Why Always The Vocalist (?)


microphoneA few nights before I listened to the radio. Then, the voice of Adam Levine was on the air, he sang Maps, the newest single of him and his band, Maroon 5. At that time, I seriously listened to Levine’s voice and suddenly thought, what if  Adam Levine was not the vocalist of Maroon 5?

I suddenly realized another thing at that time. I realized that the most famous member of a band is always the vocalist, the spot light is always on the vocalist. I even ever heard a joke that members of Maroon 5 are Adam Levine and friends and Maroon 5 is Adam Levine! Yes people, that is how we seem ignore the existence of other members, though we know they also have a big contribution to the band, especially on making the music, the back-sound, for the singer to sing a song. So, why is it always the vocalist?

The vocalist of a band is the front-line. He/she is the person spectators see the most on a stage and listeners listen the most on the radio. I mean, will you pay attention to the beats of the drum when you listen to a song? Some of you may say yes, but many of you will agree that you do not care what is going on on the back-sound because the thing you do is listen to the song the singer―the vocalist―sing.

In case of Adam Levine, well, no one can deny the fact that he does not only have a good voice to listen to, but also a good-looking look to see as a whole package: you know, handsome, good body shape, and manly, he’s the sexiest male alive, gosh! As the vocalist of Maroon 5, we can say―or we agree―that he has a good point for his vocal. He was born with a voice type in the tenor range and he can sing in other voice type as well. When you listen to every single of Maroon 5, you will understand what I am talking about; his vocal is unique, one of a kind, and adorable. When you listen to it carefully, you will realize one thing, only him in this planet Earth in this century who can sing like that. I do not know the right word to express it―only him who can sing so sweet, his voice is so wavy, but he does not sound sissy at all. You can ask someone―a male―you know as a singer or a vocalist to sing one of Maroon 5 songs, or I suggest Maps, and listen to his voice. Well, I am not sure that he will sound manly when he sings this part of the song:

So I’m following the map that leads to you
The map that leads to you
Ain’t nothing I can do
The map that leads to you
Following, following, following to you
The map that leads to you
Ain’t nothing I can do
The map that leads to you
Following, following, following

In Indonesia, my country, we have Nazril Irham or known as Ariel. He is the vocalist of NOAH, a band who used to be called Peterpan before they lost their two members who demanded them to change the name of the band because they are no longer together as one😐 Ariel, well, many of Indonesians know his band because of him and, at the first, no one knows other members of the band. When someone says Ariel Peterpan, yes, we know it is him, but when someone says another name with Peterpan follow their name, well, only their die hard fan will recognize. Things that make Ariel sensational in Indonesia are his good voice―of course―, his ability of making super romantic song with a so poetic lyric that it is so hard for me―a literature student―to understand what he wants to talk about by his song, he also can play number of music instruments―just like Levine―, and his relationship with several beautiful girls. Anyway, I do not think he is that handsome (re: not as handsome as Levine😛 ), but many Indonesian girls said he is handsome , so I do not know―people said good-looking is a relative judgement while ugly is an absolute one😆

Besides good looking aspect―I do not need to mention good voice again, it is an absolute thing to have by the vocalist―, there is also stage act that can make a vocalist shining. Let me say, Mick Jagger. Who does not know him? He is the vocalist of a legend band, The Rolling Stones. When you ask people from this era or youth contemporaneous with me, well, they will recognize Mick Jagger as the vocalist of The Rolling Stones, but for the rest members, I am not so sure. I myself do not know who the other members of The Rolling Stones😳 What makes Mick Jagger so famous―beside his voice―is his unique and super energetic stage act. That is why Maroon 5 made a song inspired by his performance on  the stage, Move Like Jagger, because his stage act is one of a kind.

In Indonesia, I will mention Giring Ganesha or Giring ‘Nidji’ for his role in the band Nidji as the vocalist. He has a unique stage act and if you want to see it, you may search for it on Youtube, I am sure there are many of their performances uploaded by their fans. He also has a very energetic act, he dominates the whole stage, no matter how big it is, and yes, the stage act of Giring is what makes his band suddenly becoming one of best bands of Indonesia who got an achievement as best new comer at their first year as celebrity. If my sister is not their big fan, I may not know who the others member are because, once again, the spotlight is always on the vocalist.

Another fact I just realized is when the vocalist leave the band, it is just waiting time for the band to be shortfall of revenue. I mean, how many band you see can stand still after the leaving of the vocalist? Not many. Yes! Let’s see No Doubt. Right after John Spence committed suicide , Eric Stefani left the band to pursue a career on drawing The Simpsons on 1994, and Gwen Stefani decided to debut her solo career on 2004, the band is officially hiatus. The band is finally back when Gwen returned to them on 2008. So, I believe it is a strong fact that the vocalist has a big impact for the band because, for No Doubt, instead of finding a new vocalist to fill the blank position, the decided to wait until Gwen ready to comeback with them.

From Indonesia, let me name Cokelat as the band who slowly lost their place on Indonesian music chart right after Kikan Namara, their ex-vocalist, left the band. Then, they found a new vocalist, but, well, there is no significant change. Kikan has put her name as the vocalist of Cokelat, no matter who later fill the position she left.

So, why is it always the vocalist? Do not know exactly! It may be because the vocalist is always in the front line every time the band is on stage or because the vocalist is the one who always on the spotlight or because infotainment always talk about the vocalist only instead of talking about the other members of the band or because the vocalist is the one on the band who enjoy popularity and has no problem being chased by paparazzi morning to night or because bla bla bla. Actually, there are so many reasons I and you can use to mention why always the vocalist, but we never know the right reason to explain why it is always the vocalist. However, I believe that a band wont success without a teamwork of every element of the band, not only the vocalist, but also the other members. I mean, how can Adam Levine sing that well without James Valentine, Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden, Matt Flynn, and PJ Morton to take care of the music?

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