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In tune

with Chamikara WEERASINGHE

 In the mood to hit high notes, UMARA

Umara Sinhawansa has made a clear impression on the local music industry as a singer who can hit a few high notes without much effort when she is really in the mood.

She has performed with Bhatiya and Santhush for nearly two years. The artist flew to India last Wednesday to perform with the duo (BnS) and Ashanthi in a concert. The concert will be Umara’s third concert abroad.

Umara has sung in many BnS tracks and especially Kasthuri Mal, which made a strong impression among local fans.

“I started singing with them. And it is simply amazing experience to sing with Bhatiya, Santhush and Ashanthi,” said Umara.

Umara has made her presence felt among the audiences with her own individual identity as she has a natural tendency to relate her singing to the team she is singing with, while she can also sing within herself to reach out to the audience at the same time with her own characteristic singing.

In simple terms Umara could be described as a free singer with full of energy who can hype a show at any given time. And she does that with a smile.

Umara said, she is planning to release a CD before the end of the year(2008).

Umara’s background is based in Western music with her parents, Tony and Ayesha being musicians who perform as a duo in Switzerland. She is an old girl of Muslim Ladies’ College.

I asked her if she has plans other than going about singing with Bhatiya and Santhush.

“Well I must say the musical experience I had performing with them is unbelievable. I plan to learn music the proper way.”

“I haven’t studied music. It’s just what I’ve just happened to get to hear at home. I was keen on singing. I strive hard to practise singing by listening to other singers. I experiment with my vocal abilities. There hasn’t been any systematic guidelines as such,” said Umara.

What kind of a singer are you? Do you have a style you prefer?

I am doing a lot of songs that I like, be they Soul, Jazz or R and B. I practise songs by Aretha Franklin and many others.

Umara sings at the Jazz Unlimited.

Wasn’t it difficult for you to shift gears from singing English to Sinhala songs.

“Yes, at the start. The problem is with one’s pronunciation , articulation of sounds. But one will learn soon enough when one sets one’s mind to it. It was no big issue.”

And what will you call the album you plan to release?

Umara and Umariya, Umariya is my sister who sang Pathu Pem Pathum, theme song of the movie, Asai Mang Piyambanna.


Raj’s One Land soon on air
 


Raj


Sunil


Maxi


Shanelle


Mahinda


Damian


Ashanthi


Mariazelle


Mahima

Singer-songwriter Raj Seneviratna has finished his new track, “One Land” to be released to English radio stations this week.

Input Co-ordinator and Record Engineer Mahima Suriyarachchi of Taurus Audio Productions gave final touches to the song on Monday.

Artistes Sunil Perera of Gypsies, Damian Wickramatilleke, Maxi Rozairo, Shanelle Fernando, Umara Sinhawansa, Ashanthi De Alwis, Mariazelle Goonetilleke joins Raj in singing “One Land” which starts with a whisper “One country, is our land. We can never separate it. We can never divide our country -ever.”

Guitar riffs are by Mahinda Bandara who said that Raj wanted him to play rock and jazzy riffs for the new track. I had to play a classical flamenco runs as well, he said.

One Land is a peace song that remained shelved and forgotten for over 25 years, until the spool containing its first recording by the artist, was found by his recording assistants by chance. The song sets on a hard rock rhythm. One Land has an ad lib which all singers join together to sing their individual selves out to give it a crescendo effect.

It has got what Raj explained as the song’s hook, where female voices join to sing “Mal pipunawe Saamaye, Ekwemu Eka Raney.”

Raj said, he is planning to produce a video clip for the song with the help of a sponsor. ChW

 

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