Today singers are facing one of the hardest times when it comes to distinguishing themselves among the sea of singers and entertainer existing today. That’s why we have here the highly talented Hana Ghoneim, singer and songwriter and host of Binge Circle to talk to you about making it in the singing industry.
How can I distinguish myself in an industry that is so saturated as singing?
I personally believe you need to explore yourself, experiment with your talent until you can find what makes you different than everyone else in the industry. My advice would be to start by putting your personality into your singing. Also, develop a distinct identity that will only define you! Search for the very detail that makes your talent special.
Another thing that I personally believe makes you stand out as an artist is writing your own lyrics because no one sees the world the way you do. So, show that through your writing. Finally, put yourself out there, form a band and execute all what I just mentioned!
Do I have to get professional singing lessons even if I feel like I don’t need them?
I personally believe to sing well takes practice AND knowledge. So, you should find a vocal teacher that really understands your voice and helps you polish your natural ability. Taking singing lessons will teach you important things among which how sound is produced, how to breathe correctly, how to avoid ruining your voice. It will also introduce you to various modes of singing but most importantly you’ll learn a lot about your own voice, what it can and cannot do. Grasping all of this will only make you more and more in control of your “instrument”.
So, it’s important to have someone professional along the way with whom you practice regularly and who can keep you on track, monitor your progress and help you find your own voice, especially if you want to distinguish yourself from everyone else around you.
What are your tips for recording my first demo?
A demo is a sample recording of your music. That means that in order for you to create a demo you will first need to have figured out what type of music you want to create. That said, it needs to represent the music you want to share with your audience. So take your time in doing so. Quality is also extremely important. I suggest you go to a professional studio, make sure the equipment used are good and you’re good to go.
How do I approach record labels with my demo, or should I wait till they approach me?
Well, unfortunately in Egypt it doesn’t really work like that. As per my experience, record labels in Egypt only sign artists who already made it in the music scene. But being someone who is still starting, it will be difficult to get their attention. So I would suggest you collaborate with more established artists to help give you the boost you need to come onto the scene. I personally was lucky enough to have collaborated with Cairokee’s Sherif Mostafa and together we released my last single “Zekrayat Hayati”. I was able to learn so much from Sherif as he has been in the music scene for years. Not only was it a learning experience for me but it was also so much fun! These kinds of collaborations can also be a catalyst for creativity. Something that personally helped me achieve a lot was never saying no to an opportunity. Doing so, you’ll find more and more people will want to work with you and you’ll soon find yourself creating the art you wanted. So my advice is you should focus on getting the ball rolling.
Do I need a lawyer to protect my rights, because I hear a lot of sketchy things happen in the industry sometimes?
It is not about whether or not people will be swindling you but rather about you knowing and understanding your obligations towards the other party and also understanding and knowing your rights. However this does not mean that there won’t be people who will try to manipulate situations. Therefore in one word, yes! You need a lawyer. However, the importance of a manager in your team cannot be understated as a manager will help develop and guide your career in the early stages and will provide a different perspective when you hit a wall, and I can assure you if you’re an artist you will hit a wall. This person must be someone who you can trust, who would promote a positive image, upholding your reputation and interests and most importantly is someone you can trust.
The bottom line is both your lawyer and manager are an extension of yourself in the industry.