Genius record producer David Foster didn’t mix his words in his critique of young Billy’s vocal abilities. He was harsh, but truthful.
Part of fixing the problem, the wannabe singer realized after listening to the production guru, was to choose the type of song that fit him.
“If we do that,” Billy thought, “then maybe I won’t be terrible.”
Billy didn’t know it at the time, but he was about to cross with someone very special.
“You don’t have a range. You don’t have a key,” David told Billy during rehearsal.
Billy was feeling lost, when a soft voice cut through the session.
“You need to let the professionals really step in here,” she ordered.
It was Kara DioGuardi, a hit songwriter for Kelly Clarkson and Katharine McPhee and she had joined rehearsal in the nick of time.
“La-La-La,” Billy sang. Her added presence made him string the notes together with more fervor than ever. He had a new person to prove himself to.
“Oh my god,” she replied on hearing his warblings. She had her work cut out for her.
“Let’s get a groove man let’s get a groove,” she suggested, hoping an urban-influenced change of pace would mean a change in Billy’s voice.
Unfortunately, she was wrong.
“It doesn’t feel like him,” she sighed. “Billy’s really kind of white.”
It was then that David came up with an idea. “Country-ballad!” he exclaimed.
With a resounding “Yeah!” they all agreed. And so the songwriting process began.
Country songs however, need heart and so Billy had to search inside himself.
“What would make me sing with all my heart?” he wondered aloud. “A song about the three most precious people in my life. My daughters and the three wishes I have for them.”
“Bingo!” he screamed as the song started to take shape.
“I’ve never felt more positive and hopeful than right now,” he gushed.
As they wrote the lyrics, all of which came from Billy’s heart, something magical began to happen: his voice improved.
“He has good tone and good pitch,” a surprised Kara exclaimed.
David found himself convinced too.
“I can get a vocal out of him so easily,” he said.
They were the words Billy wanted to hear, but more work lied ahead. A vocal coach was on the horizon.
Tune in tomorrow for Part III of Billy’s quest for singing superstardom.