The waves crash against the rocks passionately, while the cool breeze from the Arabian Sea lends an atmosphere of ease. At a lazy sundowner, the voice of Marica Braganza rents the air, in the vicinity of Fort Aguada, Goa.
Switching effortlessly from Hindi to Portuguese & from English to Konkani & Spanish, Marica’s is one of the most sought after voices in Goa today.
Music has no language. One only needs a soul to sing and a heart to listen. Goa-based vocalist, Marica Braganza has a voice that touches your heart and stirs your soul. As her voice, filled with passion, reverberates through the calm Goan air, we at Goan Insider cannot help but marvel at her versatility; be it the various notes that she carries with equal ease, or the many languages she croons in.
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Make time to do what makes your soul happy.Marica Braganza
The Goan Insider catches up with this young crooner to understand her world and the nuances of the art form.
Besides talent, what makes you a singer? Is it your need to express your thoughts or your love
for merrymaking or anything else?
Singling helps me express my thoughts. It gives me great pleasure to see people enjoying & appreciating my music. For me, it’s a deep sense of satisfaction; when I don’t sing for extended periods (like it happened during the lockdown), I feel suffocated. It’s like a huge mental release for me to express myself through music.
Tell us about your journey, about your training. How important it is for a vocalist to play a musical instrument as well?
I was 6 years old when I first held a Violin in my hand and that’s where my journey started. The Violin gave me a base to understand music and develop vocals. My father has been my biggest inspiration & I started performing on stage with him at the age of 12 – that’s something I’ll always
cherish. Initially, it takes a lot of practice, mind control & dedication, but when you are passionate about something, nothing seems like effort or hard work. It’s not mandatory to know an instrument, but handwork & love for music can take you to great heights. So I always suggest, always see how you FEEL about pursuing something. Do an energy check before you do a soundcheck!
How do you train yourself? Are there dos & don’t on your eating or drinking? Do you rehearse everyday?
I have had no formal training in music as such. My parents have been my guides. I do not rehearse every day, but yes a few dedicated practices before every season or important gigs and before Christmas! I do not follow a particular diet, I love my ice creams & Virgin Mojitos. Being in a happy state of mind helps keep my vocal cords in shape better than warm drinks & restrictive food. Stay happy and you’ll be just fine.
How many years does one need to dedicate or train in music before they are ready to hit the stage?
If you have the talent & you are passionate enough about music, then about a month of training should see you through. More important is your attitude towards it. Like I never had formal training in music, but I have always carried the ‘Get Set, Rock The Stage!’ attitude – confidence is a legacy I have inherited from my father. His belief in me fuelled my belief in myself. So as long as you are optimistic and know your self-worth, the world is your stage!
So no moments of doubt ever…
No, I always keep my mind strong. Music, in fact for me is the cure, never the cause for doubt.
Any moments of stage fright or any goof ups on stage? A funny anecdote which you would like to share with us?
I’ve never had stage fright, in fact, I have always been calm on the stage. Yes, I did have a funny ‘burping’ situation in the middle of singing once! It’s tough to hold back after all the yummy buffets they serve you – I’m sure every vocalist can relate to this occupational hazard!
Tell us more about your band and your gigs.
I have yearly contracts with The Taj, Fort Aguada, Fisherman’s Wharf, Calangute & The Park Hotel, Calangute. I also perform for the Sunday brunches at The Marriott, Miramar. I sing for the love of singing. Hence I sing across all formats – Solo, duo (RIO DUO), trio (RIO TRIO) & with a
6 pc band (The Rituals). I sing in 5 different languages & do music right from the 60s to the latest. I like to celebrate life & sing for every occasion.
Which are the good training institutes in India & abroad?
If I had to pick one, I would choose The Trinity College of Music, London. They have the finest professors in the world. They also conduct exams in India for certification across different levels. If you apply to the appropriate centres in India, then you can pursue music here and appear for the Trinity College exam. Your theory & practicals are evaluated by people appointed here by them and your certification comes from London.
What are the career prospects in your field?
Contrary to the popular belief that this field does not have the scope in India, music offers you a host of career choices. You can choose to be a sound engineer, a music composer, or a music journalist, or a vocalist. This field gives you the flexibility to pursue it as a part-time hobby or a full-time career. Some people even pursue music for the Lord (Gospel singing/playing).
Anything else you’d like to share with aspiring vocalists or artists?
Yes, as I have realized out of my own experience, you may come across a lot of opinions regarding this career – some will say that you need expensive coaching classes to be able to have a career in music, while some will say there are no career prospects in this line. On this, my two cents of wisdom would say that music is one of the most satisfying careers you can pursue. There is so much need for talent and if you are gifted with a good voice and a keen sense of sound, then hone your skills and have a go at it. There is nothing better than pursuing your passion as your career.
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