Deborah Zuke Smith
Meet your mentor
Deborah “Zuke” Smith, founder of zuketunes LLC, is a vocal coach and artist mentor based in the NYC metro area. She has worked with many types of artists including Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance); several finalists on The Voice, X-Factor, American Idol, and America’s Got Talent, and Broadway performers.
Zuke became the Executive Producer for “Garden of Music” after arranging a meeting with CNN Hero, Gary Oppenheimer, founder of AmpleHarvest.org, and produced a CD donating all sales profits to his organization. Her efforts resulted in receiving the award for 2013 Album of the Year (Under 21) from the Jersey Acoustic Music Awards.
Zuke has been fortunate to have amazing music mentors in her life She gives back to her students by sharing everything she has learned and coaching them to be not only great performers but to make a difference with their talent.
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Q&A with Zuke
+ Who are you?
Deborah “Zuke” Smith, Vocal Coach and Artist Mentor.
+ What's your current job?
I currently teach voice lessons and help singers design a roadmap to moving forward in this business.
+ What do you specialise in?
I specialize in diagnosing and readjusting the singer so they are using their voice in the healthiest manner. I help them in discovering their unique signature sound so they can focus in on their genre and direction.
+ What's your experience?
Oh, man…I’m old, I’ve lived through good and bad experiences - enough to help anyone go through theirs!
+ What can you share your experience on? What can you help with?
I went through breast cancer and lost my voice for a year. I can help those who are dealing with health issues that affect their voice. I work with professional dancers who need to learn to sing so they can up their game. I work with lead singers of touring bands who need to keep their voice in top shape. I work with teens who are just entering the business and they and their parents need direction. I work with adults who haven’t sung in 20+ years and want to get back to doing what they love.
+ What are your greatest achievements?
My greatest achievements are usually not the popular students. It’s the boy who came in with autism at age 7 and is now a composer; the NYC officer who works on the anti-terrorist force and came to me so he could unwind his stress by singing heavy metal; the young anti-social teenager who was incredibly shy and has recently released her first EP - those are achievements to me!
+ Perhaps suggest some questions mentee's can ask you!
-Can you teach me how to sing high?
-How do I become famous?
-Do I have to go to college?
-When do I need a manager/agent/producer/attorney?
-What vocal exercises should I do and do I have to do them every day?
-I drink alcohol/coffee/smoke cigarettes/use pot - how do these affect my voice?
-What precautions should I take on the road to keep my voice in shape?
-I was just diagnosed with nodes and I’m afraid to tell my band.
-I don’t want to sing punk-pop anymore, I now prefer folk-rock - how do I transition with my voice?