Versatile singer/vocalist with experience as a performance and recording artist. Will provide vocals in folk/americana, pop, jazz, and musical theater styles. I have a soprano vocal range, but also have many years of experience belting and mixing in my lower register. I can therefore perform in many vocal styles.
I've formally studied music for over 20 years and specialize in vocals, piano, and saxophone. I have performed in choral groups, was the background vocalist and keyboard player in the alternative rock band Clouds of Neptune, and recently launched my solo career as Gabourel.
Lead vocals in folk/americana, pop, jazz, and musical theater styles for $70.
Background vocals and vocal arrangements alone for $70.
Package deal Lead vocals + Background vocals/arrangement for $100.
Toplining, which includes lyrics and vocal melody writing, for $100.
I will send a first draft of lead vocals in a rough mix within 24 hours in order to get feedback and make sure we are on the same page in terms of style, mood, and feel.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
2 ReviewsEndorse Colleen Gabourel
Colleen is a knowledgeable and patient musician who works well with people of any skill level. She can quickly learn new songs and is great at providing direction in the songwriting process. She is a highly skilled at singing lead and harmonies, as well as playing saxophone and piano in many styles.
Talented and professional, Colleen is a skilled musician and vocalist with a great ear for melodies and an impressive command of music theory. It is always a pleasure working with her.
Interview with Colleen Gabourel
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Honestly, I'm really proud of the demo I just put up on Soundcloud. I didn't start producing until a few months ago, and I really had no idea what I was doing with the first three songs I recorded. I've since taken a music production course, and this new demo is the first track I've fully arranged, performed, recorded, and produced all on my own since learning to produce at a more professional level.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on planning out a show for if/when we can perform live again, and I'm about to start writing my debut album.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Agnethe Melchiorsen is a great songwriter and performer
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital because that is the equipment I have access to that is affordable and that I know how to use.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to deliver a polished professional-quality vocal track that fulfills the terms of the request. I promise to return my drafts in a timely manner and truly listen to the feedback provided. My goal is to record vocals that truly fit your vision for the song.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the creative process of learning new music and figuring out my approach to a new song. I love analyzing a song to determine the emotional beats then eventually being able to let go of all the technicalities and really just feel what I'm singing.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What vocalists perform in the style/sound you are looking for? Are you married to the exact melody you wrote, or do you want ad-libs or improvisation? Do you want to hear additional melodic options I might come up with in certain places? if so where exactly in the song? Or, do you just want me to perform the melody exactly as written? How quickly do you reply to messages? How long does it usually take you to provide feedback on a draft/give revision instructions?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be specific about what you want. If you have a specific vocal style or sound in mind, find a reference track/example of that sound so that I know exactly what you're looking for. Be clear about how much you want me to contribute to the vocal melody in terms of ad-lib or improv. I can most easily deliver on your needs if I know what they are from the beginning, and being clear from the start will save us a lot of back and forth in revisions. Also don't be afraid to tell me exactly what you don't like or what you want changed about a draft or revision I send. I can't improve the track during a revision if I don't know what you are unhappy with or what you want me to do differently. I see the revision process as the way we work to align our visions for the song, not as a personal judgement of my performance or ability, so I will not be offended.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My Casio Privia keyboard, my Sony MDR-7506 studio monitor headphones, my MacBook Pro with LogicProX, my Focusrite Scarlett interface, and my Shure SM58 vocal mic.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been a musician for 20+ years, but I have not been consistently doing it professionally until very recently. I probably have the least conventional career path, having been very active in a couple of jazz and funk bands when I was in high school and then majoring in engineering in college with a minor in music. While in college, however, I realized I needed music to be a bigger part of my life. I began doing vocal session work as I had time, and in my last year I joined the alternative rock band Clouds of Neptune. While Clouds of Neptune was an amazing experience for the 2.5 years we were together, we unfortunately broke up before we were able to build much momentum. I then took a 2-year break from music in order to pursue a master's degree in literature. I see my interest in writing and literature as very much related to my music and overall artistry and am satisfied with my adventure into that world, but ultimately music is my one true love that has been consistently there throughout my entire life, whether I was pursuing it professionally or not. After I graduated and was once again at a crossroads in my career, I decided once more to prioritize music and launch my solo career.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is very acoustic/real instrument driven. I grew up listening to a lot of country music, and some of my greatest influences are folk/country singers, so I definitely lean towards that sound in my own songwriting. I also love performances that are stripped back with few instruments. That said, most of my formal training has been in classical and jazz, so the influence of those genres often sneaks into my music in unexpected and unique ways.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Brandi Carlile because she is my hero. She's broken so many barriers as an out lesbian who straddles the similar sounding yet culturally very different worlds of folk music and mainstream country music.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If different sections of your track are going to be performed at different volumes, i.e. the verse is quieter and then builds to a much louder chorus, record the two sections in separate tracks in logic so that you can process them separately when it is time to adjust the volume, EQ, and compression during mixing.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I have recently been working on a lot of singer/songwriter, folk/americana style acoustic music.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strength lies in my technical knowledge of music theory and performance, which allows me to quickly learn a melody, improvise if needed, and connect to the mood of the track.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring a sincere emotive performance and connection with the lyrics and melody along with my own artistic interpretation in my vocal style, intonation, and inflection. I strive to truthfully express the emotions and meaning behind the song and to be the conduit that connects the listener to the writer's story.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I will ask my client to provide a lyric sheet + a recording of the desired vocal melody OR sheet music for the desired vocals, a single wav or mp3 file of the backing track, a reference track that demonstrates the sound and style of vocals they are looking for, and instructions regarding their expectations of my contribution to the vocal melody. Once I have this project information, I will record a rough draft within 24 hours to get feedback on to make sure I've interpreted the client's needs correctly. Then I will record the polished second draft which I send as dry vocal stems in high-quality wav files. If the client is satisfied, my work is complete. If the client has additional feedback for revision, I discuss the desired revision and outcome with the client and record the revision to their specifications. Since I do not offer production services, I send all of my final vocals dry.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I currently work out of my home studio which includes a Shure SM58 vocal mic and an audio-technica pro35 instrument mic, LogicProX, a Focusrite Scarlett interface, a full electric keyboard with touch sensitivity and a pedal, my acoustic guitar, and my alto and tenor saxophones. LogicProX runs on my MacBook Pro laptop which I have attached to a larger computer monitor to make navigating LogicPro easier. I also have a pair of Sony MDR-7506 sound monitor headphones that I use while recording.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Brandi Carlile and Brandy Clark are my greatest songwriting inspirations and queer role models. I'm also a huge fan of Broadway and musical theater, so I'm inspired by amazing performers such as Laura Benanti and Audra McDonald. Other inspirations include Sara Bareilles, Jennifer Nettles, and Norah Jones.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I perform lead and background vocals for songwriters and producers. I can strictly follow the written vocal melody, or I can bring my own interpretation and provide up to 3 melodic options.