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Cheryl, do you remember what you wanted to be like when you were a little girl? Like, what did you always wanna be when you grew up?
Well, when I was a little girl, I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I always had a feeling it was gonna be something great. So, while a lot of my classmates wanted to be teachers, or secretaries or all these other jobs, I on the other hand just knew that I was destined for something great. I didn't know what that "great" was going to be though. The first thing I was interested in was acting - I liked acting in theater. I wanted to win all those awards, and I watched those award shows and I would dream - "one day that's gonna be me" At that time I didn't know what my talent was, but strangely enough I knew that I was destined for something great. I just had to find out what that thing was gonna be.
Now I know that you studied opera, but while you were studying opera did you think that you were gonna ever go into modern music, like how you´re coaching?
I never thought I would become a vocal coach. That's the crazy thing. It was the last idea on my list of things I ever thought that I would be. Even when I started doing music, I never thought about coaching. Actually, I didn't even feel like music would be my final destination, but I always felt that following this path, following my passion was going to lead me to the ultimate goal.
You had the feeling that the music would transport you somewhere else …
Exactly. I had no idea that "great" thing was gonna be vocal coaching. I had no idea where all of this would lead - doing all the incredible things that I'm doing right now and touching the lives of so many people. But I knew that music was the way to get me there.
Now we know you were born and raised in Chicago, south side. When you were in Italy, what did you miss the most about Chicago? And, and when, when we say childhood, what's the first memory you have of your childhood?
Well, I travel a lot and I'm the kind of person who, when I go to a place, I fully immerse myself in that place. I was in Italy for 27 years and that's a long time to be away from home. But I don't think that there was anything about Chicago that I missed when I was in Italy. Wait, let me think about that…it's crazy because if you would've asked me this question back when I was in Italy, I would be able to answer. But now that I'm back in the USA I can only think about the things I miss about Italy. So that´s a real hard question! I´m gonna have to pass on that question. Okay. I can't really answer now because my whole perspective now has shifted.
So, when we say my childhood, what's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about your childhood?
When I think about my childhood, I think about a little girl who was full of dreams who somehow felt trapped in the world, but who somehow found the key to get out of that situation. I think of the sacrifices of my mother, the fact that I grew up poor yet didn't feel poor - that I lived in a place where people would wonder, oh, how did you grow up like that? How did you live like that? But at the time when I was growing up, I felt that although I had some disadvantages, I was still very lucky. My mother set a really great example for me. I knew I wasn't rich. And I knew that there were some things in my life that were lacking. But I never felt like anything was missing. I never, never felt that level of poverty that people associate with being poor. We may have been poor, but I didn't feel poverty stricken. So, when I think of my childhood I think about resilience. I think about the sacrifices that my mother made. And now I look at that little girl I was, and I marvel at how she has turned out. All of those dreams that she dreamed, she actually made them come true! And I think about all of those people who told me that I would never achieve anything - people who discouraged me. So, when I think about my childhood, I think about a little girl who I am proud to say was me.
26, almost 27 years ago you traveled to Italy to improve your opera singing. And we heard you say earlier that you didn't know that you always wanted to be a coach. What about your time in Italy turned you into the respected vocal coach that you are today.
Cheryl: To be honest it was anger. It was definitely anger. I went to Italy to follow my musical reams. And the first thing I did when I arrived there was to search for a vocal coach. I wanted to do opera. I wanted to do the grand opera. I had dreams of singing at La Scala and other important opera houses. But when I got to Italy, i found that there was such a lack of quality vocal teachers that it sort of made me sad. And I became one of those people who was very vocal about how horrible these vocal coaches were. It was so frustrating and unacceptable.
"I had the BEST TIME coaching the one and only LIAMANI SEGURA in this tribute to Whitney Houston! The exercise in this video went super-viral on TikTok with over 150 million views! That's crazy!"
What did you do? What followed?
The first videos that I ever did were of me talking about how bad vocal teachers were in Italy. So, one day my husband said to me - instead of complaining about the vocal coaches in Italy, why don't you become one? And I told him - I'm not a vocal coach. But after a while I realized that you can't just complain about a situation. You've got to find out what you can do to improve the situation. And that's what ultimately led me to start vocal coaching.
