By Becca Husselbee and Chris Jaffray
A singer who broke the world record for the lowest note EVER sung by a woman said she won’t give up her low singing voice for anything – despite people mistaking her for a MAN.
Singer Helen Leahey, from Cynwyd, Denbighshire, Wales, achieved the Guinness World Record when she sung at a frequency of 72.5 hertz in a studio in Koblenz, Germany.
Helen hit the note, the equivalent to the D2 note on a piano, after weeks of preparation and took just two attempts to break the record, while witnesses and sound technicians watched on.
And the 31-year-old, who is set to become a mum for the first time later this month, said she loves her unique voice – despite being mistaken for male and even being offered a sex hotline job due to her deep tones.
Helen, who will become a Mum in April for the first time, said: “Some people have doubted my gender, but I hope to show that I can embrace my voice as something that is feminine and that you can be womanly with whatever tone of voice you have.
“I have even been offered jobs working for sex hotlines because some men seem to be triggered by my voice.
“Maybe I am a product of our time in the sense that I do not conform to gender stereotypes, but still celebrate my femininity in all its glory.
“A diverse world is a beautiful world and I would like to encourage anybody who has something unique to embrace it and run with it.
“As you can see, you can make a career from your quirks.
“People often think I am older because of my voice. This was also the case as a child but of course it didn’t have the same frequency it does now.
“Women and men’s voices alike change as they grow up, and so did mine. I started out as an actor in my youth and I was often cast for roles requiring a sense of ‘authority’.
“I relished being the bad guy or girl and my first major role in theatre was Lady Macbeth.
“I realised that my speaking voice had an impact and that I could learn to use it for my advantage.
“My voice has also always been particularly suited to the kind of music I love, Celtic folk, as it needs a boisterous sound.”
Helen, who has been a professional singer for the last five years both in her native Wales and in Germany, was inspired to take to the stage by dad Charles Leahey, also a musician.
She has since entered the world stage after appearing on the German version of hit TV show The Voice.
The singer dreamt up the world record attempt over a glass of wine after reminiscing over fond memories of flicking through the Guinness World Record books as a child.
Helen then spent weeks preparing her voice by undertaking stringent vocal exercises.
Eventually, last autumn she got together with a group of sound engineers and witnesses at a local music academy with the sound recording equipment necessary to document the attempt.
But Helen, who is currently eight months pregnant, said hitting the low note wasn’t easy due to there being less space to fill her lungs up with air.
The singer, who also works as a German teacher and integration helper for refugees, said: “I perform live quite often so me for I’m always prepared to sing.
“I did a lot of vocal exercises leading up to the record and also on the day but I found it easier to hit the high notes then the lower ones.
“I’m not sure if that was because I had less space for air because of the baby or all the hormones.
“During the world record attempt, when I got a thumbs up from the sound technician to say we had done it, I was overjoyed.
“It was a huge weight off my shoulders because it had taken a lot of preparation, both mentally and psychically, just getting everything and everyone organised for the day.
“We did celebrate but we didn’t open to the champagne until we had the verification come through to prove 100 per cent that I had done it.
“It was a huge build up, and I was elated.”
Helen now hopes to continue producing music after her first album was released last summer.
And she said if someone else attempted to challenge her record, she would be willing to take them on to keep the crown.
The lowest vocal note produced by a male is 0.189 Hz and was achieved by Tim Storms at Citywalk Studios in Branson, Missouri, USA, on 30 March 2012.
Helen, who is currently producing her second album which is set to be released later this year, said: “I’m sure there may be some female singer somewhere who has the ability to give it a go.
“I don’t think that will be any time soon though as it took me ages to get everything set up and actually break the record in the first place
“But if someone managed to do it, I think I would definitely have to have another go. I’m quietly confident.”