Whether you’re in the planning stages or packing your suitcase for your next tour, discover some top tips, faves, suggestions, hacks and nuggets of wisdom for surviving the road as a touring singer.
I didn’t realise I loved to travel so much until I actually did it. I went on my first real trip when I was 11 when my mother took us to Jamaica to see family. That first adventure set the bar pretty high. After that, it wasn’t until I went to university and skipped off to New York that I really experienced the thrill of independence and excitement that comes with going abroad and experiencing different cultures. So it’s only natural I fell in love with being on tour.
Travel has become one of my favorite things, along with singing and dancing, old musicals, Hello Kitty and fried plantain. Yet, as wonderful as it can be, it’s not always pleasant. At some point when you are either cramped up in a car, spread out on a bus, or reclined on a plane, you reach that moment – especially when you’re on tour – when you’re ready to come home.
Ah, home sweet home! My bed, my favorite foods, the other half of my wardrobe that I left behind, my husband and my Chihuahua. These are the most important things to me. They keep me happy at home, and are the substance of my life. When I get off the road, the first thing I do is make a spot on the couch. This is the place from which I will:
- Catch up on TV (Netflix and chill)
- Re-group and
- Plan the next phase off my post-tour life.
Recently, during one of these veg-out couch sessions, I watched the movie Top Five, starring Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson. If you haven’t seen it, Rock plays a comedian-turned movie star who struggles to stay connected to his real self. He goes back to his neighborhood where he re-connects with his family and the friends he grew up with, enjoying all the familiar camaraderie and banter of his days growing up in the hood. Part of this banter includes Rock asking his family and friends the question:
“What’s your top five?” in reference to their top five favorite rap/hip-hop artists. This very important question is asked throughout the movie, and the answers to it hold a lot of weight. After my hubby and I watched the film, I immediately asked him the question (because hip-hop is very important to me), nervously awaiting his answer. Lucky for both of us, I approved of his response. Good thing, because we’re stuck with each other for a while.
And so, in the tradition of having a top five at the end of each interview, I reached out to some of my working singer friends to do a special
Top Five: Touring Edition. I caught up with some of my touring friends to find out their top tips for surviving on tour. You’ll hear from Jill Zadeh (Janet Jackson), Craig Stein (Robbie Williams) Rhea Dummett (The BAES/Pharrell Williams), Ricky Cort (Naturally 7), Zenya Bashford (Justin Timberlake) and LaDonna Harley-Peters (Sam Smith).
So go ahead and hit the play button to get these fabulous survival tips.