Jay Henry is a vocalist with an impressive number of accolades. He has worked with Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Jessie J, Hozier, Petshop Boys, Alicia Keys, Luther Vandross and Gary Barlow. He toured as a backing singer with Craig David and with George Michael on his revered “25live” tour. He has performed at the London 2012 Olympic Games and he has played to 70,000 capacity crowds at stadiums around the world. To top it off he is a vocal coach to the BBC’s The Voice.
He also blessed Access Creative with a highly informative and helpful workshop. Our main takeaway? Jay believes there is nothing you can’t achieve if you have a good work ethic – it is the key to your success.
His session was open to our Vocal artist and Music Performance learners.
The session was intimate and personal, as Jay went around all the students asking each learner what their vocal and musical style was. He then matched their voices to specific song that he felt would match their style- incredibly useful advice for each of our lucky learners.
Before the session started, the lyrics to 5 songs of Jay’s choice were sent to the students, with instructions for them to memorise each. The 5 songs were “I have nothing” by Whitney Houston, “My Heart will Go On” by Céline Dion, “Remedy” by Adele, “4/5 seconds” by Rihanna and “Jealous” by Nick Jonas.
He started the session with a vocal warm up, showing the students exercises on how to breathe and warm your voice up correctly. He explained the importance of the warm-up and demonstrated the correct exercises, and then got the students to repeat what he was doing, explaining ‘If you don’t put yourself into it, nothing comes out of it’.
This was followed by other vocal exercises, allowing students to challenge their range. Jay stated that ‘If you don’t extend your range, your voice won’t grow’. It is vital information to our students, so often we have big dreams and big plans, we forget the little bits of self-care that help a performer have a really solid base to their vocal style.
This was then finalised with a performance from each student. Jay ensured that every learner had the opportunity to perform on stage in front of him, with one of the backing tracks of the 5 songs he had sent across beforehand. This was a great experience for our learners, and tied in perfectly with his most poignant piece of advice to all performers: ‘’If you’re in a room and get called out – don’t be shy, get up, don’t ever leave regretting you didn’t try’.