Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan Says It Took 20 Years To Find His Own Voice

In a recent interview, Ian Gillan was asked whether singing songs written by other people at the beginning of his successful career annoyed him. He replied by stating that he was more than happy as it helped him improve his voice for 20 years.

Gillan joined Deep Purple in 1969 and gained commercial success thanks to his wide range of vocals. He left Deep Purple in 1973 to pursue a solo career and push himself to work with other bands, like Black Sabbath, to gain experience. He later returned to Deep Purple in 1993 and has led the band with his powerful voice ever since.

He is currently best known as the lyricist and the singer of Deep Purple. However, in his recent interview with Radio Rock, Ian revealed that time and singing other people’s songs helped him get where he is today. He stated that he could not even remember the songs he wrote, so it was less than a bother to sing songs written by other people.

Gillian took advantage of observing other writers’ and singers’ techniques and improved himself before taking the responsibility himself. He also admitted that he was happy with coming to the studio without having to do anything but sing.

Here is what he stated about singing other people’s songs:

“Sometimes I sing, sometimes I write. I sing songs that I did write, but I can’t remember. But I wrote them. It’s interesting. I’ve always done that; that’s how I learned to sing, by singing other people’s songs, trying to learn about their range, their technique, their sound of the percussive values, the vowel sounds that tone, and the dynamics and texture of singing.

It’s all a big education for me for the first 20 years. I think it took a long time to find my own voice completely. So, I’m very happy singing other people’s songs particularly as I arrive at the studio without the headache because I haven’t had to write the damn thing.”

You can watch the full interview below.