Q&A with Mary Beth Byrd

When did you start performing and competing in singing?

I started singing as soon as I could talk. I grew up with a stuttering problem and was constantly made fun of it. But when I sing I don’t have a stutter, so singing was a way out of my stuttering problem growing up.

Did you always want to be a singer growing up? Or did something spark later on?

Growing up, I never thought of what I wanted to do when I grew up. I was very involved with school. I played on sports teams, I was on the FBLA team, and I wasn’t ever in the “element” to think about the future like that.

Do you take voice lessons?

I took lessons for two weeks and dreaded lessons every week because they were very formal and boring. I like having the freedom to do whatever I want with my voice, and voice lessons restricted me from doing that.

Do you accompany yourself on piano and guitar?

Sometimes, if I need to. I’ve taken lessons to know the basics of piano, and guitar. But I like to perform visually when I sing. So I usually only accompany myself when rehearsing a song.

What are things you think to yourself on stage to perform better?

My goal when performing is to make the audience feel what I am trying to convey. That may include hand movements, eye contact, etc.

If you were to give a young musician that wants to get into the music industry a piece of advice, what would it be?

“Stay true to yourself. Don’t care what other people think. Do what you love.”

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