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RUSSELL WATSON'S ROAD TO FAME

2011/05/27 06:00 綜合報導     地區:國外報導

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The rich sound, which has the capability of shifting our moods and emotions, belongs to Russell Watson, an award-winning classical crossover singer from Lancashire, England.

What is the story behind his success? And what kind of obstacles did he face during his road to fame? We traveled all the way to Singapore, to get that answer from him.

"You would not believe where I am right now. I am standing right before this hotel in Singapore, where Russell Watson is spending his nights.

Lets follow the camera, because we are getting up close and personal with the superstar."

"Let's go way back and start your first experience with music. Can you tell us about it?"

"My first experience with music was probably listening to my granddad playing the piano, and that would have been I don't know, I think the first memory that I have of music around about when I must have been say two or three.

My granddad was a very very good piano player. In his studio room, he had this huge Steinway grand piano which for a two or three year old, you see the Steinways now and they look absolutely gargantuan.

For a kid, this thing looked like it was the size of three buses.

He used to sit and play, and I would lay against the piano and listen to him play tunes after tunes after tunes.

And I think essentially I may have partly developed my initial love for classical music."

How did few touches of piano keys open the door for Watson?

"I started piano lessons when I was about six or seven, and it got to reasonable level, but when you're playing piano, and all your mates are playing guitars and base guitars and stuff, and electric guitars, its not cool to play the piano.

So I decided that I would stop the piano lessons, and I got myself an electric guitar, a Hofner semi acoustic and started playing some rock and roll.

Initially, it was all Beatles covers, have you heard of the group called The Jam? Paul Weller? I used to play that kind of stuff."

"How old were you when you started playing guitar?"

"Probably teens, 13, 14, around about the age when kids start wanting to be cool."

"Were you playing guitar at home? Were you writing your own music? Or doing covers?"

"It was all at home. Start with my little fender, amplifier, or pv amplifier, I cant remember what it was.

I just sit there and play tunes with my best partner."

It's no doubt Watson fell in love with music at a very young age, but who are the stars that truly inspired him?

" Performers for me, the finest performer probably for me of all time, would be Frank Sinatra.

Just mustard. Amazing on stage. Totally professionalism.

Amazing connection with his audiences. Just phenomenal.

But voices, Pavarotti. Just amazing.

The most fantastic voice I have ever heard. When you hear it live, when you hear it in its raw state, its like being stood next to a lion just before it roars.

If you ever been to the zoo and see the lion in the cage, and hear it roars, its kind of like goodness gracias me, its like he has some kind of connection to something somewhere else thats generating this immense noise".

"When did you start listening to Pavarottis music?"

"I was kind of introduced to classical music, dare I say opera, maybe not of the kind of Pavarotti level, but I used to listen a lot of Mario Lanza.

My mom was a big fan of Mario Lanza, who was a big Matinee idol who sang a lot of classical music back in the 50s.

Again, thats probably why I developed my love for classical music. There was this film that we used to watch every time it came on over and over again, called The Great Caruso, which is a movie that Lanza did about the life of Enrico Caruso, which as a kid, I absolutely adored that film.

And so yeah, that's probably, primarily where my love for opera, dare I say, the opera arias came from."

"Did you always wanted to be a musician?"

"No I didn't. My singing career is quite organic in that respect, because I kind of, I didn't really, I almost stumbled on my career,

I have no ambition as a kid, growing up as a child, I spend most of my time clowning around,

doing silly voices, and making all the other kids laugh, I left school with no qualifications, but I always had this sense, this inner feeling that there was something special around the corner for me and I didn't quite know what.

My life, my working life started in a factory.

I worked in this place, called Sabre Repetition, which lived entirely up to its name, this place was just the most boring, repetitive job you could ever imagine.

I was sat, putting these knots and bolts in the machines all day, and I had to make so many of the things during the day and if I didn't I got fired."

"How was the pay at least?"

"The pay reflected the job, it was awful. It wasn't like I was getting paid a lot for this monotonous lifestyle.

I didn't get paid very well. It was completely mind numbing."

From working a nine to five shift at the factory, to singing covers from recognized musicians including Elvis Presley, Russell started entertaining the crowd at working mens club in 1990.

"My career started, you know... I did 10 years in the clubs, around the northwest Manchester, and that was hard work. It was fraught, it was hard.

Basically I was own manager, I was my own road crew, I was my own driver.

I set the gear up, everything right across the board. It's hard work but it's good grounding, and it's good apprenticeship."

His path made a strong and solid turn after showcasing one night at the club, following the words of one man.

"This guy come up to me, I've done my first spot, I sang for 30 minutes, and this guy talked to me, I think my last song was Music of the Night from the Phantom of the Opera, and he came up to me and said, Im telling you Russell, you got that right cracking voice on you there, I said, on, thank you.

He said, have you ever tried any of that operatic stuff? Cause I reckon that Nessum Dorma stuff suits your voice right down to the ground. What's his name? Pavarottis, is it?

I basically off I went and I learned aria.

That point I had no training. I always get asked, have you had any training?

Yes, of course I had training. It's a silly question. I've had lots of training.

I've worked with a lot of voice coaches over the last 10 years, but that point, I hadn't had any training.

I mean, I worked with some of the finest vocal coaches in the world for the last five years. Patrick McGuigan, Sir William Hayward from the Royal College of Music.

So I worked with a lot of great people. But at that point, I knew nothing about the technicality of singing classical music and opera.

And what I did was I went away and I learned the song phonetically,

and first time I performed it live, I didn't sing it in the right key, I think I sang it in about third or fourth down.

The first time I sang it live, I got a standing ovation. And that was a point I thought hmm, I might have something here.

And that was maybe 15 or 16 years ago, 16 or 17 years actually. And that's where the hard work started.

That's where it all kind of began".

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