You've Gotta Have Soul!
Something that seems to be an increasing experience both as a singer and a teacher is understanding the importance of the emotion that you as a singer put behind a song. Many vocalists out there will do this naturally and this is what makes them amazing, they truly bring their "soul" into their singing. This doesn't mean that they have to sing in a soulful style, but they simply connect to the emotive content of the music that they are singing.
Those singers are truly blessed in the ability to make a song reach out to their audience, to connect with the soul and stir emotions. In my opinion having this ability is what will set you out from the rest.
I recently performed as a deputy singer in for a band and had another singer working with me. This singer had a truly wonderful instrument in their voice, every note was perfect pitch, every lick wonderfully constructed. They looked amazing - not a hair out of place, a trendy image, everything a good singer should be right? For the two hour gig we had a mixture of slow powerful ballads and up tempo party track to sing and this singer nailed every one - technically a perfect performance.... however, I had such an uneasy feeling when listening to them, they seemed to be just going through the motions with a glazed look on the face. It became apparent that this singer had performed these songs so much that they had somewhere along the way lost their meaning.
As singers there may be days when we don't feel like singing or find it hard to connect emotionally to a song, or we have performed that song a million and one times, but we owe it to our audience to give them the best we have. Sometimes as singers we also have to be actors, creating a persona to help us to connect emotionally to a song is a very useful tool.
My advice to all singers and aspiring singers out there is that if you don't naturally connect with a song, and you have to perform it, work hard on building a story around it that you can connect with, something personal to you. As you sing the song think about every word and its meaning, think of the story that you are telling, and hopefully you will start to find emotion coming through. This can really help you to connect with your audience and make your perfect vocal performance into a perfect all round performance.