Singing in a North American accent

canaws   Sunday, August 15, 2004, 05:19 GMT
I remember the first time I heard Seal speak. I had no idea he was British. I did wonder whether the accent change when singing was a diliberate thing or not.

I think singing that singing with an American accent can be picked up as a habit. People who spend a lot of time singing in someone else's singing style ends up sounding somewhat like them when they sing, because usually when you sing a long you are trying to match sounds and pronunciation.
Denis   Sunday, August 15, 2004, 19:54 GMT
When you develop your own singing style you "try on" the styles and accents of your favourite performers. In the end you get what fits your nature the best. No matter what your spoken accent is.
Also, those who sing know well that singing and talking are usually two different "modes of operation". The vocal chords work differently and articulation is different too.

As for me, it even costs me an effort not singing with a foreign accent in my mother tongue because my "native singing language" is different!
Mi5 Mick   Monday, August 16, 2004, 08:08 GMT
Bee Gees - British.
Olivia Newton-John - Australian.
Franz Ferdinand definitely sound American but there's a touch of Scotish to them. They say the band Jet have a Melbourne sound but they sound American! The Beatles was a bit of a mixed bag, as are non-American actors.

Most Australian actors in Hollywood adopt American accents - Guy Pearce, Eric Bana, Naomi Watts, Jonathan Lapaglia, Anthony Lapaglia, Toni Collette, Heath Ledger, Hugh Jackman.

However, Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving, Noah Taylor, Bryan Brown, Cate Blanchett - mostly Aussie accent or Brit. The rest don't know their own identities; whether they're Kiwis, Aussies, Britons or Americans.

Brits tend to keep their accents more; they have more appeal I guess.
Damian   Monday, August 16, 2004, 16:33 GMT
I can detect the Franz Ferdinand Scottish connection, no problem. I don't think they can completely disguise it, even if they try SO hard to Americanise they turn blue in the face. I can hear the Glesca seep through. Once a Scot, always a Scot and it takes one to know one.
Marie   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 02:26 GMT
I agree Canaws.

Denis, interesting analysis, and I'd love to hear one of your songs.

Mi5 Mick, Newton-John is British. I doubt she was lying about it... she's got a stronger Aussie accent now and Hugh Jackman DOES speak like an Aussie; haven't heard the other Aussies, and I'm sure Damian knows what he's talking about regarding Franz Ferdinand.
Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 06:19 GMT
Although born in England and living between the US and Australia, in every interview I've heard Newton-John give, she and her interviewers referred to her as an Aussie.
Damian   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 07:35 GMT
I know nothing about Olivia Newton-John really...a double-barrelled named suggests she is English but that may be just my way of thinking. Does anybody know where she lives permanently? She is intriguing me for some obscure reason.....I will look her up on the net.

Is having a double-barrelled name a typically British thing or do other nationalities have the same practice? Maybe it's aristocratic with families wishing to retain the names on marriage. Scots generally regard d-b names as a "snobbish" upper-class "English thing" as many of the large landowners and aristocratic families in Scotland historically have been English "invaders" with d-b names. :) Names like Douglas-Hamilton spring to mind among others. Singly, both Douglas and Hamilton are typically Scottish surnames though. There is also a town in Scotland by the name of Hamilton. This is interesting and worthy of further research by me.

The late British Queen Mother, who had strong Scottish connections, had the family name of Bowes-Lyon.

This site always seems to see me going off on a tangent!
Damian   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 07:37 GMT
My last post was off-thread really...sorry! Time for mjd to use his scissors!
Marie   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 08:48 GMT
I'm guessing that maybe you're an Aussie Mick. Perhaps you didn't see and hear Newton-John mention that she identifies with being 'English' (as she put it) also, in a addition to have been born a Brit... Anyway, whenever someone becomes famous, whatever the media mentions and heghtens-- be it the truth or misinformation-- it can sometimes never be shakened, so we'll just have to agree to disagree and let it be.

People can call themselves by the nationality of the country they have spent time in and respect and/or are a citizen of, nothing's wrong with that, but they don't usually dismiss the country in which they were born and also lived in for a long time.
Marie   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 09:06 GMT
Damian, she's probably most famous for playing girl named Sandy in the 'Grease' movie. You can look her up on the celebrity website. Regarding the DB name, according IMDB apparently her family was quite well-off, her father was a Dean.

I'm getting back on track too now, so I'll re-start by saying: learning about the many languages, names and their origins is alot of fun.
Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 09:48 GMT

I'm not disagreeing with you; I believe what you said.

I was commenting on how she described herself when I saw her in interviews. She came back to live here in Australia around 10 years ago to recover from breast cancer and did some TV ads/promos for cancer research (she still does them today I just noticed). She would describe herself as an "Aussie battler" when asked about her recovery and life in general.
Jordi   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 10:04 GMT
If you remember Sandy, in the "Grease" movie, is actually an Australian who just arrives in the US. Something had to be done to justify Olivia's Australian accent. On the other hand, Olivia sang for Great Britain, back in the seventies, in the Eurovision song contest. Quite a few Australians I've known feel both British and Australian, for the simple reason they are perhaps both. I feel Catalan first and quite a bit Australian, at heart, since I grew up in Sydney. There's nothing wrong with that.
Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 12:46 GMT

* What I meant about Hugh Jackman and co. was their use of an American accent that I've witnessed in American cinema, not in their daily lives of course. For Hugh Jackman, that means a put-on accent in movies like X-men and Swordfish.
CG   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 19:17 GMT
Haha has anyone seen Grease 2. Strangely, Sandy's cousin for no apparent reason decides to go to Rydel too and even stranger he is English. Maybe that is a nod toward Olivia Newton-John's roots?
Marie   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 20:50 GMT
Mick, regarding Hugh Jackman and company using American accents quite a bit in film, okay, I see what you mean.
Regarding Olivia Newton-John, I understand what you are saying, but as Jordi and I have mentioned, Newton-John can feel both British and Australian, nothing's wrong with that at all. She's spoken so well of her experience in Australia and doesn't have to leave the fact that she's British out, in order to show her Aussie devotion.

Cg, yes, I heard that about the British guy who was susposed to be Sandy's cousin, it most likely is a nod toward Newton-John's roots. There are people like myself who feel Olivia Newton-John's accent in 'Grease' was like a cross between a British one and an Aussie one.