Upcoming star, Canada’s Roveena gives us the low-down on her recent TV appearence (watch her on Youtube, below) and how she became the voice that captivated Canada and the world, during her rendition of a Classic Soul track by Etta James.
AO: Tell us about your background and heritage
R: I was born in Sri Lanka to Tamil parents and am now living in Toronto Canada.
AO: How did music find you?
R: At a very young age, I had apparently begun to demonstrate early musical talents. In fact, at the tender age of 2, my mother often tells me stories of my listening to popular music such as ABBA & Boney M and singing back the lyrics in the exact melody of the original recordings. It was then that my parents quickly recognized my ability to sing, this not only encouraged my father to help hone my vocal ability but felt it would be best if they invested in some formal piano lessons.
AO: Do elucidate on your musical education, as you didn’t actually study vocals?
R: I studied piano and theory at the Ontario Conservatory for 5 years and then upon entering the University of Waterloo, I studied classical piano and composition. All the while self-teaching myself to improve vocally.
AO: But music is not your full time profession?
R: Upon graduation, I landed a job in Human Resources and have been working in that field for a few years now. However, my real passion is with music and performing. I have been told many times by various people who have heard me sing, to quit my day job to pursue music.
AO: Is that what you’re planning on doing? To go into music full time?
R: My passion has always been with music and I am now fully pursuing that dream. I’m taking it step by step.
AO: Share with us your major performances to date.
R: Over the years, I have performed at various shows most recently at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto with over 1.3 Million people in attendance. I also performed at the Miss Canada International Pageant and was a guest performer at several Canada Day Celebrations.
AO: Your biggest coverage was recently on Canadian TV and your clip has taken Youtube and social media by storm…
R: My demo has been featured on Toronto’s No. 1 Radio station 104.5 Chum FM and most recently I was discovered on YouTube, singing my rendition of “At Last” that landed me a guest spot on a live National Morning Breakfast Television show on CityTV – Toronto. My performance on that show caught the attention of viewers all across Canada and the world, by the sounds of it, resulting in a flurry of information requests being sent to CityTV inquiring as to who I am.
AO: What are your unique selling points and plans for the future?
My voice, I’m told, is powerful and soulful; and I hope my music is captivating and inspiring. Some people have told me that I can sound like Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Barbara Streisand. I truly feel that I have the drive, to find a place in the music industry of today. I want to work with someone that can help me with the songwriting or someone to partner with, and I would love to release a CD with songs similar to Celine Dion or Barbara Streisand, where they are classics. Someone with the musical genius of David Foster or A.R Rahman would be my dream.
Interview by Ashanti OMkar for Thamarai.com (c)