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Christina Aguilera continues to prep for her big comeback, and while a new album is forthcoming, her first project is decidedly a little more interactive.
The Grammy-winning singer is returning to MasterClass next month for a brand new class on “How to Elevate Your Singing & Stage Presence.” Available to sign up now on MasterClass.com, the new curriculum is part of the streaming platform’s “Sessions by MasterClass” program, which features a more structured curriculum designed to be taken and finished in 30 days.
Whereas most MasterClass courses can be taken on-demand and at your own pace, Aguilera’s latest session goes live August 3 and members are encouraged to take the course together in an effort to build community and engagement.
In addition to learning about personalizing a song and telling a story through your voice, Aguilera will talk about the power of visualization, helping students prepare for a performance with mood boards, journal entries and collages. Members will then have the opportunity actually record a performance from the session.
Aguilera will offer plenty of “hands-on” training too, with a custom vocal warm-up created exclusively for MasterClass. You’ll also get a first-hand account into the making of the singer’s latest Spanish-language album, La Fuerza, and hear her talk about performing one of her favorite songs, “At Last” by Etta James. There are five video sessions in total and everything is designed to be taken at home or on the go with the MasterClass app. Pricing for the Christina Aguilera MasterClass starts at just $15/month.
This is the second time Aguilera has worked with MasterClass. She was one of the first celebrities to sign on with the platform when it launched more than seven years ago and her “Christina Aguilera Teaches Singing” class continues to be a popular pick on the site.
Rolling Stone caught up with Aguilera to find out more about her return to MasterClass, how she learned to find confidence on stage, and what fans can expect on her next full-length album.
What made you want to return to MasterClass and work with them again?
I believe in platforms that encourage and inspire creative voices to be heard. It’s great that MasterClass allows people to share insight and personal experiences in easy-to-access bites of information.
I was an early believer and investor in the company, and am so proud of the work that’s been done, especially the library of education that’s been built by the instructors. There’s also no one way of teaching or learning. Everyone and everybody’s experience is different and unique. And that’s what’s so great about the classes – they are built around individual stories and journeys, and all it takes is that one little line or lesson or word of encouragement that can trigger inspiration for someone… opening the floodgate for an aspiring talent.
How is this Sessions by MasterClass different from your first class on the platform?
I never got any formal training growing up in the business, and I wasn’t taught in any structured school setting. Instead, I was taught by listening and feeling and learning to dig into my own stories and past, to create my vocal sound and future lyrics and albums.
My lessons not only walk you through [the] ways I’ve learned over the years, but to technically open, warm up and sustain my vocal ability. Also, you’ll learn the ways in how I manage the nerves and mental anxieties that come with being a performer, which can be half the battle!
The session in particular dives deeper into breaking down the insight I give and honing in on things I’ve experienced since my last class was offered.
What do you like about a platform like MasterClass? How does it let you connect with your fans?
My fans are already so creative, and I know they appreciate authenticity, being a place that’s important for me to come from. I love sharing and hopefully inspiring future generations through what I’ve built over decades and how they can build from that.
Given that I also grew up in a generation where privacy is valued to the fullest, and not overly sharing on social media or putting out too much content, they know that when I do speak up or release something, it’s something I value and believe in fully.
You didn’t have platforms like MasterClass when you were starting out.. so who did you go to for advice?
On the flip side of that, when I was coming up, there was a huge lack of information that came directly from artists themselves, whereas now we live in a time where we are inundated with information and access to everything. So I had to really travel and navigate on my own, which is super tricky and hard being a young female doing it alone.
I guess it’s for the best as it really internalized that “fighter” mentality that I have and perform and sing with…which now my fans have related to and call themselves “fighters” too.
What advice do you have for people who want to find confidence to improve their stage presence?
Some of the most introverted, sensitive and shy people are ones that have to perform on a stage or share ideas to get them heard or created. It’s why coming from a place of intention within your own authenticity is so important as your grounding factor for what you put out there.
Getting in touch with what it is you want to say and stand for is important; digging into who has inspired you and understanding why that is, will help develop your skill and make it easier to make those bigger moves in knowing who you are first, before anyone else.
Everyone will have an opinion of you that you cannot control. It makes it hard to put yourself out there for sure, but when you believe in what you’re doing, others will resonate with that confidence. I touch on this in one of the lessons I teach.
Last time you took the stage was at LA Pride — how did it feel to be performing live again after two years of Covid?
Pride shows are some of my ultimate favorites to do because it is always an environment where I get to feel super free and have fun and explore fantasy, play and freedom!
The costumes were a different level on this one and we had so much fun transitioning with all the themes. And I got to do LA Pride with some fun special guests, reuniting with Mya for Lady Marmalade and [performing with] Kim Petras and Paris Hilton.
And after pandemic restrictions, yes! It’s been fun getting back out there for festivals and shows. There’s nothing like getting to experience fans and music LIVE in person!
What can you tease about new music from you?
Getting back into my Spanish music releases this year has been such a beautiful, long-awaited moment. It had been 20 years since my first Latin debut, Mi Reflejo, and I’d wanted to give fans a substantial follow up for so long.
That is also why I’ve wanted to release the music in chapter form, starting with La Fuerza, La Tormenta and I will be following with La Luz releasing – and ultimately the main comprehensive album, Aguilera— acknowledging, embracing and engaging with my roots in a way I’ve never done. The final chapter shares some closure in relation to my father, and shedding light on any darkness to be left in the past and moved on from.
And of course for the fans that don’t speak Spanish, an English-language album has been in the making and will be released when I feel it’s super solid and of course the most “authentic” work I have to share and offer. I want to give the fans the best of me!
There has been a lot to say… a lot has accumulated and has happened in the past few years… changes in me that will all be voiced and brought to life on the next record.