Umara Sinhawansa | An Exceptional Icon in the World of Music
Inspired by Mariah Carey’s songs and her exceptional five-octave range, Umara achieved a four-and-a-half octave range through pure dedication and hard work. Blessed with a sensational voice, her songs are irresistibly magical.
Making her way into the music industry at the age of 10, Umara Sinhawansa was full of surprises. Born to a Music family, she was engaged in singing from the days she could walk and talk. While traveling across Europe, Umara discovered various music genres and immediately fell in love with the industry. Backed by her parents, her two brothers and younger sister were all making their way into popularity and stardom with an igniting passion.
“I always wanted to be just like my mom. She was and still is my biggest inspiration, my drive, and my motivation. I owe my success to my parents as well as my passion and dedication.”
Umara claims her work ethics, commitment, discipline, and determination were all observed and learned from her parents, where she always thrived to become as hardworking as they are. It is truly astonishing that while most of the South Asian artists are limited to a 3-octave vocal range, mastering the art of Music, Umara and her sister amplified their vocals up to a four-and-a-half.
She never had it easy, but she triumphed it all!
Umara has hit many bumps in the road, especially when it comes to singing in Sri Lanka. Not all music genres were welcome here, and her talent could not be shown in full potential. Umara’s wish was to become a versatile singer, despite the limits of Sri Lankan culture and preferences. Being a female vocalist in Sri Lanka, she had to break many barriers to be accepted as an artist with both the upper and lower vocal ranges. Still, she was truly appreciated and admired among the fellow skillful and experienced artists.
“Being able to grow up in Europe and travel across the globe, punctuality was one of the greatest disciples learned by us. There were times we had to wait for hours to get our work done. Nevertheless, we learned to be there on time. We also had to face criticism and racism since we came from a mixed background, but we never got discouraged by such comments.”
“I believe if we do our best to get where we want, without harming anyone or ourselves, we will always receive good results. Always look at the bright side, move forward fearlessly.”
Sacrificing sleep, coping up with stress, managing time – secrets to her success!
As a Musician, Umara works mostly during the night, and during the daytime, she must attend to multiple tasks. She claims that most Musicians sacrifice their sleep to focus on their work and to polish their talent. She is a successful artist, mother, and wife, and time management is crucial for her. Being on time and managing time is her forte. Umara mentioned how managing time effectively can reduce stress for her both in personal and work life.
She engages in aerobics and Zumba during her free time to maintain her health and wellbeing. Being a foodie, she has struggled to control what she eats, but now, she always takes extra effort to maintain a balanced diet, which helps with most of her health issues.
watch the full interview here
A dream come true for aspiring artists- Umara Music Academy
“We used to travel a lot, and we got to learn the right techniques and the theoretical side to music, whereas, in Sri Lanka, I saw the lack of such academy or an institute for passionate individuals who wanted to learn in-depth about music. That’s when I came up with the idea to start Umara Music Academy!”
Umara shares her wisdom of music with close to 700 students, and she sees a lot of potential in her students. How to get through to an audience, overcoming stage fright, approaching an audience, attract the listeners are among the vast pool of knowledge she shares. To sustain in the industry, establishing yourself really matters, and Umara is here to save the day!
“I teach my students all the vocal techniques I master in, including vocal projection, vocal flexibility, what is their vocal range, and how to use those techniques. Amplification, sound balancing to mic checks, I want to guide them through every single detail. Most importantly, I teach them all the kinds of genres my students are interested in. I believe their passion for music will take them a long way.”
Continuing to amaze us with her passion and talent!
Although Umara’s passion is mostly towards Western Music and Jazz, she acknowledges the limitations she has with the Sri Lankan audience. Still, she continues to please her audience, regardless of where she performs. Establishing herself as a Sri Lankan artist in Hong Kong, where her husband and son live, was not easy, but she is proud to achieve her stardom.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunities I got, and I consider myself blessed. To be able to perform for international audiences was a great experience for me. Especially, to get a chance to perform with Madonna’s band, sing with Shankar Mahadevan, and to become the first female in Sri Lanka to collaborate with Shankar Ehsaan Loy, competing and winning awards in Kazakhstan, Shanghai, Ukraine, these were a few highlights of my career.”
Umara looks forward to releasing her new album soon, and she promises her fans a rare Musical experience soon. She is conducting her Music lessons for Umara Music Academy via online platforms, an odd but new experience. She is eager to visit her husband and son in Hong Kong and says she misses them dearly.
Success does not come easy, but here’s how to achieve it!
Discipline, good work ethics, hard work, and enthusiasm are her secrets to success, and she encourages all aspiring artists in Sri Lanka to practice these traits. “Dedication and commitment towards what you do are essential,” she says, and to be able to stand on your own feet instead of always relying on others is something she still looks up to.
“There’s always someone who has it harder than you do. Count your blessings and learn to appreciate the small things in life. Be kind to people because it goes a long way. Being more positive will give you more positive energy to do your work. Take risks, and do not believe in failure. Do not give in to people who discourage you and badmouth you. Keep thriving!”
“I’m a mother, wife, a daughter, a Guru, and a teacher. If I can be all and balance all, so can you. Most importantly, whatever you love, master the techniques, and acquire more knowledge in the subject. There are no shortcuts in life. You need to work hard! Don’t be afraid, don’t give up, and success will be one step closer to you!”