If you want to know the ingredients that make up a good pop voice, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article you’ll discover what sound characteristics todays pop singers sing with and how you can do the same.

We’ll go over the following.

  • The sounds todays pop singers sing with.
  • The pop singers sparkle.
  • How pop singers add multiple flavors to their sound.
  • How they make their singing voice stand out.
  • Plus, how to find or shape your own pop voice.
What makes a good pop voice

The sounds today’s pop singers sing with.

Today’s pop singers sing with sounds that have certain sound-characteristics.

Maybe your mind just went to the the chest, head, mix and belt -voice.

But that’s not what I mean.

The sounds todays pop singers sing with are different.

It took me a long time to figure out but todays pop singers sing with only 2 sounds.

And they use these 2 sounds to make many other sounds.

Which we’ll get to.

But first, these 2 sounds.

Sound One

Sound One is the sound that has much density/weight to it.

Just like some forms of Chest-voice.

But unlike Chest-Voice it also works on high notes.

A couple of years ago I was baffled at how some pop singers could sing powerful high notes, with so much ease.

But when I started using Sound One, it finally clicked.

Sound Two

Sound Two on the other hand is the polar opposite of Sound One.

That is to say, it has the least amount of density/weight to it.

It sounds whispery instead.

Why it’s so much easier to sing with these sounds.

These sounds have 3 things in common that make singing with these sounds easier than most other sounds.

  • they both function on low, middle and high notes.
  • they have the same technical rules.
  • can be mixed together to create different sound intensities.

Unlike the chest, head, mix and belt -voice framework, you don’t have to switch to different sounds to be able to sing high notes.

Moreover, you don’t have switch up your technique as you go from low to middle to high notes and back again, repeatedly.

Instead you sing with one technique throughout a song.

Mixing them together

Moreover, since you can mix both these sounds together you can create different sound intensities with ease.

Some pop singers lean mostly towards Sound One with lots of density/weigh to their sound. For example, Rihanna and Christina Aguilera.

Other pop singers stay somewhere in between Sound One and Two or use both in their songs. Chloe Bailey, Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift come to mind.

Other pop singers lean more heavily towards the whispery Sound Two.

For example, Billie Eillish.

Ariana Grande also sings mostly with Sound Two but oftentimes bursts out in a Sound One heavy chorus.

It’s a whole spectrum.

The Pop Singers Sparkle

You might have noticed that pop singers have a sparkle to their singing voice.

This sparkle adds a certain intensity to their versions of Sound One (density/weight) and Sound Two (whispery).

It’s a season to taste thing and every pop singer is different.

For example, if you listen to the difference between Taylor Swifts version of Sound One (density/weight) and that of Christina Aguilera, you hear that Christina Aguilera adds way more sparkle to her sounds.

This is also the case for whisper singers.

For example, the whisperiness of Billie Eillish version of Sound Two is way less intense and sparkly than Rihanna’s Sound Two.

How pop singers add flavor to their sound

Pop singers add flavor to their singing voices by bending their open vowels towards closed ones.

Now, depending on which closed vowels you choose to bend your words towards, you create a certain flavor.

There are 5 flavors.

Many pop singers sing with one overall flavor and others use many flavors throughout a song.

Just like the sparkle, it’s a season to taste kind of thing.

How pop singers make their singing voice stand out.

Pop singers make their singing voice stand out by creating what I call, a unique sound-signature.

These are the 3 elements that make up a unique sound-signature:

  • Our small genetic differences
  • Stylistic choices like special effects & riffs and runs
  • A unique Singing-Accent

Let’s talk about these separately.

Our small genetic differences

Our small genetic differences already make us sound unique.

You see, human DNA is 99 % identical from person to person.

Our vocal cords have similar lengths.

We have similar vocal ranges depending on our sex.

And our throats and larynx work in similar ways.

However, that tiny little 1% that makes humans different makes our versions of Sound One and Two with their 5 flavors, already unique.

Stylistic choices

Secondly, pop singers make their singing voice stand out because of their stylistic choices.

Special effects like riffs and runs, vibrato etc.

Since these can used in many different ways, this is where pop singers really show their creativity as singers.

A unique Singing-Accent

Finally, pop singers make themselves stand out by creating their own unique singing-accent.

And this is not limited to only the vowels!

About a year ago I heard Billie Eillish sing ‘do’ instead of ‘to’, or vise versa.

It really stood out to me for some reason.

The great thing about being a pop singer is that you have much freedom to find special and creative ways to pronounce your words.

Now you know what makes a good pop voice.

To sum up, this is the recipe.

  • Sounds One (weight/density)
  • Sound Two (whispery)
  • The Sparkle
  • The flavours light, edgy, emotional, deep and extra deep.
  • A Unique Sound Signature: special effects, a singing-accent etc.

Now, let’s talk about your own version of that.

How to find your own pop voice

Unfortunately, the singing world still promotes many (outdated) practices preventing singers from finding their pop voice.

However, there are teachers who use a Sound-First Approach to singing.

Which is where you first activate the sounds todays pop singers sing with and then you learn to sing with these sounds.

Instead of the other way around.

When I teach aspiring pop singers this approach to singing they typically find their pop voice within a couple of weeks.

Plus, since these sounds are easier to sing with than many other sounds they get good at singing with them within weeks too.

I wish I could teach you all of this in a single post like this.

However the coaches, methods and courses that use the Sound-First Approach to singing, exist.

You just need to look a bit harder and not settle for less.

If you’d like to try my way of singing specifically you can check out my upcoming course where you’ll activate and learn to sing with Sound One, the 5 flavors and the Sparkle.

I hope this was helpful.

If you liked this article you might like one of the following ones too.

2 ways to make your singing voice sound better in an instant

How to sing powerful high notes in a pop style.

How to deepen your singing voice.

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