Michelle Mutyora on stage in the 2017 Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Michelle Mutoyra had a fabulous series of wins in the 2017 Sydney Eisteddfod winning first place in the Vocal Performance (18 & over), Jazz or Blues Singer (16 & Over), R&B or Gospel Singer (16 & Over) events and also making it through to the Finals of the Sydney Eisteddfod Senior Singer of the Year. She spoke to Sydney Eisteddfod after her successes to discuss what inspired her passion for singing and what advice she would give to a young singer thinking of entering.
What inspired your passion for singing?
To be honest, watching shows like Hi-5 from a very young age inspired my passion for singing and performing. Singing and dancing just looked like so much fun!
What inspired you to start singing?
The first albums I ever listened to were Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Breakaway’ and ‘The Secret Life of the Veronicas.’ I got these as gifts so I would always have them on repeat, singing along and learning every note until I got them right. These artists were definitely my first musical inspirations followed by Australian singers like Paulini, Guy Sebastian and Jessica Mauboy after watching Australian Idol.
You chose to perform 'I Know You Know' in the Sydney Eisteddfod Singer of the Year Final, tell us a little bit about this piece.
I chose to perform ‘I Know You Know’ by Esperanza Spalding. I discovered Esperanza during my HSC as I performed her song ‘I Adore You’ for my exams. Esperanza is a new and emerging contemporary jazz artist who has a passion for sharing this genre and the importance of keeping jazz music alive. The song ‘I Know You Know’ This electric bass-driven vocal song finds Esperanza taking the direct route with a suitor who’s playing coy about their unspoken, burgeoning romance.
Which other performers do you most like to listen to, and why?
My favourite artists are Beyonce and Michael Jackson. Growing up listening to and watching these artists has continued to inspire me to be the best performer and entertainer I can be. The incredible creativity, passion, accuracy and showmanship that each of these artists display in their work is beyond phenomenal.
What is the best piece of performance advice you've ever heard?
When you’re on stage, the story that you’re telling is the most important thing. Forget about the lights or cameras, it’s just about your message and the people you are sharing that message with.
What have you learnt from your Sydney Eisteddfod experience?
My Sydney Eisteddfod experienced has allowed me to grow as a confident performer and has also allowed me to explore different singing genres to expand my versatility as a performer.
What would you say to a young singer that was thinking about entering Sydney Eisteddfod?
I would say go for it! Sydney Eisteddfod is a great stepping stone into the world of performing and doing what you love. You have the opportunity to sing songs from a diverse range of genres and you receive instant, professional feedback from amazing adjudicators who have extensive experience in this industry.
What do you hope to achieve next?
I hope to start writing my own music and working on creating my artistry. I’m also hoping to perform anywhere I can - whether it’d be gigging, competitions, weddings or corporate events, just to build my experience.