So you saw Beyonce’s flawless performance at Coachella/Glastonbury/SuperBowl (the list goes on) and feel inspired? You aren’t alone. Considered one of, if not THE, greatest entertainer of our generation, Beyonce is impressive. Whether or not you’re a fan of her music, her consistency and perfectionism deserve respect. Her level of success seems slightly daunting and unachievable, but aside from a superior sense of rhythm, she has no superpowers. So just in case one day you decide to put that work in, I’ve done some digging into what it takes to get to her level. If you’re wondering how long it’s going to take, Beyonce Giselle Knowles’ pursuit of stardom began 18 years ago. So, if you’re 30 now, follow her techniques and you could be headlining festivals at 48. Fun!
Step 1. Practice More than everyone else.
From the age of 9 years-old, Beyonce began training in the performing arts and her dedication was apparent early on. Destiny’s Child bandmate, Kelly Rowland, remembers a young Beyoncé staying up until 4am the night before early concerts, perfecting routines and performing tasks as menial as fixing a costume button. Her sister Solange, also remembers the star perfecting a single line of a song in her bedroom over and over again, throughout the night. When she was working on music with Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé would go into the studio ahead of anyone else, sing all of the vocals on the songs and mix it. Her bandmates would then come in and replace her vocals.
“The truth is, it’s a lot of sacrifice. It is more about your mental strength than physical strength.” – Beyoncé
Step 2. Focus on the ultimate goal.
Take a second to imagine being ‘managed’ by your parents. No matter how much you love or respect them, there would undoubtedly be moments when you’d want to cut ties. Three early members of Destiny’s Child actually left the band because they couldn’t deal with Matthew Knowles. I imagine Beyonce would have had an even tougher time dealing with him, being more emotionally involved in disagreements. However, she knew Matthew and his methods could help her get to where she needed. Her ability to emotionally detach and focus on the ultimate goal proved invaluable when it came to the writing and delivery of ‘Lemonade’. She channelled her battles into her music and sold millions of albums as a result.
“It is so liberating to really know what I want, what truly makes me happy, what I will not tolerate. I have learned that it is no one else’s job to take care of me but me.” -Beyoncé
Step 3. Get fit.
Fair to say she’s pretty athletic our Beyonce. Her concerts are about 3hours long so if you want to be fit enough to survive that you’ll need to think about upping your workouts to at least 3hours. To keep in shape offstage Beyoncé gets tough by boxing and swinging big, weighted ropes. If you’re proud of your ability to do push ups… Beyonce does ‘explosive ones’. Which are more or less the same thing but when you press back up, you need to push off your hands at the top to ‘pop’ an inch above the ground. Her trainer suggests doing 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps (something to work towards). As well as strength, she works on a treadmill for cardio, alternating a one minute sprint with two minutes of brisk walking for 30mins at a time.
“I teach my body every day that I can go a little further… I know what it’s capable of-I’ve seen it before in miracles.” – Beyoncé
Step 4. Do your research.
How did Beyoncé prepare for that legendary Super Bowl halftime show? By watching every halftime show in history and taking notes. She set a clear intention to replicate what had worked in the past and avoid what hadn’t.
Step 5. Trust your own opinion (but don’t expect everyone else to).
When she first broke away from Destiny’s Child, Beyonce’s record label initially didn’t want to release her first solo record because they believed there were no hits on the album. The album sold 11million copies and included ‘Crazy in Love’.
“Everyone in my life serves a different purpose and has a different ear, and a different type of advice. But I have to make the decisions… ” -Beyoncé
Step 5. Guard your reputation fiercely.
Famously private, the singer has covered Vogue before without saying in single word in the magazine. Everything she posts on social channels is strategically planned out. Beyoncé has a clearly defined image for herself and wants to protect it at all costs. She even hires her own paparazzi and employs a brand manager.
Step 6. Work as if you have no reputation.
She is relentless. In every performance she has something to prove and sees every single one as an important as the previous. In Beyonce’s world you’re only as good as your last performance. This refusal to get comfy is something very few performers commit to at the same level.
“I can never be safe; I always try and go against the grain. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am.” – Beyoncé
Step 7. Use your ‘me’ time.
A slightly unusual habit the star’s developed is recording her thoughts in a video journal, “when I’m away, and I’m alone, and I need to talk and I need to heal myself. Because you hold so many thoughts… your mind… It’s my diary.” As with many world class professionals, she practises meditation, getting up an hour before Jay and Blue to pray and meditate. Doing this first thing allows the singer to be ready and present with her family when they’re wake.