“Music is the language of the heart, not that of the brain,” believes Nitya Thomas, a 31-year-old vocalist, and her powerful, resonant voice substantiates just that. The Bengaluru-born singer moved to New York in 2010 to do a diploma in vocal performance at Mannes College of Music, and after spending four years in the ‘City That Never Sleeps,’ she has released her debut album, titled Awakenings, and signed up with a record label called Watchfire Music.
“Awakenings is a three-song inspirational music EP produced by Peter Link. Each song on the CD has a message that is thoguht-provoking. The ideas in these songs are presented from a Christian view point, but they talk about universal and spiritual ideas, which I believe hold good, irrespective of religion,” shares Nitya. Music, for her, is about communicating ideas, stories and emotions that touch other people. A cross-over of western classical and pop sensibilities, her album has a transcending effect on the listener, as Nitya croons to the tune of Londonderry Air in her first song called O Dreamer.
Needless to say, from being a six-year-old who was nervous about her weekly piano lessons, to forsaking a financially secure future and choosing music instead, Nitya has come a long way. But she attributes much of it to her parents. “My father is a singer and a guitarist, and my mum studied piano and played the organ in church for many years,” she says fondly. Although she grew up with music, the ambitious youngster took up math and economics.
“I was living in Mumbai when I decided to move to New York to study voice. I had just left the finance world, having worked for Goldman Sachs for about 4.5 years, first in London and then in Mumbai. I knew by then that I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life. I took a year off and did a one-month vocal programme at Manhattan School of Music and knew that’s where my calling was,” says the London School of Economics graduate.
Now, spending her days working for Watchfire Music and juggling that with her job as a soloist at a renowned church in Manhattan, she is busy understanding the ways of the music industry. Although she is in a city that has several opportunities and great support for the arts, she says it isn’t easy making it a full time profession.
Alongside her music, Nitya has signed up for some acting classes and is also a big salsa fan! The fit as a fiddle girl also loves to jog by the Hudson river and play tennis sometimes, but for now, she hopes to keep writing, performing and inspiring.