Our Vocal Chords (correct name Vocal Folds) are two small folds of muscle sitting in our throat (Larynx) behind our adams apple. When we arebreathing the vocal folds are open, and air moves in and out to our lungs.
When we go to speak or sing these vocal folds come together causing them to vibrate and create sound. The size of the vocal folds and the gap between them creates the pitch at which we sing. The smaller the gap the higher the pitch.
When your vocal folds become swollen or inflamed it can be difficult for them to come together correctly and vibrate efficiently.
This causes our singing or speaking voice to sound raspy or rough as the vibration of air through our vocal folds is inconsistent.
Swelling can be caused by colds, acid reflux or incorrect use such as shouting at a match or gig.
Some singers can develop other issues with their vocal chords from incorrect use of their voice. However with proper tuition and coaching any singer can learn how to develop their singing voice so that hoarseness does not effect their ability to sing.
When you have the experience and skills you can feel the beginnings of a hoarse voice and use the necessary skills and warm ups to prevent it from ever occurring.