By Marah J. Morrison &
Jambar Contributor Taylor Yauger
Roger Love, a prominent figure in the voice and vocal coaching industry, met and spoke to students, faculty and community members Sept. 21 in Bliss Hall’s Ford Theater.
Love has vocally produced more than 100 million CD sales worldwide. He’s trained over 130,043 people, covering his office walls on Hollywood Boulevard with platinum records. Those who’ve been coached by him include Brooks & Dunn, Demi Lovato, Def Leppard, Earth, Wind & Fire and Matchbox 20.
He teaches vocal warm-ups, public speaking tips, how to move on stage and how one sounds to others and oneself. In the early 1990s, he developed his own business, gradually adding professional speakers to his client list.
Love said when he was 16 and a half, he was brought in as the junior partner of what was already the most famous voice studio in the world. He said at that age, he was teaching artists and bands such as the Beach Boys, the Jacksons, Prince and Madonna.
“It was very scary because you think that the people that are on the top of the charts are just magical,” he said. “What in the world could I possibly teach them, so if I’m going to meet with Stevie Wonder I’m thinking, what could I possibly teach Stevie Wonder that he doesn’t already know about voice.”
Love said when he actually started working with singers and speakers, there are always things that can be tweaked. He said singers and speakers could always find new ways of making their voice stronger.
“What I realized, to my surprise, was that I had an ability to hear things in people’s voices that were already amazing and find ways to make it even better or easier for them,” he said.
Love said he was always preoccupied with singing and voice. He said he was born singing and that he found his happy place.
“It was my love of music, my love of singing that brought me to always wanting to be around it,” he said. “When you help someone find their voice, it changes everything.”
Love said what he learns the most from celebrities and being around people that are at the top of all of their industries is that it’s possible to be at the top, and that it isn’t impossible for people who want to be great singers, speakers or communicators.
“Somebody has to reach the top,” he said. “I realize that it’s a wonderful thing they’re born with, but also things they learned. So every time I’m with a superstar, I realize they’re so normal. That’s my thing: how to take someone like me who’s normal and train them to be a superstar.”
Love said one of his favorite singers he’s worked with for many years is John Mayer. He said he is super intelligent and very funny.
“I really get inspired by artists that are not just karaoke singers,” he said. “You watch ‘American Idol’ or ‘The Voice’ and those shows are super fun, but these are not always artists that grew up writing songs.”
Love said he’s incredibly satisfied with where he’s at in his vocal and voice coaching career. He said it’s a big world with a lot of vocal chords, so he’s not going to rest until he’s reached as many people on the planet as he can possibly reach.
“I’m not spending my life trying to create great voices,” he said. “I’m trying to use voice to help make great people because most people are literally trapped behind voices that don’t showcase how smart they are, how much personality they have and how much love they have to give.”
Monika Lutz, the vice president of sales at Voice Place Inc., Love’s company, said Love uses voice as a vehicle of changing people’s lives. She said when she looks at how difficult his job is, it’s not that he’s changing voices.
“Every person who walks into his studio leaves a different person,” she said. “It’s how he’s able to change their life in that hour that is unlike anything else.”
Lutz said Love is a passionate teacher and a remarkable father. She said his daughter is incredibly talented and a humble, kind person.
“It’s a reflection of who Roger is as a dad and that’s who he brings into every session,” she said.
Jessica Kohut, a graduate assistant at YSU, said singing takes hours of practice and dedication. She said the correlation between using your voice and your words can communicate through the classroom in an articulated, manufactured and natural way.
Carly Liptak, an exercise science major, said Roger Love can be the defining person for her in her field of study. She said she is am not interested in the music or communications industry, but interested in learning how to perfect her communication skills and speak fluently in her career path.
Adam Earnheardt, the chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University, said they were excited to have someone of Love’s caliber come to the university to teach students.
“Our goal is to expose students to as many different voices in the industry so they have a tool set that whenever they leave here they can apply those tools in a variety of settings,” he said.
Earnheardt said what’s great about Love’s background and what be brought to the university is that he can address just about everyone on campus. He said Love’s techniques touch every person on campus.
Love allows his clients to make a powerful impression and move people emotionally. He prompts to inspire the audience, achieve higher levels of success and control the way people perceive others.
“I literally have spent my entire professional life, trying to operate as a bridge between singing and speaking, because I realized early on in my career that there was no difference,” Love said.