Hello dear readers!
October is here and it brings for us an invitation to honour our loved ones who are no longer with us; as well also reminding us of the natural cycles of life and death. What a perfect time to let the flow of life continue and make room for new possibilities.
For this month we have a special interview with a really accomplished and talented artist Paola Monroy. Sydney's most loved Colombian Soprano who really goes so far to use her platform to represent the stories of communities of her origins and creating cohesion among the Latin American diaspora. Paola is a singer in the tradition of Opera, who also showcases folk pop music from Latin America; she is a full-time vocal coach and is also the ambassador of the LatinAmerican ART song repertoire in Asia Pacific.
How would you describe yourself in a few sentences?
I think I’m a person full of stories, having walked many paths and in constant learning. Trying to achieve the best version of me and very aware of the fact that I’m not perfect, but I always want to learn so I can reach my message to others through my singing.
Why were you interested in singing as a profession?
I enjoy music in general, acting and performing. I love being on stage and approaching singing as an artform which was more attractive to me than playing an instrument or something else.
What significance does the work you do have on you, your family and your overall community?
Being a musician and singer is not an easy job. It can have a lot of good influence in you and your family and your community but at the same time it can be a very lonely path to go through life. It involves a process of healing for not only me but those around me. I’ve also been able to help my students through the coaching to heal them selves, and go through life with a little bit more happiness and awareness.
What has been the most exciting experience in your journey as a professional artist?
Every single second of my life, as an artist has been the most exciting experience as I do it with all the heart and passion it requires.
As an artist, how do our beadworks complement your work?
I love to wear the beadworks because it represents my culture, my dreams and desires. It represents the women from the the tribes where I come from that are my roots. When I wear the beadworks, I feel protected and I feel embellished.
Why do you choose to wear Embera beadworks on stage?
I was looking for something genuine, something that really represents who I am, and what I do, and that actually represents the music, the composers, the melodies, and the poetry of the countries that I am representing. I complement my outfits with the beadworks, they become a part of my work by adding to the atmosphere and also setting the colours and the spirit of the songs.
What do you love about Australian art scene and overall lifestyle?
Australia offers many economic and lifestyle opportunities while at the same time it can be really tough for some. Australia really teaches you to be strong by making us to persevere, and constantly learning from our mistakes. Australia is also very sweet and loving.
In what ways could it be better?
Australia is a country that is very under control of everything. I believe people need some space for improvisation, to make mistakes and learn how to fix them. High regulations can take out the fun part of life.
What are some unique aspects of Australian culture/arts that you particularly love?
I love that Australia and Australians are very open minded and are non-judgemental. You can be whatever you want, whatever expression, whatever is your belief or your inclination. Everyone is here to accept, but not judge and I like that.
What has been a challenge(s) that has presented to you throughout your artist journey?
Definitely being a woman in the arts and being a mom in the arts is not an easy journey. There are a lot of rules and ideals that you have to fill up as a mum and as a woman before you can even get to be an artist. There are also many expectations from people for how to fulfil these roles.
I have learned with many struggles and punches in the face that I have the right to be a human and the right to commit mistakes, the right to be a woman who feels, laughs, cries and is happy. I have the right to be a mum and do the best I can without needing to fulfil anyone’s expectations. It is my right as a human to go through life, living experiences and learning as much as I can from them always giving the best version of me.
Paola has been one of Mami Watta Collection's brand ambassador for the last couple of years. We are excited to continue embellishing this astonishing artist with unique beaded designs so she can continue shining in the stage and do her incredible work as a Soprano and Ambassador of Colombian roots cultures and music. You can follow Paola's artistic journey through @pam.soprano on instragram.