Monday, March 4, 2013

manic monday #2: another little bieber, and notes on young male voices

My friend sent me this video of this twelve-year-old singing Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man":

Good job and lovely voice, no?

Totally reminded me of Justin Bieber's little youtube journey, which also reminded me of the trajectory of the young male voice.

I've heard it pointed out that boys' singing voices have a certain quality to them that makes for a beautiful tone. I think it's the combination of having a naturally lower timber with the high pure tone of being a small kid, while also possessing the flexibility and range that pre-puberty allows.

Thus the angelic sounds and magic of all-boys choirs - gotta catch it while you can!

For most boys, that really pretty, youthful tone completely changes and disappears with age. For those who try to keep it, it often ends up sounding a little whiny, tinny and nasal. A few examples that come to mind are Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson. MJ didn't come out so tinny, but definitely a totally different tone from the richness you hear as part of the Jackson 5, no?

And for all those who know whom I'm talking about, anyone know whatever happened to Billy Gilman?

Yep. So a pretty common phenomenon. I think Bieber is in the midst of finding out which side of the tracks his voice will lie (though for now, from what I've heard, I'm not too expectant... :X).

The other side of my theory supposes on the adult male voices that do stand out. I think the ones that are able to keep that rich yet youthful tone, for that reason of rarity and aesthetic, stand out and find immense succes, a la Bruno Mars. Maybe Sean Kingston a little bit too.

Can you think of any others, or any thoughts to add?

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