Vocalist and music producer, Sumedha Sharma joins Unlu Singing Stars to train an incredibly talented bunch.

Entertainment has always been our sole savior to fill up our dullest moments. With the whole idea of entertainment expanding, we are constantly bombarded with fresh content to keep us company. Coming across new talents and being introduced to new forms of art makes us regret all the hours we spend on the internet scrolling. To make this talent hunt easier, short-video platform. Triller launched Unlu Singing Stars. And joining this hunt will be musician Sumedha Sharma.

A vocalist and a music producer, Sumedha is from New Delhi. She has been a part of the world of sound and music for quite some time now, successfully making her own name in the musical community. Singing and producing new music, she is contributing to modern pop and acoustic with her distinct tracks. She not only creates music but also does voice-overs. As part of TV Island, Sumedha also works on corporate projects creating sounds for commercial and independent content creators.

Triller’s UNLU Singing Stars is an in-app campaign on the Triller app that is open to everyone. The 60 selected musicians’ finalists will have the opportunity to enroll in the UNLU Singer fellowship with access to celebrated artists, including Abhijeet Sawant, Monali Thakur, Udit Narayan, and Shibani Kashyap, who will train the winners and support them with networking opportunities in the industry. In addition, the partnership will also help provide the selected musicians with a chance to record their music video, funded by UNLU with a budget of up to 2 crores. Putting together her knowledge of music and voice, Sumedha will be a part of the new talent show by Triller in partnership with UNLU. She will be seen guiding and helping young artists find the command of their voice with ways to improve as artists. We had a chat with Sumedha to know more about her association with Triller and Singing Stars.

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Here’s what she had to share! 

How did your journey in the world of sound begin?

I grew up watching Disney and I used to be really inspired by the people who acted and used to sing in shows. Since I was exposed to such content and artists, I wanted to learn music myself and I started with guitar classes. I never thought about becoming a vocalist at first. But when I went to the music academy and saw different instrumentalists and vocalists there, I wanted to be a vocalist myself. With learning guitar, I also started singing as I was using that instrument as an accompaniment to my singing. 

By that time, I was also writing a few original songs and composing them. So this is how I started with learning vocals. It’s been 10 years and I am still learning. And when I was writing, composing, and working for really basic productions, I wanted to take that creative aspect ahead. I didn’t know much about producing music or sound engineering but I took my iPad, played some instruments, created background music for my song, and put it on my SoundCloud without even realizing how horrible it sounds. Then I learned about an institute where I did my diploma in sound engineering and music production. So that really introduced me to a lot of new things. Not just the sound engineering or the technical stuff but also in the music business and industry.” 

What is that thing about the voice that artists should take care of?

Beginners ignore technique and vocal health. By technique, I mean singing without straining your voice. Some people are really loud on stage which can damage their voice in the long term. Vocal warm-ups are really important before you perform. The second thing is vocal health which comes down to your physical health. You will be able to perform well if your health is fine. Then the time of practice also matters. You won’t be able to practice well if you do it at a time of physical strain. You need to be comfortable to do so. The next thing is posture. Having the right posture while singing is also something to be taken care of. These are the things that beginners often ignore.

Are there any technical details that make voiceovers and singing different?

Yes, so that is a very good question. And I feel like when we train a voice or when you go to a voice lesson, there comes a certain point of time when you train your speaking voice as well, because a lot of songs, like a lot of these contemporary pop songs, their tone is very close to your speaking voice, they are not like operas where they are stretching their voice or like classics. It’s more like how you speak. When it comes to singing, you get to explore your body and a lot of resonators that are present inside. You get to explore every part of your voice, whether it’s your head voice or chest voice. When it comes to voiceovers, you have to take a lot of care of delivery, expression, and voice modulation. The training that you require for singing is different from what you need with voiceovers.

What are your thoughts on talent shows and how are they helping our artists?

In my opinion, talent shows really are popular in India. I remember watching Indian Idol as a kid. I have even auditioned for one of the shows. I might be wrong about this but when I auditioned for one of the talent shows, I realized that the artists who were shortlisted already have a good following on Instagram and Facebook. So these shows already put a limitation on who can be visible on their platform. But now we see something else. People can be visible by using more accessible platforms to showcase their talent like Tiktok, Triller, or even Instagram. When it comes to an offline audience, there can only be a limited population watching you. But with the online community, you open yourself to the entire world. Of course, that takes time but by being consistent, you can do wonders.

Can you talk about Triller’s “Unlu Singing Stars” and how you play a part in it?

