Monday, October 25, 2010

Wayne Starks

I came across Wayne Starks's music only a few days ago via April's Facebook Wall. He is a budding artist, but his talent has crossed the stage of being "budding". I will explain this below. His songs "Ruler" and "Believe" are showcased on iTunes. It took me less that 3 minutes to listen to the preview and purchase the tracks. 

Ever since I marked his songs on iTunes, I have been following his popularity chart. Within 36 hours his popularity has grown from 1 to 5 stars. And, I know why. 

Regardless of the genres you mostly listen to, it comes to the fact whether OR not you have a good musical taste OR not. I recall my dad instantly loving a heavy metal song. It took me at least 20 minutes to believe my eyes and ears as he complemented the song. He said, "Music doesn't see genres. Music is music. There is melody, there is harmony. And, that's it. It is we who differentiate it into different genres. In reality, it is all the same". I saw his point. 

I am stating this because people find it hard to believe that I listen to genres less heavy that metal. Umm... I do. 

While I studied music in my undergraduate studies, I loved this subject that taught me about various genres. I got to know several artists and their musical style.

There are many ways you can get successful in the music industry. I am focusing here on the talent aspect of the industry and not the marketing. I am going to focus on two ways. 

Having a unique voice OR knowing how to make the best use of your voice by recognizing your USP. The latter method can be nurtured if you have a good producer with you. 

There are several good singers around. I have heard to many of them who are showered with complements everyday. Sometimes these complements are strictly due to the religious commonness, similarities in demographics and tastes. I mean, sometimes people complement good singers strictly because they belong to the same religion, hail from the same post code, share the common interests and so on. Last evening, I was in a performance of one of the finest singers that I came across in OzLand. 

Many of these, let's say singers sing very well. But, you need to have an ex-factor to become successful. Consistency in the tone, variation in the style, time management, pitch control, are some of the vital factors necessary to be kept in constant check. And now, since LIVE performances have become very popular, good showmanship is a must.

Since I have been reviewing various genres of music since 6 years (and more), I have been learning and understanding the industry's needs very well. Plus, I have been also growing skeptical and choosy when it comes to what kind of music I like OR dislike. 

When it comes to Gospel music, there should be a strong personal, spiritual, and communal belief that focuses mainly on the Christian belief. In the early days, there was a strict template of doing this. But, now things have changed. 

In the song, "Believe", you will notice a classic Gospel background but with a modern Gospel music taking the front seat. In other words, this is Contemporary Christian Music

The syncopated rhythm that Wayne Starks establishes with his backing tracks is worth a listen. I reckon this is a perfect way to satisfy the other objective of Gospel Music; spreading the word of the Lord and of love - Modernizing the tune to appeal to the younger generation. 

In this attempt, Wayne has quite successfully shown his singing skills by touching the highest notes that he can without losing sight of the fact that the feelings should remain intact. When a tone is reached without the feel, it is hollow. Wayne makes sure that he does not slip. This is commendable.

It is second track - "Ruler" that is comparatively more impressive when it comes to the feel factor. One of the strongest aspects of Gospel Music that has to kept in mind is that if you cannot feel the lyrics, if you do not believe in it, then you cannot sing it effectively. It is like the code of conduct. 

This fact differentiates this genre from all the other genres. In a generic sense, lyrics have to be felt to sing them in a convincing manner. But, most genres compromise on that factor except for Gospel Music.

Close your eyes, lay back, listen to the song, and you will see what I mean. 

The chord progressions make this song very touching, very hope-filled, very reassuring, and very healing. And, Wayne's voice "earns" the attention as supposed to "grabbing" it from his listeners. The backing vocals and the dual vocals are arranged in a very wise manner that each note that is sung can be felt. 

The pauses in the backing choir is arranged very well for Wayne's voice to stick out. The repetition of the lines only accentuates the feeling, and the depth of the song to a whole new level. 

What I notice here is that, Wayne's voice is not unique per se, but he knows his strengths very well enough to know the way it should be portrayed. And, he does not compromise on his feelings in his songs. If he can continue to mean and believe in what he sings, it will undoubtedly show via his music. Plus, adding a new dimension will not hurt. And, that can become his unique selling proposition.  

Believe - 7.5/10
Ruler - 8/10

Copyright © Ajey Padival 2010 (Brisbane, Australia; +61-434360675; 


8 responses:

findingmywingsinlife said...

you make excellent points in this review of how music is more than the genres/labels we often place on it.

I didn't expect you to review Wayne's songs, but I'm glad you did. I hope he sees this and knows that people all over the world are hearing his voice and loving it :)
He has a wonderful personality and a real passion for what he does.
I don't doubt for a minute that he is going to bring a whole new meaning to what it means to sing gospel/christian contemporary. His voice is in my opinion, gorgeous and will touch many, many people.

Makes me love the fact that I listen to every genre out there...never know what you'll stumble on hehehehe

Bea said...

Thats a nice blog you have..

Snaggle Tooth said...

Iteresting review! Great point you make that Gospe; needs to be felt as genuine belief to be effective and quality work. I haven't listened to alot of contemp Gospel, but your descriptions certainly pique my curiosity to check these out- If I only had an ipod... (I hate ear-phones)
I'll be sure to keep an eye on his career- thanks

margg. said...

great post :)

i enjoyed the songs.

faerwillow said...

~ah good morning...just a quick visit as i am trying hard to play catch up around here!! when you have a moment there is something waiting for you on my little blog...i hope this finds you well and life being only kind to you...warm wishes and brightest blessings~

Scribbling Girl said...

That is one nice post.....gospel music has this peace element that had always made me loved it :)

Strawberry Girl said...

Your talent as a reviewer is outstanding! These are points that I personally haven't thought of before and I've listened to quite a few different pieces of Gospel music, both contemporary and traditional. Thank you for pointing out the arraignment of these pieces, it has helped me to appreciate them all the more and may Wayne find success in his career and in his life...

Anonymous said...

Though not at all bothered of genres , artist and all ( i usually listen to just old bollywood numbers or ghazals) , i did read this and learned a few nice things on music ! thank you :)