I think besides having a great song and being able to deliver emotionally in performance it’s actually phrasing that distinguishes a great from a good singer. No not high notes or fast riffs, save them for your favourite T.V singing competitions.
A singer’s choices when phrasing, whether conscious or unconscious are what keep us listening. The singer may often anticipate the beat which might give the listener a sense of urgency or stay behind the beat implying a confident, nonchalance or maybe they teeter from ahead to behind to on the beat giving a conversational, fluidity to their vocal line.
Playing with accenting the rhythms and poly-rhythms in a song with the vocal line is another great way to engage with phrasing. Where you choose to be smooth and where and on what part you choose to be percussive give your vocal line musical dimension.
Explore and improve your phrasing today and check out my 4 parameters; ahead, behind, percussive and smooth.