Gemma Nha. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Gemma Nha was a finalist in Sydney Eisteddfod Senior Singer of the Year in 2016 and 2018 . She was also a finalist in the Sydney Eisteddfod Junior Singer of the Year of the Year in 2015, and won the Junior title in 2014.
Gemma reveals what helps her to sing well, how she prepares for a performance and what she loves most about performing.
Tell us why you love singing.
I love singing because it gives me a chance to share not only a talent that I've been blessed with, but also to share my emotions and interpretation of a song with the hope that someone listening will also be moved by the song and be able to connect with me on that transcendental level. It's also an opportunity for me to stop being me and indulge in the world of the character, who is singing the song.
Who inspired you to start singing?
When I started singing seriously, I was listening and singing along to Beyonce's "I Am…Sasha Fierce" album, so I definitely think Beyonce inspired me to start singing.
Which other performers do you most like to listen to or watch, and why?
I love hearing Jeremy Jordan sing because his voice just drips emotion and sentiment, and his technique is also astounding; I love watching him sing Santa Fe in Newsies because his emotional and technical control is just perfect even though he's just been running all over the stage. I also love watching Audra McDonald perform because her voice is just absolutely ethereal, and she too fills her voice with so much emotion that you could just cry.
Tell us about one of the songs that you performed in the Final and why you chose it.
One of the songs I'm singing for the Final is called "Screw Loose." It's from a musical called Cry Baby, and it's sung by a crazy young girl who is in love (more like obsessed) with the protagonist. I chose it because it's a character I've never really played before and I can really let loose and have fun with it. Plus, it gets a bit crazy up in the higher registers, so it'll be challenging but fun to really let go and just sing.
What did you do to prepare for your performance?
To prepare for my performance, I researched the musicals from which the songs I will be singing are from so that I would be able to fully immerse myself in the worlds of these characters when I sing on the night.
What is the best piece of performance advice you have ever heard?
The best piece of performance advice I've ever heard is to just relax (easier said than done sometimes). By relaxing, you can release all the tension in your body, allowing you to hit all the right notes as well as focusing on the story you want to tell
What have you learnt about yourself through performing in Sydney Eisteddfod?
Through performing in Sydney Eisteddfod, I've learnt that I just need to trust in myself to give the best performance I can, and sometimes what I think sounds alright may sound amazing from the audience, and that you never know unless you give it a go.
What would you like to achieve next?
I would love to be cast in a musical, hopefully at a more professional level.