Now, do you really think that it was a coincidence that you got so famous so quickly as a vocal coach? Do you believe in coincidences? And do you think that this was just a chance, or do you think that this was who you were meant to be?
I do believe that it was who I was meant to be. I gained my first million followers in 4 months! That's incredible! I obtained 6 million followers in two and a half years. Although it may seem like this happened quickly, my career has been a long time in the making. And I think that that's the reason why it has endured. There are a lot of people in social media that come and go quickly. And to be honest, I thought that I was going to be one of them. I thought I was just gonna do a couple of videos and that´s it. In the beginning I honestly thought I just got lucky. But as time went on, I saw one video after another and then another go viral. Then people started asking for like my pictures and I'm like, maybe this thing is a whole lot bigger than I thought. Then I realized yes, this is bigger - so much bigger than I had thought. And so much bigger than me. I do feel myself being used for the greater good. I'm just a small part of a bigger mission that the Lord has for me. At first I thought I was lucky, but now I just realize I'm just a small part of something bigger. I too am watching this online person evolve Sometimes I feel like it's me - sometimes I feel like it's not me. Because I just feel like a small piece of everything that's happening. It's all evolving and I'm watching it happen, just like everyone else. A lot of times I feel like a spectator. So, I'm just waiting to see what happens and just really excited about what the future holds.
On the topic of being a spectator. You were a singer and a performer before you were a coach, has your love for music changed or shifted in any way now that you're living your life still in music, but through a different lens?
You know, that's a really good question because I do feel like my perspective has shifted. Doing concerts, always on tour, always hustling, always getting the gig, always on the plane, always traveling, always so terrified that I was gonna lose my voice. I was terrified of getting a cold, terrified of getting a sore throat. I mean, I have definitely felt a lot of relief not being on stage all the time. With coaching I've discovered that I love helping other artists be on that stage, while also realizing that I didn´t need to do shows all the time!
And you were cool with it. It is so?
Yes. I mean, I love my life right now, and I'm enjoying this break from the stress of performing full-time. But now that I'm around like a lot of singer friends, like Devin for example - one of my best friends and one of the greatest singers I know - it makes me wanna get back to singing and performing on stage again. So, it is all a work in progress. I mean, I still feel like that young girl we were talking about before - I am still her. So, I'm still trying to figure things out and see what happens next.
Well on the topic of amazing singers. I mean, Cheryl, you've done some incredible things. You've sung at the Vatican for the Pope. You've been on stage with Andrea Belli. You've toured Italy with Mariah Carey. You've collaborated with stars like Madonna Luciano, PRA. I mean, how did it feel to work with some of these, some of the biggest names in, in the business?
I tell you it feels like a privilege. When I look at those things I've done, I always feel like “Damn! Did I do that for real? Was that me?” But I considered it my job, my work. I am very work and goal driven. So as much as I absolutely love Mariah, I didn't have time to be starstruck. I've never been starstruck for anyone that I've ever performed with. And I´ve performed with some pretty legendary artists. Actually, the only time I've ever been starstruck was when I sang for Luciano Pavarotti. Everything else was just a great experience and I am grateful. I'm also always learning - I've always been a learner. I think one of the reasons why I have gone far in my career is that I observe. I'm always observing and asking myself what will happen next. My entire life I have always been thrust into situations that I was not ready for. But those situations made me grow faster than I ever thought possible. I also never turned down any opportunities offered to me. And while I questioned why these opportunities came my way, I was always ready to accept the challenge. I would say to myself "i don't know what I did to deserve this opportunity, but now that I've got it I'd better grow some wings, because I gotta fly in this situation" So it's been great. I consider it an honor. I mean, I, I performed on stage with artists that I grew up listening to, artists that i would dream of performing with. So, it's most definitely an honor, a true honor. I consider myself very privileged. Wow.
