The Lalah Hathaway performance you need to see to believe

Golden vocals


By Su Fen Tan

The Lalah Hathaway performance you need to see to believe

Some of you may have seen this, but for those of you who have not, this is THE recording of Lalah Hathaway’s collaboration with Snarky Puppy in front of a live audience back in 2013 that won her a Grammy for Best R&B Performance the following year. The performance of ‘Something’ hits a high at the midpoint when Hathaway goes into a brilliant scat improv phase, and started hitting multiphonics (read: when two or more tones are sang simultaneously) at the 6.12 mark that had some of the seasoned jazz musicians on stage with her jumping out of their seats in elation—that’s how incredible it was: 

Speaking about the process of the recording, Hathaway told “Going seven minutes-plus gave me the room to stretch out and do different things. The hook was that I was able to sing multiple chords at once. On the YouTube video you can see me realising, in the moment, how to control that process. It took six minutes to get to that point, but it was an incredible, expansive experience. I went to a different place vocally to be able to manipulate those chords. People are still trying to figure out how I’m doing it. And I don’t even know. It’s just something I’ve been doing since I was 12-13 years old.”


Maybe, just maybe, showgoers at Sing Jazz 2018 this weekend will be able to witness some of that multiphonic magic happen on stage. But if not, we’re sure it’ll be a treat to watch Hathaway live anyway.


Sing Jazz 2018 is happening from 6 to 8 April at Marina Bay Sands. Lalah Hathaway is set to perform on Saturday, 7 April at the Main Stage. For more information, visit the website

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