Mixing it up today since my two previous posts were a little heavy. I want to lighthearted today and talk about music. Have you ever listened to a song and was drawn in not only by the main singer but also the backup vocalist(s)? It has recently come to my attention that a song I’ve listened to at least 10 times features a backup singer and I didn’t even realize it til I listened closely! Most songs that have an underlying singer included is usually listed as “Jack ft. Jill” and then you know Jill is in the song. However, there are a few songs that don’t say that even though Jill is still in the background and I wanted to share a couple that I’ve noticed to see if you hear them as well.
First, I want to start by saying, there are a lot of songs that feature the artists themselves as the background harmonics. Basically the recorded the song in three different tones of their own voice and then merged them together to create the song. An example of this is the song Miss You by Beyonce:
If you don’t want to listen to the whole song, skip ahead to 0:52, this is when you start to hear the harmony of her own making.
Now, the next couple songs I share are not the same person doing their own vocals for the song. These feature artists who are credited on album track lists in the tiny print but not credited at the forefront because most people don’t even hear them or they do and just assume its like a choir or, like above, the singer channeling a different note themselves. My first example comes from artist Jessie Ware and her song Say You Love Me:
Again, if you don’t want to listen to the whole thing, skip ahead to 0:40 because that’s when the background vocals kick in. The voice behind those vocals is actually Ed Sheeran. So of course I’ve heard this a million times and didn’t hear it but once you hear it, you can’t unhear it and it actually makes the song even better for me because I’m an Ed Sheeran fan.
Here’s another one by Phil Collins called True Colors:
At 0:40 the background vocals kick in and for all intents and purposes, it sounds like a different vocal range of Phil Collins himself. It’s not til you get further along into the song that you realize, that’s someone else. He’s not listed and he’s not in the music video but the background vocalist for this song is actually Babyface.
In this next one, the background vocalist is quite obviously different from the main singer, Amy Lee. However, I was so drawn in by his vocal harmony that I wanted to know who the singer was. There’s a lot of conflicting answers on the web because it is a member of the group but the question is which one. The song is Anywhere by Evanescence:
Some people say it’s Ben Moody. Other’s say it’s David Hodges. I don’t know but his voice is beautiful. Let me know in the comments if you’ve hears this and know.
Lastly, I wanted to share an acapella video because what better way to hear a variety of vocal tones then to listen to a song with simply voices and no instruments? I’ve heard the studio version of this next song many times and I always thought I had the voices pegged out for each part. However, recently I found out I was wrong and the one who usually beatboxes or has his voice overpowered by the others actually stands out more than I ever imagined until I saw this live performance. The song here is Run to You by Pentatonix (PTX):
For the first 2 and a half minutes, it’s all of them in harmony but once you hit 2:48, this is where things get interesting. Kevin, who is the last guy on the right, is usually drowned out by the other 4 in mostly all song because again, he normally beatboxes instead of sings but in this one his voice stands out like a siren and it gives me chills because I always thought it was one of the other ones who broke off at that part to sing with Kiersty and he was just background humming or something. Gives me goosebumps, man.
I know this is a lot of videos and if you listen to all of them, you’re pretty fantastic. Have you ever noticed a background vocalist that you thought was just the artist but turned out to be someone else? Share your examples in the comments below and let me know what if you like any of these songs/artists.