"Hello family! As you guys know I lost my mother on April 25. I have always loved Cameron Goode and he was so kind to sing at my mother's funeral. 3 days after the funeral we recorded this video and it's such a beautiful lesson. Cameron is such a HUMBLE beautiful and extraordinarily talented young man. It's amazing to see how he transformed this song into a real masterpiece. Billie Eilish would be proud and this video is in MEMORY of my mother CHRISTINE PORTER. Thanks for watching ❤" CAMERON GOODE Instagram & TikTok: @cameron.goode
Now, how does it feel to know that your dreams have come. Are there dreams that still haven't come true yet? Are there new dreams?
Perhaps the crazy thing about dreams is, at least in my case, all my life I thought I was dreaming big. But now I've discovered that I was actually dreaming small. Because a lot of things that I never thought that I could do, I achieved years ago. I never thought I would be able to support myself as an artist. I never thought that I would be able to support myself and have a career in Italy. I mean, those simple things were my dreams at that time. But each time you obtain a dream or reach a goal you realize, “What now? What are your new dreams? What are you gonna do next?” So, it feels good to look at what I've achieved so far, but I'm definitely asking myself - what's next? And now I find myself making goals for myself that I never in a million years would've thought could happen. I never thought that I would be singing for a Disney movie and all of that. So now it's like, dang, what are my new goals? I'm thinking about it daily. I've got to keep dreaming and not get complacent. So, I'm still in the hustle. I´m still on the grind. As I said before, I´m just following that path and hoping that it takes me to where I'm supposed to be in the end. Wow.
Now, during your time in Italy, you became the voice of the Lion King, which is an amazing success. And I'm sure a huge honor to you, but we thought it was sort of sort of comical and ironic that an American singer became the voice of the Lion King in Italy. How did that happen? And what about that experience? Did you think it was weird that they couldn't find an Italian singer to do the voice? Or did you, know that was part of destiny?
I think it was destiny. The reality is that Disney Italy did want an Italian singer - no doubt. Italians are very proud and I know that their original plan was to have an Italian singer – and rightly so. But when the version of the Italian singer they chose to sing the song was sent to Disney USA, they were NOT impressed with it. So instead of looking for someone that was Italian, they were forced to look for someone who could actually sing this song, and bring it home. And they opened it up to all singers. Then Disney Italy reached out to me with this incredible opportunity, asking if I wanted to audition for this song. When they called, I thought they were joking. I was like, why are you calling me? I was like, it's the Lion King? And I thought there was no way they would let an American do this. I was so dubious. I mean I really thought it was a joke. When I realized that the audition was real, I got prepared – I enlisted the help of my accent coach to make sure my diction was perfect and everything was perfect. And when I finally got the call that confirmed that I was the voice of the Lion King Italy, I literally fainted. I couldn't believe it!! I was completely flabbergasted! I would never have dreamed in a million years that this would be something that I could say that I did. I would never have dreamt in a million years of something like that. So, it is most definitely a huge honor that I am an official Disney princess! I am a Disney singer! It's insane! I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I do believe that it was destiny. I do believe that that song, at that time, was for me. What is for you is for you alone. So, when I look at things like that, I ask myself, what else is for me? What's coming, what else is gonna happen? I'm so excited. I'm excited to see what's what's, what's coming next.
So, we know that you're extremely popular. Everyone that sees you walking down the street, I'm sure wants to stop and take a picture. Everything from YouTube, from TikTok, from Instagram, uh, now from the Ellen. I, I can't believe that no one has approached you for a TV show for you to host your own singing competition or, or things like this. Have there been any offers for things like that? Oh my God. Yes. Would it be something that you would consider?
Oh God, yes. That's a huge dream for me. I've been approached by a lot of networks to do exactly that - a TV show, or talent show, things like that. And I can't confirm anything at the moment, but let´s just say that something new is on the way.
Wou. We love getting the inside scoop. Yeah. So, your vocal exercises and technique, you make them both challenging and fun - which is something that you said was never a thing growing up. You didn't see things that were fun to do. So that's why people didn't take technique seriously in the beginning. Now we know that a lot of celebrities follow you and engage with you on social media. Have any of them reached out to you for private singing lessons and who are some of the celebrity names that you could share with us.
