Singer and rapper Doja Cat announced late last week that she has to cancel the rest of her performances for the summer due to throat surgery.
The Grammy award-winning artist made the announcement via Twitter, explaining that she is getting surgery on her tonsils "ASAP." She posted a series of tweets while she was at the doctor’s office, updating fans on her current situation. Attributing it to vaping, especially while she was on antibiotics, she told fans that she was going to attempt to quit.
In light of that, we wanted to discuss how vital it is for you singers out there to protect your instrument. If you are stuck with a sore throat or other medical issues that place strain on the voice, you will not be able to perform, which is a bummer for everyone involved.
Luckily, there are several remedies and methods to keep your voice from injury or to help heal your voice. We have listed a few different ways for you to keep yourself in top condition.
Drink water - And lots of it!
Everyone always talks about being hydrated, but it’s especially important as a singer. Always drinking water, whether during recordings, rehearsals or any other situation, it keeps your vocals hydrated and ready for use. Without it, your voice can become scratchy and dry from overuse without proper hydration.
Use a humidifier
Preventing dryness is very important for your vocals to function well. A humidifier helps keep the air around you moist rather than dry so that your vocals will still gain hydration from the air. Especially in dryer months or regions, a humidifier is recommended to help your voice. Some singers will put their heads over a bowl of boiling water with a towel over their head to help hydrate the vocal folds.
Have Good Posture
Many people do not automatically think of posture when it comes to voice care. Keeping a good posture when you sing is necessary so that it does not restrict correct breathing. If you do not, it could cause tension to the larynx. Little things like this go a long way to protecting the voice.
Avoid Caffeinated Drinks
This is important especially when it comes to healing your voice. Caffeine dehydrates the vocals which is the opposite of what you want as a singer. It’s important to know what you drink and how it will affect your body—especially right before performances or recording.
Use Teas and Tinctures To Lessen Inflammation
When you have allergies, sickness or a sore throat, it can inflame your throat. Remedies like slippery elm, licorice root, peppermint and other herbs can help lessen that inflammation to soothe the throat. They can also be helpful and clean out mucus. Finding out what herbs work for you could help your inflammation.
(MCR-obsessed Editor's note: My Chemical Romance vocalist Gerard Way recently shouted out a concoction of loquat syrup and warm water he was drinking onstage during the first dates of their European Swarm Tour!)
Avoid Spicy Or Acidic Foods
While spicy and acidic foods are popular and eaten regularly, they should at least be eaten with caution. They can cause your stomach acid to move into the throat which then could cause heartburn. It is also very dehydrating and can give you a dry mouth.
This one is a given, but smoking is addictive and a hard habit to break. Many singers smoke due to the addictive nature of it, and with vaping being a new trend, it is very hard to quit. However, smoking can easily ruin your throat and vocal cords along with bringing on serious health issues that may require surgery.
Vocal care is so important for singers. Without it, vocal damage could easily harm a singer’s voice permanently since it’s so delicate. Even just making subtle changes to your health could go a long way.
Author: Amy Szmik, Spring 2022 Intern