LENNY HENRY comedian says after a year of training with Nikki
Listen, ok? I never chanted. The whole thing about chanting in a Buddhist way ( Car, Career, success, Love, jewels,flat screen TV, bigger body parts etc) seems a perversion of the original purpose. So I never did that kind of thing.
Then I kept losing my voice-who knows why? Not me that's for sure...my voice would freeze , or get sore , or simply refuse to work... If you’re a performer this is what is known as bad. My voice is my instrument, my tool, it’s how I roll , it’s how I represent-I was in the deep and dreadful without a paddle, canoe or scuba diving equipment. Not even a breath mint.
So I was in a yoga class and noticed that all the muscle stretching and strengthening was making me feel so much better than the hard core shock of weight lifting at the gym. I wondered if there was a comparison to be made with the rigour of constant scale singing and vocal practice and something more spiritual and holistically satisfying for the voice?
My yoga teacher told me that there was – Nikki Slade has this class called CHEMISTRY AT WORK.
She creates a bespoke vocal programme that fits your requirements to a tee. You talk about where you are in life , how you’re feeling spiritually, the perceived obstacles that might be stopping you from singing to the best of your ability. (Still with me? I know it’s a trip, right?)
And then –Nikki, with her vast experience of Indian chants – sets you to singing; each chant is a prayer but it is also a singing work out –you’ll sing for 10 /15 minutes at a time , beginning slowly and then speeding up. Nikki sings a line and then you repeat –it’s easy…it’s a work out for your voice and on many levels it’s doing you a whole heap of good.
Nikki talks about the work sinking deep foundations into your voice work – enabling you to last longer , sing stronger and feel good about it too. It’s all about a vibe.
There are mantras and chakras to work through also , and even if you’re a little skeptical about this stuff – I say –try it.
I’m near the end of a year of performing in a play and was worried about several moments where I have to break into song due to the stress of performing 8 shows a week. Since I’ve been working with Nikki my voice has handled this stress level with no problem.
I say give the whole thing a try – the only thing you have to lose …is your voice!