In this Preshow Rituals segment, the electro pop artist, Xela, reveals what she does before taking the stage. You can check out the rituals, after the break.
Every singer has their own method to the madness that is performing live on stage. After all, it’s incredibly important to protect your vocal cords for the longevity of the performance let alone in life itself. For me, I have a very specific warm-up method that consists of a recorded vocal lesson with my previous vocal coach Stuart Clarke (Wellington, NZ) who teaches the method of Speech Level Singing (SLS) that aims to make singing as easy and natural as speaking. This is often done in the car whilst driving to my gig location, or sometimes in a strange parking lot around the back depending on the venue. The lesson features about 30 mins worth of scales and even some that involve me singing through a tiny metal straw (for the turtles of course) which evidently warms up the vocal cords very well through vibration.
Once I’ve completed that and a series of nay nay nay’s and gug gug gug’s, I do something like a reaching technique as if I am calling out to someone to help my voice get into a comfortable state for belting and using my mixed voice for the more challenging songs. This allows me to not pull my chest voice up and come across problems such as vocal breaks or pain when singing.
Before and during a gig I will never drink anything other than water and pineapple juice. Pineapple juice is an old trick that was taught to me by some prolific cruise ship singers I met. It perfectly lubricates the vocal cords so they don’t get dry or ore during a long set (eg. 3 hr). Personally, I’m not much of a drinker anyway so that works well for me!
I’m very quick when it comes to styling myself and doing makeup, I think about what I’m going to wear in the days leading up to the gig and I usually pin my big curls into something fun and natural sometimes swept to the side or in a partial updo. My style is generally influenced by the 80s and slightly rock punk with a strong lip or colorful eyeshadow and I love a good platform heel!