The terms singer and artist can be really confusing for most people.
While most people usually confuse both words singer and artist, an artist cannot technically be called a singer
This is because when you look at the dictionary definitions of both words, an art is a term that can be used to refer to the visual, auditory and performing arts.
And in my opinion, a singer definitely falls into one of these categories.
The only difference I will say about artists and singers is that an artist is someone that is very particular about the kind of songs they sing because most times they reflect their true feelings, emotions and beliefs
A singer on the other hand can sing songs they like without really getting bothered about the emotions or feelings behind the song.
Differences between a singer and an artist
Now we have established that a singer cannot be called an artist, here are some of the major differences between a singer and an artist
- An artist usually has a distinct sound and brand. This includes his vocal style, his delivery and song arrangement. A singer on the other hand usually molds his voice and vocal style to the song he is singing. A perfect example is an artist like Mariah Carey right. Whenever you hear that high pitched voice, you definitely know it is her.
- A singer has a niche and his own special genre of music which is exclusive to him alone. Doing this allows him to stay unique and relevant for years to come. Whereas a singer just goes with the flow and tries to copy or emulate the hottest trend in the industry.
- An artist always always has a fan base and raving fans who stand by them and support them at all times. As such he always has sold out concerts and events. A singer on the other hand does not create a fan base because they are not identifiable on their own. They get paid to entertain whoever is in the audience at the time.
- An artist is well known and always in the public eye at all times. Like i mentioned he has a huge fan base and is being watched at all times by the public and his fans. As such he needs to conduct himself in an “appropriate” manner. A singer on the other hand goes back to being himself the moment he walks out of the stage or venue.
- An Artist is very particular about the songs he sings because they reflect his true feelings, beliefs, emotions and/or convictions. A Singer sings any song that he can get paid for, regardless of the personal meaning behind it.
- An Artist is very particular about the gigs he accepts because he has to maintain a specific image. A Singer goes where the work is and molds his performance to meet the expectations of the audience.
- An Artist develops a vocal style that is all his own. He is never confused with another artist because he has worked hard to not be a copycat. He transforms songs to fit his own style. Singers transform themselves to fit the songs they sing. They purposely emulate other artists. That is what is expected of them.
- An Artist has a marketing plan that specifically identifies how he is going to get recognition, get airplay, generate publicity etc. He works hard at establishing himself and his brand as a recognizable, stand-alone entity regionally, nationally and even internationally. A Singer follows the money. He may sing demos, sing for commercials, sing numerous styles of music etc. His marketing plan consists of advertising his service for hire.
Is a singer a musician?
Another major debate I see most people having is asking if a singer can be called a musician
The simple answer is that yes a singer can also be called a musician
Think about it, according to Wikipedia here a musician is someone that plays a musical instrument, especially as a profession or is musically talented.
Going by this decision you will agree with me when I say that a singer can also be called a musician
Most singers out there are very talented musically as they can easily sing any song given to them just to entertain an audience
So even though most times these words can be confusing, there is really no need to confuse them.
Both words can be used interchangeably and they all mean the same thing
Can all singers read music?
Generally all singers should be able to read music and also play an instrument
This will definitely help them master their craft and become so much good at it
But this is just my own opinion and if you consider all things there might be the minority of singers who absolutely have no clue how to play an instrument or read music
Does this make them a bad singer? Definitely not
Like I said, this is just my own opinion and what I think really does not matter as long as you sing well and get your job done.
One thing you should know is that reading music is a language and learning this language will help you clearly communicate with other musicians.
Related: Here is an article I wrote showing you how to breathe properly while singing
What does a Singer do?
A singer is someone who vocalizes musical sounds with tone and pitch, and uses his or her own voice to produce music.
Singers may sing solo or in a group, and are oftentimes accompanied by instrumental music.
The physical act of singing occurs as air passes through the larynx, throat, and mouth, and it’s interesting to note that vocal resonator in singing involves seven areas of the human body: chest, tracheal tree, larynx, pharynx, oral cavity, nasal cavity, and the sinuses.