It’s time to make those lists AND make them work for you.
The first thing I say to students is, “List your favorite songs you have sung; then list songs you don’t know but want to learn.”
You have probably learned more songs than you realize. Listing them is a cool project that could inspire more consideration.
After the name of each song you could write what key/style/feel /tempo you like to sing it in.
After listing your keys, you might find that you’re most comfortable singing ballads in certain keys so your “money note” can help you really make the performance incredible.
When you get a list of songs from a bandleader, sit at the piano and experiment with the keys or tonal centers singing the melody, modulating up or down, to find your most comfortable key.
I sing “Misty” in Bb, Summertime in C, The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…) in Db.
Once you know your best key, your artistry has begun.
Remember: a singer can communicate on a musical level even without a prepared chart or sheet music.
All you need to know is the key and tempo of each song, then you can be off to a great start building and developing a versatile repertoire, and will never be at a loss for a great song to sing for any occasion!
The songs you want to learn are less of a challenge because you’ve already heard the melody.
If the song has been recorded, listen to many versions of it. Your perfect version is somewhere in the mélange of different other artists’ interpretations.
And remember, once you’ve learned a song, there is no version of it that you HAVE to do! Good luck organizing your repertoire!