Achievements

‘As a toddler, my parents introduced me to Mozart and Beethoven at bedtime’

Samaira Mulchandani, a student of Apeejay Panchsheel Park, bagged the first prize at an inter-school western music competition held recently

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Samaira Mulchandani, a student of class 9 at Apeejay Panchsheel Park, was introduced to global music as a toddler through legendary artists such as Mozart and Beethoven, among others. In fact, music has been an integral part of her life, says the 13-year-old, who recently won the inter-school western music competition BreakOut 2021 in ‘solo singing’, organised virtually by Amity International School Saket. While music is her passion, she also has other talents. Samaira loves sketching—her subjects are usually Disney heroes. Besides, she has also published a fiction book titled ‘The Empire of Enchantments’.

In an interview, Samaira tells us about the song she sang at the competition, how she developed her love for music, her favourite artists and more. Edited excerpts:

You sang Judy Kuhn’s ‘Colors of the Wind’ for the virtual competition. What made you choose the song?

I believed in the song. Initially, I could not make up my mind between ‘Strong’ by Sonna Rele and ‘Colors of the Wind’–both are beautiful songs. But I could relate to the latter better at that moment.  I love the vibrato in it and the variations in scale in the entire song are beautiful. The song itself is very inspiring as it makes us question if we value the simpler things in life, which make the world so beautiful. The lyrics are very thought-provoking.

On winning the competition, how did your family react?

My family was overjoyed; they always are! Be it a big win, a small win or just participation, my mother always cries! When I see her eyes moist, I get to know I am singing well. Since I saw her listening to my song a hundred times even after submission, I knew something was right. I am very lucky to have a family that gives me so much confidence and has immense faith in my abilities.

What did your teachers and classmates at Apeejay School say?

My western music teacher, Amit Upadhyay Sir had complete faith in my performance. He and Rishi Shankar Upadhyay Sir always encourage me and boost my confidence. The driving force, Rekha Srivastava Ma’am, has always guided me well since class 2 and has made sure I don’t lose focus. I am blessed to have such ‘gurus’ who have been my guiding light. It is very motivating when your teachers praise you. I love sharing my songs with Abida Ahmad Ma’am, Shweta Roda Ma’am, and Aanchal Chugh Ma’am as they always have something delightful to say which makes me very happy and inspires me. My classmates and music group have been very generous with their compliments regarding my singing. In fact, they have heard me sing more than they have heard me talk.

How did you develop an interest in music? When did you start singing?

My parents say that I started singing before I learned to talk. I used to watch Disney movies and at that time I loved singing ‘Sing Sweet Nightingale’ from Cinderella. When I was a toddler, I was made to listen to Mozart and Beethoven at bedtime. Music has been a very integral part of my life right from the beginning. I have been singing ever since I was four years old, but it has been six years or so since formal training started.

Who are your favourite musicians?

I enjoy listening to Sonna Rele, Naomi Scott, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Judy Kuhn and Lea Salonga these days. Songs which are inspiring and positive interest me. I love listening to French songs as well by singers like Maeva Meline, Sara’h, Anais Delva and Hiba Tawaji.

Do you also like Indian music? What kind of songs do you listen to?

I like Indian music as well. In Hindi, I like listening to songs by Alka Yagnik and Monali Thakur, to name a few. Apart from Hindi and English songs, I enjoy listening to French versions of English songs as well. These songs have helped me immensely in getting comfortable with French. I can sing most of my favourite Disney songs in French as well.

Are you undergoing formal training in music?

I was undergoing formal training in Indian vocal music earlier but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it had to be discontinued. Now that the situation has improved, I shall resume soon. 

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Senior Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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