Like many artists, Nicholas Cunha cannot remember a time when music was not a central focus in his life. From his first words, Nicholas’ parents enjoyed his musical spark. By the tender age of two, he sang along to CD’s effortlessly, but instead of classics such as “Old McDonald had a farm” he was drawn to Andrea Bocelli’s “Time to Say Goodbye.” Quickly enrolling in a bevy of musical and performance classes, his singing talent and strong musical pitch rapidly began winning a series of competitions, earning 1st and 2nd place honours. Many moons later, 16 year old Nicholas is proud to release his debut EP titled You Believe, featuring the single “In A World.”
When Nicholas defines his musical abilities, he describes his style as being a mixture of “soft, easy-listening and Classical-Pop.” Nicholas plans to achieve his musical ambitions by continuously working on his craft, with dreams of one day singing a duet with Celine Dion or Barbara Streisand, artists he enjoyed throughout his childhood. As a solo artist, Nicholas would like to eventually be accompanied by an orchestra as he performs.
With his new 4-track EP complete, Nicholas describes the messages behind each song he sings. “In A World” is a song that talks about the speed at which life passes you by and having to make choices. “You Believe” highlights the tremendous support Nicholas’ parents and sister have showed him. He shares, “Without them and their backing, nothing about my career would be possible.” The other two tracks include a song entitled, “See The Light” that discusses the state of the world today, and “Dancing in a Video” which Nicholas believes “is a song showing off my playful, fun and creative side.”
Currently in grade 11 attending the Cawthra Park Secondary School Regional Arts Program, the multi-talented musician has a 4-octave vocal range, and sings in several languages including Italian, German, French and English. Having competed in dance competitions for Lyrical, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Jazz, and acted in many stage plays, Nicholas is a shining star in the making with the right people in his corner coaching and polishing his talents. He states, “My parents are my heroes, they are always there for me, and have helped me greatly to get to where I am today. They have also instilled the morals and values that I’ve practiced from a young age, which has helped make me the person I am today.”
Nicholas’ family plays a large role in his life both personally and professionally; however, he is also under the guidance of vocal and performance coach Elaine Overholt, at Big Voice Studios in Toronto, Ontario. Overholt has a proven track record for success, working with many popular musicians within the industry, and even offers her expertise on the “Big Voice” television show (airs on the W Network in Canada, and Oprah’s OWN Network in the US). Exclaims Nicholas “Elaine is an incredible coach, with an amazing teaching style, which is complimented by her infectious positive attitude. She teaches me to sing with my entire body, and not just my voice.” Nicholas’ other talented mentors include his acting coach, Gemini nominated actor Carlos Diaz, and award winning composer, music director and producer Marvin Dolgay from Tambre Productions Inc.
Nicholas works extremely hard on every project, but has said that the one trait he deplores in himself is perfectionism, “If I make a mistake it takes me forever to get over it until I can fix it!” However, his determination and work ethic definitely has paid off, with such coups including appearing on the American Idol Experience segment that was held at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. When performing on stage, Nicholas becomes one with his characters by fusing his personality with every role he encounters, “I enjoy the stage no matter what I am doing,” he begins, “I am rather bold when I dance, and I pretty much become whatever the character or role is. As far as singing goes, my performance experience is in musicals, so once again, whatever the role calls for, I’m willing to transform. I am much less bold when I perform solo, as my type of music calls for something else. There is however a song on my album that allows me to show the playful side of my personality.”
While growing up in Mississauga, ON, Nicholas, who is of Portuguese heritage, had an upbringing that was influenced by Canadian, African, and Portuguese culture. No stranger to diverse environments, Nicholas and his musical abilities have enabled him the opportunity to travel, and he would one day love to journey to France. “I have not been to Paris yet, and I would like to visit it for its rich history, architecture and their Joie de Vivre atmosphere and culture.”
Perfecting his multi-talented abilities is a full-time job; however, Nicholas still finds time to offer his support and efforts to volunteer and give back to the community. Balancing both his career and school, Nicholas does find time to relax by reading books, Harry Potter being one of his favourites, and hanging out with friends like most other teenagers. A fun and interesting fact about Nicholas is his fascination with owls, “I can name them (owls) scientifically and even describe them in great detail.” he proudly shares. Although Nicholas is a teenager with a rapidly growing portfolio filled with music, dance, and acting, he also believes that his balance is found by spending time with his family and friends, which is also his idea of perfect happiness.
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