In an interview with Melwyn Almeida, a famous Musician in whose heart rhythm lies.
“Bring joy to the world with music”- Melwyn Almeida
Through music, you have made a great contribution to the music industry. It is a privilege to be associated with you and I express my wish to gain a deeper insight into your personality as a musician.
1. When and why did you start playing?
Well from a very early age, I was exposed to singing and church choirs. We had an amazing parish with equally amazing and talented parishioners. Also those were the days when catholic weddings were covered with wedding bands, where we danced our hearts away. Then there were the radio, records and record players. So exposure to music was everywhere.
2. Which instruments do you play?
I first learned to play the guitar. But, later learned formal music where I did a few grades in Guitar, Piano, and Theory of music through Trinity College of London. Since I don’t have a piano I stopped studying Piano, but, now play electronic keyboards.
3. Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
That would make a vast list. But let’s say some of the musicians that inspired me would be Jim Reeves, Engelbert H., Elvis P., Neil Diamond, Don Williams, Alan Jackson, Eric Clapton, Tracy Chapman, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Glen Campbell, Lobo, Beatles; people like Elvis, Engelbert, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, I admire their vocal capabilities. And people like Eric Clapton, Glen Campbell, etc are admired for their guitar playing capabilities. Elton John and Billy Joel for Piano. Neil Diamond and Don Williams for their songwriting capabilities, etc.
4. Have you performed in any movies or famous plays?
I did a lead part in a parish play ‘Boy Girl’ written by a French Jesuit priest. I also actively took part in innumerable singing contests and won. Dubbed in a song in the Hindi Bollywood movie ‘Saaz’
directed by Sai Paranjpee and produced by Zakir Hussain. Played a small part in a music video of Goan Singer ‘Remo’ called Ocean Queen. I also did voiceovers for promos, teleserials, ads, etc.
5. How often and for how long are you into music?
I got my first acoustic guitar at age 15 and have played and sung since then. Playing at church, Sunday school, Christmas carolling, singing competitions, accompanying other singers, at such competitions, singing at weddings, etc. I will keep playing till my last breath I hope.
Yes, I teach music and have been teaching Trinity College syllabus for the last 11 years. Also worked at a school for one year as a music Teacher where I was much loved and appreciated by my students, and fellow teachers.
7. How has Covid-19 affected you and your family?
Ever since Covid hit us I have stopped teaching music. It happened in Dec 2019 when one of my students was down with flu, then I started to see and hear about the pandemic when I decided to put it on hold till it passes us. But here we are still waiting. Even Trinity exams are on hold. I was asked to teach online, but I am not too much in favour of it. Hoping things will iron out soon. We are living out of our savings.
8. If you would not be a musician, what would you like to be?
A painter perhaps, I love drawing, sketching and painting. Photography perhaps as I have been working as a Video Editor for so many years. Perhaps make a film, a documentary, or music videos. Anything that’s creative. I have even dabbled in set designing and prop making for films.
9. What are your fondest musical memories?
Watching Cliff Richard sing when he visited India, also Engelbert H. at a concert at NCPA, where I kept singing along with him from the start of the concert to the end as I knew most of his songs. Watching Jeremy Spencer (ex-lead guitarist of the band Fleetwood Mac) performing at Rang Bhavan. But nothing gave me more joy when I led the Sunday school children’s choir singing Christmas Carol’s while I played the guitar. We had at least 75 children singing with us.
10. What advice would you give to beginners?
If you love music and have been blessed with an ear for music, then don’t hide that talent. It’s a joy to use the greatest musical instrument (our own human voices ) to sing and bring joy into many people’s lives. Everybody loves to sing whether they have raw or refined voices. It’s only by using the talents we have that we can hone it to perfection. The perfect place for that is the church. Most of the world-famous singers and musicians started there. If you get an opportunity to learn an instrument then dive at it. Even if you work in another field you can relax plucking a few notes on the guitar or any other instrument and soothe your soul. I’ve had students who were studying for their Chartered Accountants exams and they told me that they played to relax from their very heavy and stressful schedules. So go bring joy to the world.
Contact Mr. Melwyn Almeida for Music Lessons at +91 9823399808
VIEW “Kya Tumne Hia Keh Diya (Full Song) Saaj”
VIEW “The artcile in mid-day newspaper where Mr. Almeida was featured.”