Today – I’d like to talk about being authentic and finding your “voice”. But finding it from an unusual source.
I’m a huge fan of music. All music. Everything from Motown and Pop to Acapella and Soul.
One of my earliest memories of music was the Bee Gees. Being a kid in the last 70s, you couldn’t escape their music (in fact, I had this Bee Gees poster on my bedroom wall).
My mom loved the Bee Gees – and when I was older, we said when they toured again, we’d see them in concert together. And unfortunately, my mom passed away before we were able to go (it’s still one of my biggest regrets).
With the Bee Gees, Barry Gibb was always the “front” man – but my favorite member was his younger brother, Robin Gibb.
There was just something about Robin’s voice. And I loved the earlier stuff – way before they were known for disco. When Robin would sing lead on songs like I Started a Joke or New York Mining Disaster 1941.
Here’s the thing about Robin’s voice. It was imperfect. It warbled. It didn’t sound strong. And it was unlike anything else I’d heard.
But man.. it was real. It was emotional. And it was powerful.
He was known as a sensitive man and it came through in his voice. Robin sang with his heart.
His voice was the definition of vulnerable.
And in their later music, Robin would usually come on a song, right after Barry – and add the emotional punch with a short hook.
Here’s a perfect example. In one of their lesser-known songs, Alone, Robin comes in at 1:12 to change the feel of the lyrics (watch video below):
For some reason – his imperfect voice landed perfectly. Always.
But because his voice sounded so “imperfect” he was criticized in the media.
When asked why he never took voice lessons, he said, “If I did that it would not be me, would it?”.
And if I had to sum up marketing. And finding your voice.. that’s it.
That one reply is the essence of what I’m trying to show you.
If I did that it would not be me, would it?
It’s why, when you try to write copy like someone else, it usually doesn’t work.
When you take my emails, change a few words and slap your name on it – it doesn’t work.
Because it’s not real. It’s a photocopy. It’s autotune.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t study marketing. Or copywriting. Or model other people. I’m not saying that all. In fact, you should study.
But whatever you learn – it shouldn’t CHANGE you.
It shouldn’t change what makes you special. What makes you unique.
Robin Gibb never took voice lessons. He didn’t try to sound like Freddie Mercury, Elvis or anyone else.
He wanted to sound like himself. And he wasn’t perfect.
No one is perfect.
Not you. Not I.
Imperfection is authentic.
It’s why so much of today’s music doesn’t feel authentic. Technology like autotune removes the imperfections.
Embrace your voice – imperfections and all.
Stay the course, my friend. Because starting now, you find your voice.. and make an impact.
You got this.