Monday, 6 October 2014

From A Diva's Point Of View...Diva Myths!


Hey everyone!


 Today I was thinking about the whole 'diva' thing. Ariana Grande has been getting lots of press lately for being demanding, but I always take that kind of thing with a pinch of salt. She's a young pop starlet who has suddenly got lots of success, so it figures that the naysayers are going to be out in force trying to find any little tidbit of negativity. I've been called a diva  plenty of times (in the negative sense)  though I always thought I was pretty down to earth, and I've also heard about plenty of artists being called diva's. A lot of the time, MOST of the time, things that people find demanding are actually practical things that are part and parcel of being a singer...so I'm going to go over some of the most popular diva demands and explain it from my point of view! I felt it was time someone spoke up for the supposed divas!




Making Backstage Demands

So we've all heard about silly things that artists ask for backstage. Some of the famous ones that have gone down in history include asking for all the brown m&m's to be removed from a giant supply of m&m's, a request for the whole dressing room area to be re-decorated with white furnishings including white roses, carpet, drapes and furniture, and more recently, for 3 women aged between 20-25 to be provided to dress in full Burqas and dance onstage. Here is a great article listing some more fantastically crazy ryder requests. While all that all might seem extreme, there are certain things that are definitely necessary for a singer but seem demanding when written on paper. For example, have you heard of singers specifying a temperature for their water? It sounds OTT, but the temperature is important! Freezing water straight out of a fridge can be a shock to your throat and is not good for singing. Some singers even prefer to drink warm, almost boiling water, something I do when I'm recording. So yes I do like my water room temperature for shows and no that is not 'diva-ish'.  However if I throw the bottle at your head for getting it wrong you have every right to call me a diva!

Not Talking To People Before A show

In the past when I used to be in a group, we did a lot of shows in clubs. We'd often go on stage very late and we all know how it is in clubs-it's noisy, there's lots of people shouting over the music trying to talk, it's not the best environment for socialising. I tried my best not to talk to anyone before going stage in order to protect my voice. On a more extreme level, I know of a very famous female singer with an amazing voice who came to London to do some shows. When meeting her backing singers for the first time she wouldn't directly speak to them, instead whispering into someone's ear who would then relay what she said. Of course she looked like a total diva, but the backing singers later discovered that the singer was on voice rest on doctors orders,  and that was why she had taken to such extreme measures to protect her voice! But of course the tabloids would run with something like that. 

Having a laugh

In the article I included above, there's no doubt that some artists are simply having a bit of a laugh at the promoters expense. This I can relate to-sometimes you just want to check if they are paying attention. Back in my band days we had to supply a ryder to the promoter before we went off on tour. This particular promoter was kind of annoying, so we slipped in a request for three BLUE Staffordshire bull terrier puppies to be provided backstage in our dressing room. It was there in black and white on the contract in amongst everything else. The promoter came back to us and agreed to everything.  Clearly he was not paying attention and unfortunately there were no blue staffs in our dressing room :-(


I've done my bit for the divas now, but of course some people are just plain difficult. What do you think, are these artists just having a laugh?

Flying kisses!
Anita xxx