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Mama Said

While putting together my upcoming album “I Hear Other Voices!! (Hardly Strictly A Cappella),” I found an unfinished track . . . BONUS! Huey and The News fans might recognize my arrangement of The Shirelles' “Mama Said” because that’s…

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Vocal Character

I never really had a lot of vocal "character" until I got older and started beating my voice up a good deal. A lot of singers do that, start smoking and screaming a lot in the shower, all that…

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Different Musical Colors

For my solo projects, I could easily sing the lead vocal and all the backing vocals myself, but then it would just sound like 19 Johnny Collas… the sound becomes very homogenous. So the fun for me is to…

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Backup Singers

"For your solo projects, what do you look for in a backup singer?" 

Johnny: I consider the song. What's the genre? What’s the song’s attitude and the message in the lyrics? What’s the song itself ’telling me’…

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Quality Ideas

"What drives you be so productive?” 

Johnny: I think I'm becoming more fruitful in my, uh, venerable years, and let’s face it; at some point in time you feel like you’re running out of it! I also feel like…

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Drawn To Soulful Singers

"Who did you want to sound like when you were growing up, when you started singing?" 

Johnny: I don't know if I wanted to sound like anybody. I knew I could sing, but I for the longest time…

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Communicating With Backup Singers

"How do you communicate what you want to hear from a backup singer?" 

Johnny - Well, for starters, I always have printed lyrics for the vocalists, and for most folks that becomes their 'scrawling pad’…

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Singing At Home

“Are you constantly singing when you're at home?” 

Johnny: Yeah, sort-of, but probably not how one would imagine. It’s mostly in my head and it’s more like constantly working; both the blessing and curse of this musical obsession…

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Don't Let The Machines Control You

"What do you think about the advance of technology and the reliance on things like Pro Tools?” 

Johnny: So for those who don’t know, 'Pro Tools’ is a digital recording platform that has virtually replaced analog tape recording…

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No Formula

Regarding songs I write for myself or outside artists, there's no formula. If I come up with a good lyric, I'll try and wrap suitable music around it. If I have a strong musical idea I can’t live without…

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