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Singing with an accent.

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Canterpiece, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Canterpiece

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    So, I see this debated a lot- often with British singers, they tend to be accused of singing “too American” and that by doing so they are being “deceitful”, “ashamed to be British”, “overly influenced by American influences/fake” ect. Emma Blackery tends to be accused of this, along with other British singers.

    I remember watching a show about a young man teaching a bunch a shy young singers how to sing, and there was one kid who sung in a New York accent and he got told off for doing so and was told to sing more neutrally, that he "shouldn't sing in an American accent if he isn't American".

    There are some people that take the position that in order to be “authentic” the singer should sing in their accent, often shaming those that don’t. Some say that a person’s natural singing voice tends to coincidentally sound like a neutral American accent, saying that a lot of popular music has American influences and that neutral American tones just fit better within the style and that’s why a lot of English singers end up sounding American (especially in popular music)

    I think it should be mentioned that there are some popular English singers/bands that are known for singing in a British English accent, for instance “Scouting for Girls” tend to be considered quite well “British sounding” using pronunciations and words like “arse” instead of “ass” and “beautiful” pronounced as “bootiful”, often it is joked about and praised by their fans.

    Some English singers, such as Adele, sound very different when they talk VS when they sing. This is because different parts of the brain are responsible for singing and talking, they’re separate. However, a person’s accent can have an influence over how their singing sounds, for instance when my sister was at school their music teacher had to change the word “fire” in the song “Bright eyes” to “far” because due to students’ accents they kept pronouncing “fire” more like “fiyer” which didn’t fit in with the timing or tone of the song.

    The trouble with people requesting English singers to only use their accents while singing is that people often tend to assume that there are only a few English accents out there, when that could not be further from the truth- there is quite a lot of variation when it comes to accents and dialects when it comes to England, trust me.

    With certain accents, there is some shame attached to them, often when people talk about Celia Black’s singing career, they tend to mention how the producers wanted her to sing “less scouse”, and how when the Beatles first started they started off sounding American and became more Liverpudlian over the course of their career.

    Personally, I don’t mind if singers sing more American or if they sound more British, for me I think it depends on the style, timing and the feel of the song- in essence, whatever fits whether that be a more American neutral accent or a regional English one is fine.

    I think it’s kind of silly to shame singers for not singing “British enough”, but what do you think? Do you prefer it when British singers sing in more British tone? Do you not mind either way? What are your thoughts on this often brought up conversation?
     
    #1 Canterpiece, Apr 25, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  2. Assassin'sKat

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    Oh, that's so dumb that people would care.

    Music is art. Let people sing however they want. It's their creation.

    Besides, maybe they do just naturally sound more American when singing.

    You know, if I were creating a song and I thought singing in a Mexican accent, for example, would make it sound the best, I would do that, even though I am not Mexican in the least.

    Music is a creation...
     
    #2 Assassin'sKat, Apr 25, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  3. Kodo

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    Exactly.

    Music is a unique expression of a person and they can sing however they want to. If that's with a British, American, or even Icelandic accent... It's cool.
     
  4. AbsoluteNerd

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    Personally, I don't like it when people force an accent when singing. I have also heard that a person's natural singing voice sounds more American. I feel like forcing an accent us more inauthentic than singing with your natural voice, even if it does sound American. But, take this with a grain of salt, as I am American myself
     
  5. Opheliac

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    I've heard (I'll see if I can find the video which explains it) that an American accent is actually one of the most neutral accents there is, because all the vowels are very open sounding. And when you sing, and you have to hold notes and be clear with words, "American" sounding vowels are what come naturally. That's why so many singers have American sounding accents. Of course some aspects can be forced (the enhanced "r" sound for instance) but vowel-wise, it's natural for a singer to do that.

    EDIT: found the video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ8RdLtZWlc
     
    #5 Opheliac, Apr 27, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017