We had the good fortune of connecting with Ginger Salem and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ginger, why did you pursue a creative career?
I feel like my career chose me. From a very early age I knew I wanted to sing and I would sing along to the radio riding in the car with my parents and they never told me to shut up, so I guess they didn’t mind. I remember one evening while watching Marie Osmond she was singing her song “Paper Roses” and I started singing with her and my father looked at me and said “you have a beautiful voice, you should be a singer when you grow up”. That meant so much to me because my Dad was a Singer himself in a band back in the 50’s called Bobby Star and the Eldorado’s where he played rhythm guitar and sang back up. When my parents would take me out to their favorite restaurant on occasion my Dad would sit in with the band and soon enough I would be jumping up on that stage singing my heart out, I was hooked at 10 years old. My Mom was so encouraging always asking me to give her a little concert and dragging me along to different venues to have me sit in with the locals bands until eventually I had my own. I became a teacher only after struggling for years to learn proper technique and getting nowhere. I studied with some lofty experts that couldn’t fix my breathing or pushing and I became obsessed with all things voice related. I wanted to learn everything I could about the way the body worked naturally to create sound and take the mystery out of the process. Then I wanted to share that with every other singer on the planet so they too would benefit. It’s my passion and I truly love teaching & singing so it’s a perfect career for me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been incredibly blessed along the way being able to do what I love and make a great living being creative and working for myself. I’ve made an entire career by doing music and only music where as many musicians struggle to survive I have thrived. I’ve always been a chameleon and adapt to change in an instant so I’m able to create opportunities for myself by serving others and helping them achieve their goals. In my first year as a vocal coach I got the opportunity to work with 2 rock and roll superstars in the music business, Ben Orr of The Cars and Brad Delp from the group Boston. That experience taught me to stay humble and people will always open their hearts to you. Since then it’s been a wild ride taking me to incredible places both literally & figuratively. I’ve traveled all over the world both as a performer working on cruise ships and a vocal coach on tour with different artists Like Austin Mahone, Chris Richardson, Kevin Rudolph and many American Idol, The Voice and XFactor contestants. I even got travel with the Taylor Swift Red Tour thanks to her Invite to Austin. But I have to say that the most extraordinary part of my journey was getting to work with bucket list producers Diane Warren, Max Martin & Red One. See I studied Audio & Media at BHCC to learn how to produce my own music and as a single mom I had dreams of making it big to provide a good life for my daughter. So I invested in a full on 16 track recording studio in my little apartment and got busy writing and producing songs. I dreamed I’d make an album that sounded like a Stealy Dan record one day, still working on that… Originally from Boston my husband and I settled in south Florida in the mid 90’s, playin Local clubs wasn’t as lucrative as the Cruise Ship industry so I got a job at a private school in Ft Lauderdale “Pinecrest” and realized after 1 semester that I was not cut out for working for in an institution. So I set out to build my own student body and give them everything that was missing in that sterile academic environment. I found so many ways to enrich their learning working in a professional studio environment, of course un my home. I was able to expand their experiences by teaching them the in & outs of being an Artist! The complete package, not just a singing lesson in the traditional sense. My students understand the value of knowing their instrument, developing and maintaining a training routine, how to capture an audience, write a song, record a song and so much more. I began to realize my Brand was artist development. The people that come to me are “clients” & “artists” not students. They realize immediately that they are here for the total package. They engage in a way that wasn’t possible in an ordinary voice class and as a result they too are able to pursue a career in music. I never get tired of delivering the same information to each person because when their eyes light up with that “wow, I get it” moment I am breathless every time. It’s what keeps me going and fuels my passion for what’s next…. So now it’s covid, and I’ve had to reinvent myself yet again. Doing lessons via zoom like the rest of the world isn’t going to cut it. So I took my 30 years of teaching and learning and put it into an online training program that includes all the vocal exercises that have really brought the biggest changes and wins for my clients. And I laid it out in a step by step program that makes it so easy for any vocalist at any level to experience instant changes and freedom in their voice. I also created a community where they can share their successes with other students and receive feedback from me directly on their progress. The YOUR PERFECT VOICE training program™ is an online drip fed program that takes each student through the materials at their own pace. Each module builds on the previous one while getting the student ready for what’s coming next. This avoids overwhelm for the student and allows them to embody the intensity of the material. They can do the work and the weekly challenges while participating in our Facebook groups and get instant feedback and support on the work they are doing. I love the idea that I can teach 1 to many and have a global effect on so may aspiring artists & vocalists! Can’t wait to share their journey along with them as they take the courses.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh my, I would absolutely have to take my guests to my favorite little spot Bubbles & Pearls located in a part of town known as Wilton Manners, which is located in Oakland Park Ft. Lauderdale. To visit my good friend celebrity chef Josie Smith Malave known for her Bravo TV’s top chef appearances from 2006-2013 and her win on the series Chopped. Her menu selections are unique and delicious, but my favorite is the Bone Marrow! You gotta try it. Also the ciabatta will take your breath away. Don’t forget to try the menu of drinks that all include bubbles, not to mention the oysters – hence the name … Then I would take my guests out for a sunset cruise up the new river in Ft Lauderdale to take in all the scenery while stopping along the way to enjoy the night life! I they were to hang around for the week we would have to visit Hollywood Beach, my personal favorite beach day or night. It has a more laid back feel than Miami’s South Beach and you can’t beat the broad walk restaurants and shops as well as the prettiest beach in Florida for fun in the sun.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I really owe my teaching career to my Mentor Jeannie Deva. She was a huge inspiration in my life and the most gifted vocal coach I ever worked with. Her passion for the absolute science of the voice and insistence on only the truth was infectious. When I finally got to the point where I no longer struggled vocally and had complete clarity and control for the first time in my life, she took me under her wing and I did an internship with her eventually becoming a teacher. She believed in me and it changed the course of my life. She’s no longer with us sadly but she deserves the biggest shout out up to heaven xoxo!
Hi I had trouble getting images to upload, I have other options if needed. All photos are personal ones taken on my phone, tablet or camera and have been publicly published for years. Credits from the top – left to right: #1: Myself singing on stage with my band #2: Me working with songwriter Hall of Famer Diane Warren at her studio in LA #3: chillin in my studio with lead singer for Creed Scott Stapp #4: A screen shot of my online course YOUR perfect Voice #5: My Branding shot #6: Working with Grammy award winning producer Red One at the hit factory Miami #7: Taking the helm at the board @hit factory #8: Austin Mahone and myself posing for fun during a work break at the Hit Factory I really wanted to show my journey, I know the pics are not the best quality but they are all personal and candid.