Well, I'm working now with one of the greatest singers that I believe of our time – Lauren Allred from the Greatest Showman. She reached out to me a couple of months ago to be her vocal coach - I was so shocked! I listened to this song. I love this. It's one of the most difficult songs in the world. She´s one of the greatest singers of our time - I believe that to be true, as a singer and as a vocal coach. So, it's insane that she reached out to me and asked me to coach her. Angelica Hale, another amazing singer, a lot of girl groups and other singers have reached out to me on social media. It's always a pleasure I feel like they trust me. Finding the right vocal coach is about trusting that coach, not just their credentials, but trusting them with your dreams, trusting them with your aspirations, trusting them with your voice, and with your instrument. So, it's a pleasure and an honor. It's also insane!
CHERYL and LOREN ALLRED:
ANGELIKA HALE with David Foster Foundation:
Now in conclusion, would you please tell our readers some of your unfulfilled wishes. on the topic of dreams like we spoke about - what's another dream that you recently realized that you now have?
I think my biggest dream now is to continue to travel the world doing Master Classes and conferences for singers. I most definitely want my life to mean something. And the whole purpose of Cheryl Porter is to reawaken the dream of singing in others. My dream is to awaken the dream in others so that they realize there is a chance for them - there is hope for them. Singers are very sensitive people, who walk around with a lot of emotional damage and hurt feelings. If you're a singer, it doesn't matter how your appearance is. I know a lot of times singers who may seem arrogant or they may look like they have it all together. But as a singer, those of us who have been given this gift, we are very sensitive. It's easy to hurt our feelings. We stay up at night thinking about what a person said or did. We stress ourselves wondering if we sang a song correctly? Or if we sang on key.
You express your emotions with your voice, so you are very sensitive.
We are very sensitive people! So, it's hard when singers have dealt with trauma, bad experiences, or bad performances. We stress ourselves when we receive negative comments. So, it's easy for us to get discouraged and just stop singing. It's easy to turn away from our gift. So, I think THAT is the whole purpose of Cheryl Porter - to encourage singers. When I first started doing videos, I myself didn't understand what the "magic" of my channel was. But I now realize that THAT is the magic. So many people had stopped singing. So many people are giving up. So many people believe that they are not gifted. So many people don´t believe that they can achieve. But this revival, this reawakening of this gift, this precious gift that so many people have been given, is what my dream is. I wanna continue to see it grow. I wanna continue to receive emails from people who didn't think that they could sing again. I want to help them find the strength to do it. I´ll be walking down the street in LA and people come up to me, give me a hug´s and just start crying, saying "oh my God, you're my coach" And I've never met these people in my life.
Just listening to it makes me want to cry too. It's incredible what you've done...
I wanna continue to make my life mean something. I want to continue to help people because me helping one person helps yet another person. And then that person helps somebody else and that person helps somebody else. It's becomes a chain reaction. So, if each of us just starts with that one spark of a dream, that then awakens the dreams in other people, young and old, then people will stop giving up. I just want people to understand that, I want them to continue to dream. I don't want people to give up. We're all so special. I did not grow up as the best singer in my class. I did not grow up as the best singer in my church. I was not the best singer in my choir. I was never the best singer anywhere I went, but there has never been anyone who has wanted to sing more badly than me. I've always wanted it more than anyone, I believe. And I want people to know that if you believe in it, if you believe in it enough and you work for it, you may not be the best singer, but you can still be amazing. You can be incredible. You can do incredible things. I want people to stop comparing themselves to other singers and concentrate on their own talent. Because what is for you is for you. That is my dream. I think I've seen a lot of it come true. I hope it continues to come true. I want people to find their gifts and realize that they are precious. However big, however small. I want them to know that they have been given a voice for a reason and with that voice they can change the world. One song at a time.
Wow. Well, Ms Cheryl, thank you so much.
Lubomír Nečas, dipl. um., MBA , Photos: / Videa: CherylPorterMethod.com, Angelika Hale. Photos used with kind permission of Mrs. Cheryl Porter.
STYLEnew.cz would like to thank Wendy D. Lewis - Communications Coordinator Cherylportermethod.com for her help in conducting the interview! Dear, Wendy, THANKS!