Vangelis Polydorou and how to succeed as a vocalist
Our vocals graduate Vangelis Polydorou tells us about his time on 'The Voice' and with Boy George...
As musical dreams go, our vocals graduate Vangelis Polydorou is certainly living his, recently announcing he’ll be joining Boy George and Culture Club on their huge UK and US tour later this year.
It’s all part of a great career Vangelis has enjoyed since he completed his studies with us. After being scouted for hit TV show 'The Voice', he ended up making a massive impression thanks to a brilliant rendition of 'Do You Want To Hurt Me?' .
With his mentor now helping him work on new material and this huge tour kicking off later in the year, it seemed like a great time for us to catch up with the star and find out more about his experiences and how his time at ICMP helped prepare him for the wider industry...
How did you begin your musical journey?
I remember watching old Disney movies and loving anything with singing in it, I was obsessed. You honestly couldn’t shut me up while I was in the house, but I’d never sing in public. My mum was the one who encouraged and believed in me from the start so she’d send me to choirs, performing arts schools, (you name it), to help build up my confidence. I always knew I wanted to be a singer but I would definitely say it was gradual. I really took my time and found my voice. I do think I’ve always been quite a natural singer but I did take a keen interest in improving and working hard on my voice so that’s what I did.
What drew you to ICMP and how important was your time studying here in shaping you as a singer/artist? What was the most important thing you learned here?
In all honesty I found aspects of studying a challenge. But I did like was how it forced me to try out other styles which was a new experience for me and it definitely pushed me outside my comfort zone.
I met some great people there too and it was fun being in a class with just singers and seeing what they could do with a song, you can learn a lot from that. What I learnt most was to take more risks."
Who have been your biggest influences as a singer?
I was always really attracted to beautiful unique voices. People like Elvis and Celine Dion ... people that are just different, they’re not trying to be, they just are. My taste is so varied and weird though so I definitely found my own sound through a number of different people not just one.
You were very successful on ‘The Voice’ - could you explain a little about you got on the show and what the experience was like?
I had a singing lesson with a new vocal coach I was working with at the time and she sent my video to one of the scouts from the show. It was a cover of ‘Hope There’s Someone’ by Antony and the Johnson’s. Even when you’re scouted there’s still a lot of rounds you have to go through and I was told 48,000 people auditioned that year and only 90 singers made it to the coaches, so I didn’t set my hopes too high. It was just the right time and my dare I say it ‘moment’.
One thing led to another and I found myself walking out on stage to sing. It was an amazing once in a lifetime experience that I’ll never forget and ‘The Voice’ really has opened so many doors for me."
How important has Boy George been in supporting your career?
He’s been everything. When I left the show and after George had come home from tour I met up with him near his home in Hampstead and we started working on music together. We just really got on and it’s so nice to be able to call him a friend.
I’m very fortunate to still be working with him because that doesn’t happen a lot on these shows so it just goes to show how genuine George actually is. He cares."
What would you advise new vocalists? What are your top tips for success?
Don’t do this if you just want to be famous, you have to love it. There will always be rejection, but you have to push through that. I’d say always warm up. Don’t copy the way other people sing, we already have that artist we want to hear what you can produce. I’d say, not everyone can be an artist and that’s okay! I think there are a lot of amazing singers who aren’t different but there is still a place for everyone. Push yourself to be the best you can be don’t just rest on having a good voice.
You’re going on a huge tour with Culture Club as a singer - Congratulations on getting this gig - how did you land this opportunity?
Thank you, I really wish there was a long exciting answer to this but Boy George asked me and I said yes! But if I had to dig deeper I would say I’m always on time and professional when it comes to music and I think it’s an important thing that people notice and it can help you.
Being consistent vocally helps you - you don’t want to be great one day and not so great the next. Get yourself to a high level where even your bad days are good."
And how do you look after yourself and your voice on such a list of gigs?
I warm up, drink lots of water I exercise my voice during the week. I hardly ever drink anymore and I can really notice a difference when I do mentally and physically. Also, sleep!
What’s next for you alongside the tour?
I’m working on my album under George’s label BGP so I’m really excited to share some music with everyone and to keep on singing.
Visit Vangelis Polyorou to find out more. Watch his performance of Culture Club's 'Do You Want To Hurt Me?' on 'The Voice'.
Study Vocals in London
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We offer a range of courses to suit a variety of life styles including six-week part-time evening classes.
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