Album: The Princess and the Frog
Label: Walt Disney Records
Written by: Randy Newman
Produced by: Randy Newman
‘Almost There’ features in the 2009 Disney animated feature film The Princess and the Frog. The song was written by American singer-songwriter and pianist Randy Newman, who has written several songs for Disney and Pixar movies, most notably composing and singing the opening theme for Toy Story (‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’). ‘Almost There’ was critically well-received, and gained a nomination for Best Original Song at the 2009 Academy Awards.
The track was performed by American actor and singer Anika Noni Rose, in her role as Tiana, the movie’s female lead character. Her performance in this defining role saw her achieve an award for Outstanding Voice Performance in 2010, and a Disney Legends award in 2011. Anika Noni Rose has worked on several films and theatre shows, including the 2006 film Dreamgirls, and as Emmie Thibodeaux in the Broadway production of Caroline, or Change. She remains an active actor and performer, and has recently done voice acting for animated film Injustice and Disney TV series Amphibia.
As a soundtrack to a film, this song offers an opportunity for anyone keen on the musical theatre genre to apply some dramatic flair to their performance. The song has a wide range (Bb3–Eb5) and some challenging intervals, and you should start by establishing a key where you can comfortably reach the top note, aiming for this to be sung confidently with a clear tone in your head voice.
You can take a speech-based approach to the tone quality, as if you were having a conversation with someone. This spoken quality will help as you enter into your head voice for the higher parts of the melody.
There is a sense of the accompaniment following the singer with different tempo changes, and you should work on these appearing natural as if the music is indeed following you.