Enrique Iglesias in his song Hero, uses a vocal technique where he somehow stresses beginning of many phrases that sound especially "croaky", starting with "~~~Would you dance...", where "~~~" refers to the "croaky" sound. In fact there is a pun video tutorial where someone pokes fun at this technique. I do not agree with the video, because I think that the "croaky" sound sounds very "intense" and fits the song, but sharing it just to highlight the parts I am referring to.

The above is just an example to establish a reference. So the question is, is this a specific vocal technique that can be developed with a method ? If so, can someone elucidate the technique and the method to develop it ?


The phonetic term for this effect is “creaky voice,” but it’s perhaps more often referred to as “vocal fry” in musical contexts. It’s not especially difficult to produce, though it is difficult to describe how to do. It’s the sound that happens when you try to sing notes far below your standard vocal range. Many radio djs on NPR use creaky voice, and it’s also stereotypically associated as an affectation used by a lot of younger women.

I think you just want to be careful not to strain your vocal folds when doing it. Use it sparingly and gently at first.

ETA: I should also note—as per my comment below—that this tends to be a very quiet effect. If you try to do it loudly, you really can damage your vocal folds. A crucial thing to remember is that Iglesias is able to do this so often and with such volume because of the microphone! He’s making a very quiet sound here, and letting the microphone pick up the vocal subtleties. How to use and exploit a microphone is a big part of becoming a pop singer.

  • Thanks Pat. I understand that it is perhaps difficult to express the technique in words...and I did spend sometime yesterday trying to get it. Admittedly it didn't sound half as nice but more importantly seemed to have stressed my vocal chords, as I've had cough and discomfort after that. – bdutta74 May 3 '18 at 6:50
  • 1
    @icarus74 Hopefully, now that you have the term(s) for it, you can look up tutorials on it. I suspect that “vocal fry” will be the more useful search term. However, I will say that it sounds like you might be trying to do it too loudly—it’s generally a very quiet effect. Remember, Iglesias is using a microphone! Actually, that’s an important point I’ll add to my answer. – Pat Muchmore May 3 '18 at 11:45
  • Many thanks Pat. That is an excellent suggestion and I did look up tutorials on how to do 'vocal fry'. Came across several (like this one: youtube.com/watch?v=WVEDc466XvI). I shall take your advise and try again keeping in mind that this is a 'quite effect', and perhaps needs a large diaphragm condensor mic in a quite studio, to get right. – bdutta74 May 3 '18 at 13:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.