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Interview with Local Singer and Vocal Coach Dario Mifsud Bonnici

Hi Dario, Tell us a bit about yourself.  When did you start singing, and what or who were your early passions or influences?

Hello all,  I was born on the 25th of August 1987 was brought up in Hamrun and has been living there since.  My favourite genre of music is pop rock however I listen to any record as long as it is well written and well sung.  I started my singing career at the age of 15 at a local talent spectacle.  At the time hit boy bands were what influenced me personally; bands such as Backstreet boys, Westlife and  5ive.  Nowadays my influences have changed as such acts are not current and fresh and the music market has changed considerably from the 90s.

Currently you are a Vocal Coach at the La Voix Academy. Tell us a bit about your experience and what do you think about the young local artist. What do you like about what you do?

In Malta it’s simply incredible the amount of young talent we have.  It is a pity that we are a very small country and our resources to develop such talent into worldwide stars are limited.  But we try our best to work with what we have and sometimes we try to achieve what we initially think is impossible.  My experience at La Voix Academy has been a remarkable one; an experience that I will never forget with all its ups and downs.  Vocal coaching gives me plenty of satisfaction especially when you realize vocal talent that is growing and developing into something exceptional.

What is the first thing you do when you meet a new student?

Initially I don’t usually head into theory and techniques but try to create an environment where the student feels comfortable and relaxed.  Only such environment can bring the best out of individuals and I continuously strive to set aside the stress brought from the academic aspect of a student life.  Only then we start focusing on techniques and work towards improving one’s performance.

How can someone develop confidence to sing in public, especially if they are an introvert?

Introvert students are increasing exponentially; possibly due to the fact that nowadays youngsters are living a virtual life.  Usually I give my students a couple of tips that helps them leave the introvert shell.  Such tips include trying to get them to think out loud without creating a condescending environment when others think what they said was senseless.  Another tip I give is to avoid spending hours alone but engage in group conversations at home and at school.  This will eventually start the road to becoming closer to an extrovert and therefore develop confidence to sing in public. 

Do you have to be born to sing or can you come a long way with teaching and the right technique? What destroys ahealthy voice?

I do believe that you need to be born in tune to become a singer.  However regardless of the stage you are in developing your vocals, singers need vocal coaching; even the biggest hit stars.  I design the different techniques depending on the development stage and they are modified for each and every individual.

What is one major tip that any vocalist should keep in mind?

After working hard to achieve a great performance I always tell my students to wake up early on the day of performance and do a good vocal warm up whilst avoiding nuts and chocolate. 

Furthermore I focus on preparing my students psychologically by encouraging them to stay positive and reward themselves by nailing their performance and avoid conditioning themselves by the result.  Doing well during performance is the best result one could ever achieve as it is proof that hard works does pay off.

 

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Interview by Rachel Lowell

 

 
 

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