Name: Lalana Martin
Job Title and Description: Vocal Recording Artist/Founder and Director, Vocal Workout Singing School
College/Major: Berklee College of Music, Boston, Mass.
Website: vocalworkoutsingingschool.com and lalanamusicroad.com
Her Campus: What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?
Lalana Martin: I help those who are in search for a singing teacher. I teach students for professional voice at the studio from 10:40am-9:40pm, with conference calls with vendors and marketers in-between. I love what I do, so there's no such thing as being too busy or tired.
HC: What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?
LM: I taught voice in the practice rooms in college, which was unique. Every Tuesday and Thursday there would be a long line of guitarists waiting with their money in-hand to learn. A lot of pizza slices were sold because of my cutting into the other students' weekly food budget from back home. I honestly learned the ethic of giving good lessons back then. I didn't want to waste anyone's time — I still don't.
HC: What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?
LM: I really don't have any misgiving or surprises with my industry since I started so young.
HC: Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?
LM: Sheila Antoine, a singer and mentor in Los Angeles, my home city. She had multiple sclerosis and taught me African Yorubic breath control from a wheelchair in her studio. So inspiring! She helped me fuse spirituality with my heartfelt gifts, and helped nurture my spirit of fairness and principles of sharing tribal singing. These are the roots that all of today's radio singers instinctively build with and carry on. Sheila Antoine is an inspiration, and is still one of my closest mentors to this day. It's been 20 years and she still moves me and inspires my profound admiration.
HC: What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?
LM: "Take your time, the mark of a true diva.” It creates suspense, and magic.
HC: What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
LM: I have no regrets. My career has been the light and total blessing to my life and livelihood.
HC: What is the best part of your job?
LM: Seeing the “aha” moment on a student's face when they say, "Now I get it!" I love to be able to sing with talented geniuses all day; it never loses its fascination. Beginners also have something to offer and I enjoy training each person as an Artist and as a future voice leader, in whatever aspect of the industry they desire.
HC: What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?
LM: Learn from the best mentor you can find, it’s worth it.