Seven ways to develop the right vocal style mindset

There is a lot of information out there on the mindset a singer should develop when performing on stage, dealing with performance anxiety, auditioning or working on technique. Those mindset strategies have their value and place for sure, but there is rarely any mention of the “vocal style mindset”. Meaning the development of a mindset that is open to growth, change and is ready to engage in the process of what vocal style development actually is.

This may be because vocal style is considered to be a by-product of good technique. Or because singers feel it should evolve naturally as a result of their musical influences. Whatever the reason, I have come across many singers who struggle to actually get to grips with that their vocal style is.

One student in particular stands out in my mind, she came in with “I want to know what my vocal style is and how to develop it”. She was so frustrated by her lack of vocal identity and vocal choices and how she perceived her sound during our session, that after our first lesson I could sense that she was not at all impressed or encouraged. I don’t think she was frustrated with me and my coaching but it was like she had already decided that she was not capable of expressing herself the way she wanted to.


This experience taught me a huge lesson: that there is a particular mindset needed to engage in the experimentation and discovery of one’s vocal style and that this can mean getting dirty, vulnerable and uncomfortable when rolling about in the mud of change and uncertainty with the sounds you are making. The thing to remember though is it needs to be done and can be done successfully if the right mindset is adopted and the right approach is applied.

If you are looking for inspiration singers such as Lady Gaga, Missy Elliot, James Brown, Bob Marley and Selah Sue all have their own unique vocal style.

Watch the video below to discover the seven principles that I have learned through my own personal experience. I have also used these to successfully guide my own students and clients to discover their stylistic potential. They sum up my advice in helping you to develop the correct mindset for vocal style experimentation, discovery and mastery.

I hope you take them on board and I hope that they help lead you to a very expressive voice!


 Sign Up

Joshua Alamu is a professional voice coach with over 15 years experience as a singing teacher in the music and television industry. He has been a voice coach for the TV talent show The Voice UK and is currently vocal coach stars such as Fleur East, Little Mix and JP Cooper. Joshua’s video-enhanced vocal style course Mad About Vocal Style part 1 was launched in 2014 to rave reviews. Joshua is also the co-founder of Ultimate Artists, the UK’s most in-demand artist development camp (eight days of music industry mentorship and artist development).