Hear her out | Daily News

Hear her out

Shiromi de Almeida is no newcomer to the music field in Sri Lanka and has been singing professionally for over 10 years with a number of bands and now performs mainly as a solo artist and with the band Xotic.

In an interview with the Daily News, Shiromi explained that even as a child she had always loved singing. In fact, both her parents could sing well and her mother had also participated in singing competitions back in the day. Hailing a family where all five children could sing well, only Shiromi took her talents to a professional level.

“I had the talent to sing from my childhood and when I was older a friend of my older brother invited me to sing in his band. That was the start of my singing career,” explained Shiromi.

Thereafter she had joined the Sun Shadows band in 1990 as the permanent female vocalist. She is very grateful to her husband Nalaka for the encouragement and support rendered by him during the initial stages of her singing career. “Not only my husband in fact by two daughters also gave me the fullest support. As a singer, sometimes you have to travel away from home and if not for the understanding and support of my husband and children I would not have been able to pursue my singing career. My older daughter used to take care of the younger sibling whenever I had an engagement with the band. Even my mother and four brothers and sisters all encouraged and supported me and that is why I am where I am today,” she said in appreciation of the support and encouragement given to her by her family.

Having sung in many bands, Shiromi has many experiences both good and bad. “There are some renowned and experienced singers and musicians who are very supportive of the newcomers, but there are also others who try to discourage them and they can be very nasty. However, all these experiences only serve to mould you and make you stronger. Without the courage and strength and the backing of one’s family and friends, I think it is hard to survive in this career. But, I guess it’s the same in every field,” she said cheerfully.

Although Shiromi is a mother of two grown-up girls, many mistakenly think they are sisters whenever they are together. When asked what her secret to youthfulness is she said, “Just being happy, taking care of myself and doing what makes me happy. I dress according to the event I have to sing for, but there are some to criticise me and find fault with the way I dress. I guess this is something that happens a lot, especially in Sri Lanka. However, it does not bother me and as long as I know how to dress and behave, I am not affected by what others think of me.”When asked if she would continue in her music career or give up once her children are settled, she said as long as there is a demand for her voice and as long as she can sing and enjoy what she does, there is no reason for her to stop singing.

Shiromi currently performs with the band Xotica under the guidance of talented and experienced Samantha Geekiyanage.

Shiromi has also performed with renowned bands like Saman and the Clan, Super Seven, Classic and Millenium in addition to performing in open air musical shows as well.

She has also recorded around 12 of her own songs and among them, the most popular and her best-loved song is ‘Sama Wela Mata Kiyanna’ in 2004. Unfortunately for Shiromi however, this song became a hit when it was sung by Chamika. However, Shiromi is not bitter and takes all the ups and downs in her stride.

Shiromi has also travelled to many countries including Korea, India, Dubai, Maldives and Australia to perform for events.

“I have been fortunate to travel to many countries doing what I love the most which are singing. Thanks to the understanding of my husband and my children, who did not stand in the way of my dream, I am where I am today. I owe it all to them and know that without their support, none of this would have been possible,” she said.

As a bit of advice to the newcomers to the field of music, Shiromi says, “it’s always good to dream, but you must pursue your dreams and make use of the talent God has given you. Trod on your own path and never be an obstacle to others and never let anyone obstruct your path. Enjoy what you do and never let anyone prevent you from achieving your goals.”


 

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