Emerging talent Pooja Kylasa stops by on Close-up Culture to tell us more about her love of singing, performing at the Young Artists Awards, playing chess, and much more.
Q: What are your earliest memories of singing and falling in love with performing?
A: From a young age, I remember being so excited to perform on stage even before I started taking vocal lessons. All little me ever wanted was to get on that stage and show people what I got!
Before my Mom enrolled me in vocal lessons, I would go to my room, lock my door and sing my heart out. After one year of vocal lessons, I took part in a local contest and sang God Help the Outcasts from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, ultimately winning a first place trophy. I was beyond excited that I performed in front of many people and was even more excited to receive my award. None of that would have been possible without the support of my family, vocal teacher and especially my Mom.
Q: You recently performed at the Young Artists Awards. What was it like to be on stage in front of so many fellow young stars and peers?
A: I felt so grateful and honoured to be surrounded by so many amazing artists, directors, writers, singers, actors/actresses, etc. at the Young Artists Awards and it was really cool meeting some of them!
I sang Love Is The Only River, written by Trinity Rose and Ian Sloane, with thirteen friends and artists on stage that night to promote peace, unity and equality. Honestly, the whole experience was surreal and I soaked up every single second of it. To make the night even better, my friend Trinity won Best Single for her song!
Q: What has been your favourite live performance experience so far in your career?
A: My favourite live performance so far in my career are my three annual performances (January of 2017, 2018 and 2019) performing the National Anthem at the Rabobank Arena for the Virtual Enterprise Tradeshow International!
Each year, there is a colour guard that appears right before I sing the National Anthem and many people travel from different cities and even states for this event to gain exposure into the business world. It has been an honour singing for this amazing, inspirational and educational event for three years and counting.
Q: Another of your talents is chess. Is chess a good way to switch off from songwriting and your other creative pursuits?
A: Just like songwriting, chess takes me to a whole other world! Playing chess gives me something else to focus on for some time and it gets me thinking from multiple angles, literally.
I’ve been playing chess and participating in rated tournaments since the age of five. When I play chess, a new me forms. Specifically, one with a very serious face which is the opposite of how I am when I perform – although I may be a little serious when writing my songs!
Q: Who do you draw inspiration from in the music industry?
A: There are so many amazing artists who inspire me such as Sabrina Carpenter, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Sia, Dua Lipa, Alicia Keys! Artists like Tori Kelly and Alessia Cara inspire me to make the songs I write to be meaningful and relatable in order to connect with people.
There are also many singers and songwriters I see on social media that inspire me as well!
Q: What is next for you? Any plans or ambitions to share with us?
A: I’m planning on creating a music video for a cover song soon! I’ll always be songwriting and composing. I will release more of my original songs once I feel they are truly complete and match how I envision them.