“Triller is a community of these amazingly talented people across the world, who are showing creative content on these platforms, who have been singing and playing instruments because you put up content, you put up your video, you sing, and you put that up on Twitter. But then what happens? What happens if you don’t get a following? You get discouraged. Nobody is watching me. What’s the point of doing this anymore? It’s really hard to stick with that consistently, but with something as exciting as UNLU Singing Stars that drives inspiration in these artists, maybe there is a bigger platform that could support us. People have a lot of talent, but what do you do with that talent? They can do a lot but since they’re already posting on social media, that means they already have some kind of musical background because they’re able to post their singing videos. Because it takes a lot of confidence to put yourself out, as I said.

UNLU Singing Stars are finding these bunch of talented people – 16 performing artists who they shortlist. And then we will provide them with the skills and the tools to develop their voice through the singing fellowship. So what is the singing fellowship? It’s a very wholesome kind of fellowship where you go from the very fundamentals of thinking to the very advanced over a period of three months. It’s not only going to be a monologue where you just watch the videos and you learn something. I also want to have live Q and A sessions where I can address their specific queries, address the specific challenges, write them, and so on. So, you know, the singing fellowship has a lot of these basics such as breathing and posture to resonate the register, something very advanced such as welding and harmony and all of that. Through these skills when they have access to these sets of skills, these artists can put up better content. They can put up more quality content so that they can attract a larger audience.

Could you share more details about your association with Triller?

As I have been a music educator and teaching music for 5 years now, I have been learning these techniques and tools for a very long time and I’m still learning. People from Unlu gave me an opportunity to have my lessons structured and also gave an opportunity to creators on Triller who want to go ahead with their music careers. I’m very honored to have the opportunity. Through the interaction between me and them, I also get to learn from them a lot.”

What would you be offering to the winners?

I think if their only main focus is to create content as artists, the line between artists and content creators is kind of fading because who is a content creator and who is an artist? This Unlu fellowship will really help them to be artists. And through this fellowship, we’ll level up these content creators to have more quality in their content. So then they can choose to be artists, perform elsewhere, record themselves, and produce their own music. So they have all the set of knowledge through this membership.

As a mentor for these artists, what would be the basic criteria that you will be focusing on to help them out?

I teach two modules which are singing techniques one and singing techniques two. In singing technique one, we specifically focus on techniques like practice elements like muscle memory elements. You need to develop your muscle memory to be able to reach up to a point where you don’t need to necessarily think about technique or whether you’re singing it correctly, you’re breathing correctly, is your posture correct, are you using the right resonators to deliver your voice? That is the first scenario where we go from breathing and posture to resonators and registers, a very technical aspect of learning vocals. And then in the second module which is singing technique two, we’ll focus on more advanced things like stylization techniques. Once you learn the technique and fundamentals, then you can stylize yourself, then you can ornament your singing. So we learn some things like wrist and run, we learn pitch bands and all of that to really bring expression to voice. I can see the right technique but if I have no obsession, the audience will not be able to connect with me.

But when you take a step ahead and learn all of that you learn how to push, bend and stylize and improve your voice and express on stage and perform and how to deal with the correct technique, it becomes more wholesome, and then it connects the dots for the artist because then that gives the artist the freedom to do what they want with their singing.

QUICK FIVE:

If your life would be a sound, what sound or music would it be?

I have a lot of favorites. Coloratura by Coldplay. Because you can’t put it in a genre, it starts with something very ambient and then goes on to acoustic. So there are lots of these changes and very surprising, surprising elements when you really listen to that song.

If you have to listen to a single artist or song all your life. What would you listen to? 

That is a very difficult question. I would like to listen to Jacob Collier because he plays a lot of instruments. Listening to the variety of ways he composed his songs will be wholesome.

Can we expect more of your original songs anytime soon and what would these be about? 

There is my upcoming debut single which is going to be released after 2 months called ‘Mansplaining’ and how men like to explain stuff to other people when it isn’t even needed. It’s a fun song and people will relate to it. It is electronic and also has acoustic elements and it is also a genre that I have never done before.

What can the audience expect from Unlu singing stars? 

“A lot of people are still auditioning and we are still in the process of shortlisting artists. So my message to all the artists out there would be “Keep doing what you are doing” Don’t be upset if you are not selected. For those who do get selected, I would like to congratulate them and tell them that it’s a great opportunity to upscale yourself through this fellowship.

Do check out Triller (@triller_india) to experience UNLU Singing Stars and new talents!

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