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To Sing is to be Free – Lavita Lobo

Music is that which liberates the mind. It is a powerful tool that uplifts the spirits of not just the listener but of the singer as well. That is what Lavita Lobo, a singer from Mangalore city believes as her mantra for life itself. This is an article by the singer herself penning down her musical journey thus far.

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I grew up in Mangalore. A gorgeous, friendly, social city; an amalgamation of traditional and modern cultures. As a child I was bold, yet reserved and shy. My parents wanted to give me the best they could in terms of schooling and extracurricular. They wanted me to excel in sports and maybe one day become a Sports champion or Tennis player. The focus was equally on sports and education. But singing? I couldn’t even imagine.

The thought of going up on stage, used to frighten me and often make me cry. I remember an incident in Grade 2 when  I participated in a singing contest and sang “O Meri Munni” by Remo Fernandes. I did actions as well and everyone in the audience was laughing, I don’t blame them though. I remember crying out loud after the performance and I swore to never go back on stage again. 

Cut to a few years later my parents wanted me to join the church choir, which of course, I was dead set against. But they gave me no choice, I cried and begged them not to take me there, but my efforts were in vain. I took my swollen sad face to the choir practice and in no time was an integral part of it. It gave me freedom and confidence in myself. 

One after the other, I participated in competitions and won them all. That made me realize there is music inside of me. My identity became that, of a singer. “Oh Lavita, that singer.”, they said.  And from then it stuck to my identity. 

Despite the appreciation that I received, ridicule and judgements came along as well.  So much so that my parents who were initially eager to let me sing were afraid and wanted to to stop singing. But it was too late, and this time, I wasn’t ready to give up on it. I made myself mentally strong that no person could change my thoughts on singing. My biggest strength was that no matter what, I was there for myself. Support and encouragement grew, I had my support tribe, my parents joined in too. Some say I’m a go-getter, some say I’m stubborn, but in reality it is that I don’t give up easily. 

I wanted to make music my life. I wanted to immerse myself completely in it. I moved to Chennai to study Western classical music at KM Music Conservatory. Gigs, recordings, playback opportunities have followed. I had an opportunity to be a backing vocalist for a season of A. R. Rahman Sir’s MTV Unplugged. Coming from a small city like Mangalore I never thought I would be able to be on such a big stage. Even today, it seems like a dream. I have always wondered what it would be like, to be on a stage like that, and sing. And before I knew it, I was there living a part of my dream.

I also had an opportunity to sing for a Hollywood film called “The lake of Fire”, the song was composed by Jerry Silvester Vincent, my now husband. He was then looking for a singer to sing the scratch tune for approval from the directors. After the tune was sent to them, they decided to keep my voice for the final song. It happened to get shortlisted for the Oscars the following year. I’ve sung for a lot of commercial projects ever since. Backing vocals for Composers like A. R. Rahman, S. Tamann and also for a couple of Kannada films. Last year, I also sang a commercial song for D.S.P Sir for a Telugu Film called “Sarileru Neekevvaru” starring Mahesh Babu and Rashmika Madanna. The song I sang is called “Daang Daang” featuring Tamanna Bhatia. I have sung for a couple of more unreleased projects and I can’t wait for them to be released. 

Looking back to where I started, the only thing that kept me going was my love for music, my love for performance. It has always made me feel happy and free. No matter what comes or goes, your music stays with you and that’s the beauty of it. 

Lavita Lobo
Lavita Lobo

Singer
Mangalore

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