How to Become a Pop Star

Learn how to become a pop star from vocal coach Cari Cole in this Howcast singing tutorial.

Hi I’m Cari Cole. I’m a celebrity vocal coach and artist development expert. And I help artist find their voice, craft their music, and create successful music careers. I’ve worked with Donald Fagen from Steely Dan, Courtney Love from Hole, I’ve worked with the band Journey. I’m going to teach you how to be a better singer and performer

So I’m going to give you a few tips on how to become a pop star. Now I have to say straight out that being a "pop star" encompasses all of it. So we’re going to use that term, but really what I mean is being an artist, whether you’re a full singer or a singer-songwriter, whether you have a band, whether you’re a rock star, whether you just want to make good music, you don’t care about being famous, it’s really the, y’know, what being a pop star means, which means that you are full-rounded and your music fits you and you’re an artist and you’re out there in the world doing your music, okay?

There are many elements that have to come together, and they come together in different ways for different people. Some people are really good singers, some people are really good songwriters, some people are really good performers, some people are really, really good at putting their brand together, and so you have to decide where your strengths lie, and what to feature, and down play your weaknesses; go more in the direction of what you’re good at. Like I say quite often, and this is really important for singers, you have to have a good voice, whether it’s nasal or breathy, or any of those qualities that are distinct or unusual. Those are all within the realm of it. It’s what you do with it, and it’s how you sing. People like many many different kinds of voices, so there’s not like one sound. As a matter of fact, if you’re too generic, it’s often not interesting enough and it doesn’t have enough energy to actually break you as an artist.

I remember many years ago I got a letter from Clive Davis on a submission that I made, and Clive is a very famous record industry executive who has fostered and nurtured the careers of many, many, including Aretha Franklin, and Sarah McLachlan, and Janis Joplin, and on and on and on, and he always said that it’s very important if you really want to become famous or you want to really do this music thing and get it out there in a big way, that you nurture that within you that is really you, and you bring that forward, and you don’t try to be something that you’re not, like Lady Gaga is a performance artist, she’s an extrovert, this comes as natural to her. You want to take that quality that you have and blow that up, whether it’s vocal or lyrical, your message, or your artistry, or your brand and what you’re wearing, but I recommend that you do that authentically, and this is where your greater success lies. I would just say that the main thing is integrity and authenticity in your craft and that’s your best shot you have at becoming great at what you do.