July 3, 2013

Sitting Down with a Creative: A Vocal Arist

Today we are sitting down with Monique Donnelly, a vocal artist.
Q: What do you do?
A: I’m a studio vocalist – I used to say studio singer, but because I’ve been doing more voice over stuff, it covers everything.

Q: Would you consider yourself a vocal artist?
A: Yes, there are so many hats I have to wear as a vocalist and I think that is where the artistry comes in. My favorite part of what I do is when I get hired by John Powell and he has like 6 different things he has to cover. For example he has to cover; a four year old yodeler, a grandma with a warbely vibrato, a cow girl, or a sixteen year old girl. I think that is where the artistry comes out. I enjoy when he gives me freedom to put my own spin on things.
  (photo via Monique Donnelly Vocals)
Q: How did you get started in this industry?
A: When I was 7 I sang on a children’s album for an artist named the DonutMan, and when he got signed on by a large Label they hired a vocal coach for the kids. Her name is Bobby Page and she got me most of my initial session work; singing for commercials or TV shows, ect.

Q: What are some studios and films you’ve worked on/for?
A: Most recently, Epic – I did some bug noises for Epic.
I’ve also done a lot of recordings for artists such as; Michael Buble, Josh Groban, and Stevie Wonder.
When I sang with Josh Groban we did a bunch of TV Shows like Ellen, Dancing With the Stars, Jimmy Kimmel. I also did work on After Earth.
Q: What does a typical day for you look like?
A: No day is ever the same, which I like. Honesty I think I’ll probably work one to three times a month, which I love because then I get to be a full time mom. I do al lot of meetings or smoosh events or up keep on my website. I’m always singing, whether it’s a funeral, or wedding, a ceremony, or church. Speaking Union stuff its’ only a couple times a month.
*(Union work falls under the umbrella of industry standards and each union gig has a contract which protects the performer/artist.)
(photo via Monique Donnelly)
Q: What is one of you favorite projects you’ve worked on so far?A: That is hard to choose because there are several highlights. Michael Buble, because he was so flexibly and willing to work with us and was encouraging. That is probably the most exciting artist wise. Any John Powel moving; Happy Feet and the Lorax to be specific because he gives me so much freedom to try things.
  (photo via Monique Donnelly Vocals)
Q: Who or what has been the biggest influence in your artistry?
A: I would say Edie Lehmann Boddicker, because she has helped shape who I am as studio vocalist. She has been like a coach; she’s trusted me with jobs. She’s a Christian and I love her moral standards. She’s so honoring in her choices. She’ll sacrifice anything to get the best person for the project, even if she’s passing up the work for herself.

Q: What has it taken you to get this far in your career?
A: God. Singers, don’t’ have agents and I honestly believe that every good and perfect gift comes from our Father, and every time I get a work call I believe it comes from Him. Our industry as a tendency to be one of feast or famine, and in the moments of famine I’m glad I have my faith and I know God will always give me what I need.
  (photo via Monique Donnelly Vocals)
Q: What are some of your creative hobbies and why are they your favorite?
A: I do love my Instagram, I’m a photoholic. I’m’ a goof ball and I love to dance. I have a bunch of singer friends and we play song circles. You know the verse, “whatever is lovely, whatever is honorable?” My hobbies help me focus on the beautiful things in life.

Q: What advice would you give to those wanting to go into this field?
A: Let people know that it is what you want to do because you wont get hired if people don’t know. You have to have a demo real; they won’t hire you if they don’t know what you can do. Show up to singer events. Get advice from people who are working in the industry. If you are seeking advice you will be taken more seriously. In order to jump start that and if you are looking for singing work, then put on concerts and invite vocal contractors.
  (photo via Monique Donnelly Vocals)
Q: What do you want to see in your future career?
A: I would love to be a part of an animation TV show where the work is steadier. A dream of mine since I was a young child is to work on a Disney animated film.

Thank you so much Monique for joining us today!

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