The Internet is a strange and magical place, opening doors that you never knew existed. Just from my own personal experience, I am amazed at how quickly people have established connection with me – all because of this little ‘ole blog.
As a musician and educator, I find this extremely rewarding. I am able to share ideas and expertise with musicians from all over the world. Yes, the Internet is a powerful tool indeed.
Recently, a gentleman by the name of Scott Bales contacted me via an MCL community member – Chad – who runs and moderates the very impressive The X-Factor Forums.
Scott needed feedback regarding his wife, Shari, who was contemplating an audition for Season 3 of NBC’s The Voice.
I absolutely agreed and was quickly sent to her YouTube channel where I had a very enjoyable listen to her homemade videos.
Well, ever since then, things have moved very quickly for Shari, all due to her immense talent, drive and the undying support of her husband, Scott. It has been a remarkable journey thus far, one we wish to share with all of you.
Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Shari. Here are her thoughts on the recent events responsible for the escalation of her music career:
How did you develop your love for music?
I first developed my love of music when I was just a little girl. I can’t remember a time when my Dad wasn’t playing records of Janice Joplin, Frank Sinatra, Peter Paul and Mary, or any number of LP’s we had in the house. My father once DJ’d a radio show in California and often wooed women with his singing. I remember watching Donna Summer on HBO and Sinatra on PBS. Needless to say, music is in my blood.
Who were the major musical influences in your singing career?
My major influences range greatly. From Frank Sinatra to Celine Dion, I love many genres of music and take bits and pieces of style from all of them.
While in college I developed a taste for performers such as Kathleen Battle and Beverly Sills. I could listen to Cecilia Bartoli or Leontyne Price all day.
MCL Note: I absolutely adore Cecilia Bartoli and, like Shari, could listen to her endlessly.
The only artist I have ever been star struck by is Celine Dion. I had the fortune to experience her show in Vegas and cried the WHOLE time. I know people must have thought I was crazy. I also have several country artists that have influenced my performance style, ie:Martina McBride and Reba McEntire.
MCL Note: Martina McBride recently interacted with Shari on Twitter, sending some personal tweets of support.
What has been your most rewarding musical experience?
All things considered, I believe my most rewarding experience singing has been every year at “Relay for Life” in Garland County, AR. I’ve been singing for the survivors lap since it’s culmination 14 years ago. I find the most rewarding experiences come when a moment in someone’s life cannot be expressed except through the power of music. Those moments of connection are the fuel for my love of performing.
Which are your favorite artists from all three reality singing shows combined: ie: American Idol, The Voice and The X Factor?
I believe my favorites are without a doubt, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Melanie Amaro
How would you describe your performing style?
Connected, fun, emotional (sometimes a little too emotional lol)
How have you prepared yourself for your upcoming audition for “The Voice”?
Lots of practice, vocally, mentally, and physically. I have really put in some time and really stepped outside my comfort zone. The songs I have prepared are not easy and some are a little outside the box.
I think “The Voice” differs slightly than other shows due to the battle rounds. You never know what genre you may be doing week to week. I like that though and I pride myself at being versatile enough to sing anything.
For example, I have prepared I’m Gonna Love You Through It, by Martina McBride and also Barracuda, by Heart. Hard to find two songs that differ that much.
Add Faithfully by Journey, Black Velvet, and Last Name by Carrie Underwood to that list and you can see that I am not playing it safe. High risk, high reward, I hope. The artists that seem to excel on that show are versatile, something I take pride in.
Do you plan on auditioning for The X Factor or American Idol?
I’m too old for Idol (35) and really wish they would change that rule or start Senior Idol. (Joke) I did audition for The X Factor last year although I was 7 months pregnant with my new daughter Sadi at that point.
It actually went pretty well, I was interviewed twice while waiting in 100° heat in a parking lot in Dallas. Even sang on camera. They thought the idea of an x Factor baby was great. Sadi was to be born prior to the taping so it would have worked out logistically. When I went in front of the judge after a brief 14 hour wait, he happened to be 20 -25 years of age, took a look at my stomach, let me sing and said come back next year.
I have submitted my audition this year for the”X” Factor, but I am above the age limit for “American Idol”. I sincerely think “The Voice” is the best option for my age and my degree of seriousness concerning my career.
If people wish to connect with you, do you have a website that they can visit?
Yes ShariBales.Com is now going through an upgrade process. The Voice likes if you have a website in addition to YouTube links. The website will have embedded videos featuring the music I am preparing for The Voice and my bio, plus some info on the musicians that came in to do my demo. They were very talented and have been in the business for a long time
You can also follow me on Twitter @WSBales or look me up on Facebook at Shari Payne Bales.
Have you produced any recordings? If so, are they available for download on ITunes?
I am currently working on a demo that contains several “cover” songs. They include, Faithfully by Journey, I’m Gonna Love You Through It by Martina McBride, Black Velvet by Alana Myles and Barracuda by Heart.
I will soon be adding Last Name by Carrie Underwood and Broken Wing by Martina McBride. I hope to have these available as soon as possible on my website and YouTube. After that, I will be collaborating with some fellow musicians to release originals that will be available through iTunes.
MCL Note: Broken Wing now available for viewing at ShariBales.Com