Now, that Philly Mixtape has officially got into the 2016 groove, there’s nothing left to do but to have a good old-fashioned music tea.
Armed with a shy, sweet demeanor and that voice, singer/songwriter Tara Hendricks has been an incredible vocal force to be reckoned with on the Philly music scene for quite some time now, most recently owning the local stages last year with fiery shows at Milkboy and World Cafe Live. For her next venture, the multi-talented songstress will be using her esteemed voice in a different way when she takes a seat at the judges table for the fifth cycle of Songbird. presented by Josh “where the f#$k does he find these people?” Schonewolf.
However, the aspiring contestants shouldn’t feel too worried because Ms. Hendricks knows a thing or two about what it’s like be up on that stage as she placed second in season two of the local singing competition just a few years back. Personally speaking, because she’s just so truly delightful, I could have easily spilled with Tara for music days, but we kept it straight to the Songbird point and she broke tea mugs about it all, including about what qualities she’ll be looking for in this season’s contestants, why song choice is oh, so important and exactly what kind of judging prowess she’ll bring to the table sitting alongside reigning Songbird diva, Mr. Cory Wade.
Kicking things off, how are you feeling going into this season of Songbird this time being a judge? I’m excited! I really don’t know what to expect being on that side if things, but I’m excited to not have the pressure of performing and also being able to offer my experience as an insight to other aspiring up-and-coming vocalists.
How do you think you’ll do as a judge? I think I’ll be good at it, actually. I think I can give constructive criticism well, and I think I’ll be able to give my eye for detail. I’ll also be able to see things from a bunch of different angles and communicate it in a nice way! I think my judging style will be a little gentle than some of the other judges, but that’s just my nature. In the end, I really wanna help [the contestants] be better.
What are some of the main qualities in a contestant you’ll personally be looking for? I’ll be interested to see how many of the contestants have a real vocal technique. I’ll think I’ll be able to hear if there’s some training there or if they’re coming from a self taught place. I’m looking for just really “legit” vocal technique and also a unique style and originality. I also look forward to seeing their choices of song material.
Now, let’s spill about song choice. Would you say that’s the most important part of the competition? Yes, yes, yes! I don’t think it should be number one, but at the same time, inevitably, it’s ends up being one of the most important things. The number one thing should be how well you sing, but the problem is that it’s so impacted by song choice, that it truly becomes number one. I think that because of my personal experience as a singer, I will do my best to be ultra fair and really listen regardless of your song choice, however like or not, it is going to effect how I hear you.
Okay, so as much as the competition can be one hell of a ride, there’s going to be those days when that struggle is certainly real. How did you personally get through those trying times during Songbird? It really varied from week-to-week. I remember I used to take things that Eric Jaffe would say to me that would just resonate with me more than the other judges. One of the challenges I had was that I was coming from a very singer place, which worked well for me, however, in other areas I could improve, which was my showmanship and how I worked the stage. That was something I had to work at. Hearing that in a constructive way from someone like Eric, I truly worked on that in the competition.
What’s next on the agenda for Ms. Tara Hendricks? I’m preparing, I’m in a bit of hibernation mode. But I do have some shows coming up in spring and summer, maybe around April. I’ve also been songwriting and working with other local producers and working hard to finish up my new music project!
Maybe you’ll debut some new material as a guest performer this season? Josh keeps it all under wraps! I literally don’t think I’ll know anything until 15 minutes before! I know that past judges have performed during the season, so hopefully I’ll be able to get the chance. It’s really about the judges showing the contestants that they are really true music artists. That’s what it’s really all about.
For all of Ms. Hendricks’ music tea, groove to her official Facebook page right here.
For all of this season’s Songbird Spillage, tweet your life away right here.