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Why I Joined a Tribute Band

Once upon a time (not long ago), I did not like doing covers because I was an adamant songwriter (not singer). Something inside of me was also opposed to copying ad libs because it felt strange to copy the stylistic interpretations of an artist. As a songwriter, I valued creating music and being an artist, so when Jeff (my male lead singer) invited me to audition for a 90’s tribute band, I definitely had to mentally process the decision. Here’s where I landed and how it’s going.

  1. I’ve always wanted to sing with a band. I once sang at an open mic in New York that had a house band. Halfway through the song, they surprisingly joined me, and it sounded so good that since then, I wanted to experience that collaborative, magical energy on stage again. I also wanted to experience the dynamics of a band; working with personalities, practicing, rehearsing, booking, setting up, performing, etc. I’m experiencing that now and absolutely love it. I think I’m lucky though because my bandmates are pretty awesome, easygoing and talented. They’re all seasoned and professionals. Whew!

  2. I wanted to perform more. I joined the band on May 3rd. We practiced once a week until the end of June and have played 5 gigs in just over 1 month. From restaurants, parks, golf courses and downtowns, I’ve experienced a wide range of venues in a very short duration, not to mention, the extra cash from tips and payments do add up if you spend it wisely.

  3. I wanted to break my opposition to doing covers. It’s often requested and people naturally gravitate to songs they know. It couldn’t hurt to learn 90’s songs (I couldn’t have asked for a better set list btw), really practice songs until I know them by heart, get comfortable with ad libs and harmonies and be okay with performing covers so that people can generally have a good time. Learning 50+ songs is challenging and I’m learning what methods work for me. It requires tons and tons of repetition, and now that I know most of the songs without the lyrics, it’s time to turn them into my own. I’m finally at the most fun and challenging part of this song-learning journey! Note: It also doesn’t hurt to have some songs in mind for karaoke! 

  4. I wanted to sing more every day, gain more vocal resilience on stage, learn how to interact with a crowd, and get comfortable performing. On average, I sing between 10-12 hours a week now, if not more. This is 3x more than prior to me joining the band. I’m learning how to sing different songs using different techniques, where to place my microphone for certain techniques, what to do and what not to do on performance days, how to get through sets, how much banter to do between songs, how to interact with crowds and how I like to move on stage, all simply because I have more opportunities to do so. I pray this experience preps me for future shows with my own band as I perform originals. It will happen soon God willing!

In the end, it’s pushing me in the right ways and at the right time. It’s expanding my songwriting skills because I now know more structure types, am familiar with more genres and have a new-found appreciation for doing covers. Also, inadvertently, I am finally understanding what some of these songs are actually about and appreciating many of the artists, their voices and often times, their messages that are still relevant today - “Just a Girl” by No Doubt, “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks, “What’s Up” by Four Non-Blonds and one of my all-time favs “Crush” by Jennifer Paige just to name a few. 


My set list is so fun to sing and dance to and I love that my daughters are learning these songs, too. One day, it will come in handy and I’ll be thankful we were all part of this journey. 


Thanks for reading! Now turn on that 90’s mix and have some fun singing and dancing with me. 


Rock on 🤘🏼 


Jade 

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