By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | August 11, 2018
The rest, as they say, is history!
This will be the end line that will sum up countless articles on Zyra Nargolwala in the near future: Adele, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Megan Trainor and the likes will then have to contend with an Indian, powering up the ‘Vocal’ arena, internationally.
Right now though, it may seem an insurmountable mountain to scale, and even a ridiculous thought to entertain, but once you set ear to Zyra Nargolwala’s voice, the mountain, you will agree, will just be a molehill!
There is depth, range, emotion and the ‘right attitude’ in her voice. She can drop to a low note and raise her levels several pitches higher, all within a few seconds as the song demands. There is also that suave sexiness to her voice that immediately draws your attention to her singing. And yes, a raw charm as well! Moreover, for a 16-year-old, her voice is mature. A slight polishing of the edges is all that is required to round it off.
On her birthday on July 30, 2018, Zyra uploaded her first cover on YouTube—Beyoncé’s Runnin; an amateur video with her studio-recorded voice. Thanks to her mother’s cousin Perizaad Zorabian, (Bollywood actor, theatre artiste and a hard-nosed businesswoman) who shared her video on Facebook, I was introduced to this dynamic singer. I clicked. Her voice clicked and I heard on repeat before going through more of her work to check out her range.
Here’s her Beyoncé cover.
Zyra, already a veteran of over 10 ‘live’ shows, knows that she has talent. She is also aware she has a long way to go and is gearing up for the hard grind ahead. She has set her sight on her musical career and is focused. She also has supportive parents who have given their daughter her space to explore!
Adele’s voice is what drew her to singing. “When I would listen to her music I could feel the pain in each and every word she sang even though I had never gone through half of the things she has. I want to be like her, I want to make people feel the way she made me feel,” reveals Zyra adding: “I went for her show in UK at the ‘O2 Arena’ on the outskirts of London two years ago. I was so excited. I was there before the gates opened. I just ran inside when they did. I just love her. I sit at home listening to her on my earphones and I can tell she sounds the same ‘live’. I want to be like her. I don’t want to lip-sync. For me, that is the genuine connect between me and my audience.”
Opening Doorz to Zyra Nargolwala a Grade X student of B D Somani School, Mumbai, for a peek into her world of singing.
When did you realize you were more than a just an ordinary singer?
My dad kept telling me you need to find a job that you love and can do every day for the rest of your life. Singing was something that made me happy, which helped me express my feelings but the wake-up call was when I got selected for the top 20 for the Kidzania Singing Competition amongst hundreds of other people.
When was this competition?
This was in the year 2014. It’s a very funny story. I had gone to a Mall for my neighbour’s birthday party and her mom read about competition. She asked my mom if she could enroll my name just for fun. I got selected: I was not expecting it. There were close to a 1000 people who auditioned. I came in the top 20, then 12 and lost out in the last round. The boy who won was trained in Indian Classical. I could see the bias. I really want to change that; get the Indian Classical bias out of the system.
What was it that drew you to singing?
To be honest, I’m not sure too. As far as I remember I’ve always loved music and performing. Adele has played an important part in my journey. When I would listen to her music I could feel the pain in each and every word she sang even though I had never gone through half of the things she has. I want to be like her, I want to make people feel the way she made me feel. So ever since I’ve been performing at shows, I’ve been able to put a smile on people’s faces. Once I’m done singing, a lot of people who I have never met come up to me and talk about how they loved my voice. I feel really blessed to experience appreciation like this at such a young age. I just want to keep going and keep performing at a large scale.
Do you play any musical instrument?
No I don’t but I’m extremely biased towards a pianist because they play my favourite instrument. I might pursue this love for the piano in the future.
Have you tried you hand at composing songs? Do you also write music?
I do write my own stuff but the stuff I have written is not the best. I like to do things to perfection. I construct the tune in my head and then if I go to any musician and sing the song they are able to fill in the notes for me. At school I have taken music as a subject where I’m already learning to read and write music.
Anyone training you in singing?
I’m a very particular about music and who teaches me. I’ve had multiple teachers in the past year. At the moment, I train with a great musician called Garth D’Mello who is a part of the band ONEmpire. My aim is to increase my range.
Where do you foresee yourself in singing a few years from now?
I see myself composing my own songs very soon and taking my music education to the next level by educating myself at a well-known music institution. Whether I become a big star depends on how much people like my work. Whatever I do in the music field, even it’s a small show, I take it seriously. I’m going to move on with the same attitude.
Which is your favourite song and what is your favourite genre of music?
It’s good music that pleases me, not any music. I love everything, rock, pop, instrumental… no matter which genre, if it is good music, I’m in.
Finally… microphone in hand, crowd in front, lights on you… what happens to Zyra?
Till my mouth opens, I’m terrified; I need to go to the loo that very minute. But once I start singing, I’m comfortable. It does not matter whether there are a hundred people or a thousand. I enjoy the stage attention.
There you go, the ‘rest’ as they say, will be history!
Also Read: The girl with her beliefs intact!
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