "chills" and "beautiful."  I NOW became even more baffled! WHAT?!! Beautiful!? I had on a cheap shirt and tights.  I thought to myself, "There was nothing beautiful about the video."

My hair was a hot mess after being forced to cut off my beautiful thick hair weeks earlier because of a bad salon experience. I was emotionally devastated because of a failed relationship.  I was very resistant to singing back-up in the first place and even initially tried to convince the artist that he should hire a "professional singer."  HOW COULD THIS BE?!  I wanted to sound like Whitney, look like Janet Jackson, be fine like Toni Braxton, tear the house down like Chaka and be loved like Diana Ross! THIS VIDEO DIDN'T REFLECT WHAT I WANTED MY VIDEO TO BE!

When I looked at the video.... all I saw and heard was me and my short comings! Why didn't I do one
of those Mahalia Jackson runs down the scale? Why didn't I dress up in pretty outfits and in pink like a Whitney Houston video? Why didn't I look at the camera and flirt with my eyes like Mariah Carey? 

There I sat staring at a video that received had over 1.1 million views and was crying and embarrassed because I didn't feel deserving of the support. Couldn't people see that I wasn't dressed up, hear that I hadn't practiced the song and know that I wasn't my best? Couldn't they see me????

Then I realized that they did see me.  They saw me and they LIKED what they saw.  Plus, most actually said they LOVED my voice.  So now I was faced with the question of WHY didn't I like what I saw and why didn't I LOVE my own voice.  I thought my voice just wasn't good enough. 

In the past year, I have learned so many life lessons about love, family and life through this music journey.  Ironically, it was my music and my own voice that has brought about my healing. I actually stopped comparing my circumstances to others. I stopped comparing my voice, style and tone to others. I stopped comparing my life to others.  I started living my own experience, writing my own songs and just listening to my own voice and then it happened.  I fell in LOVE with my OWN VOICE.



Now I appreciate and LOVE my OWN VOICE so much that I am BRAVE enough, BOLD enough and SECURE enough to share it with the world. 

Check out my upcoming EP coming in 2014 called Shades of Pink.  It's been a long time coming but I LOVE MY VOICE!!!!!!!!!




4 comments:

Renee Wallace said...
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Renee Wallace said...
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Renee Wallace said...
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Renee Wallace said...

Hey LaTosha, I am so very elated that you are so immersed in your God given gift and seeking expression constantly. I pray that the sounds of heaven ring through every note you sing. To God be the glory. Love you, Renee