I gained confidence and I learned how to sing. I also discovered that it was those unique qualities in my voice that I didn't like that were exactly what drew others to my voice. In the end, the weird things that didn't sound "right" to me, turned out to be the best attributes of my voice.
Let me back up a little bit. Music has always been my life. I love to sing, but I didn't sing in public. I was in every kind of band in high school and college. I am a multi-instrumentalist who has played piano since about the age of 4, guitar since 14. I've picked up a number of other instruments along the way: drums, percussion, organ, mandolin, slide guitar, fiddle, bass, banjo, saxophone--you name it. When it came to my voice, though, there was something that always bugged me.
It just didn't sound right to me. In short, it didn't sound like most people, so I didn't share it with others. I was never in choir. In college, I sang with my music fraternity. Over the years, I would sing in church but primarily I kept my voice covered up in a large group.
Although I tend to being an introvert, it wasn't because I was bashful. As a youth, I sang in church contemporary Christian songs a few times in front of the entire congregation at my church. But it never felt right.
By the time I started making home demos of songs I was writing in 2011, I started realizing that many of my favorite singers had unusual voices that didn't fit with the stereotypical expectations of what you might hear on the radio. Still I loved them. On my next post, I'll talk about how this realization slowly started to change my opinions about my voice--and how a little encouragement goes a long way on developing your talents.