Louisa Barbosa

Arcadia Student

  • Instrument

    Guitar, Vocal, Ukulele

Biography Louisa Barbosa

This week’s spotlight is on Arcadia Academy of Music student, Louisa Barbosa!

Music has always played a big role in Louisa Barbosa’s life and helps make her who she is today. With both her parents being involved in music at some point in their lives, music is their legacy to her. Before joining Arcadia, Louisa sang in a choir, did theatre lessons and hip hop lessons. Her first solo performance took place when she was 7, at her school’s talent show and she fell in love with performing right away. She kept singing at school from then on, and still does to this day.

Louisa joined Arcadia when she was 9 and three years flew by quicker than she could have imagined. In the beginning, it all seemed like too much. The scales, the notes, and especially the arpeggios! She realized that music is something we need to study and perfect. But she persisted and got better and better. She realized that singing and playing her guitar was what she really loved to do. Arcadia has done so much for her!

Louisa’s first competition was the CNE’s Junior Rising Star Talent Show, and it took place just last year. She made it to the semi-finals. She tried again this year, making all the way to the finals! But her greatest milestone so far was winning the 2015 Aurora Teen Idol title on Canada Day. And that was the first time she joined the competition!! Winning the competition opened up the doors to new opportunities such as performing at Aurora’s Ribfest, Aurora’s Concerts in the Park and Newmarket’s Jazz Festival.

Recently, Louisa hit the studio at Arcadia’s Newmarket school and had the opportunity to record some covers and original songs live off the floor. She had a blast! That was another exciting step in building her musical career.

Louisa is also in rotation with her live version of Briar on Pickering college radio 102.7 CHOP FM!

If you or someone you know who is an Arcadia Academy of Music student and would like to be spotlighted, please send us an email or leave a comment. Please send emails to socialmedia@arcadiamusicacademy.com. We will be happy to contact you and try and set something up! Enjoy our first student spotlight on Louisa Barbosa!

How did you first hear about Arcadia?

My mother first told me that if I wanted to be a singer, I needed to learn an instrument. I got suspicious. She then told me that she saw a pamphlet for an 8-week summer program at a local music school. Even more suspicious. After that, she signed me up. Suspicions confirmed. I’ll admit I wasn’t thrilled at first, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions she ever made for me.

Do you play other Instruments aside from your main instrument?

Aside from guitar, I am a mostly self-taught ukulele player.

What was the first song you learned from start to finish? Why did you learn that particular song?

As a lesson, the first song I learned was Hey There Delilah by the Plain White T’s. My teacher thought it was a good exercise for me to practice strumming multiple strings. As a personal choice, it was She Wolf by David Guetta feat. Sia. My friend and I really liked that song when we were younger, so I learned to play it and we sang it together at her house.

How long have you been taking lessons with Arcadia and how has your experience been with Arcadia so far?

I’ve been taking lessons with Arcadia for 3 years now, and it’s been amazing. So many opportunities have come my way, and I’ve learned so much.

Is your family musical?

Yes. My dad grew up playing multiple instruments and my mom has a beautiful singing voice. I love watching old videos of my parents performing together.

Which famous musicians do you admire most and why?

Oh gosh, there are so many. I really adore Adele. I love her soulful style and her rich voice, as well as her lyrics. There is also another young musician named Holly Henry, who first came to my attention when she competed on The Voice. She has a really nice, soft and silky tone that nobody can mimic. I later found out about her YouTube channel, and her songwriting is just as incredible as her voice. Other than that, my dad raised me on the greats. Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and Elton John, to name a few. All of these artists are capable of telling a story through music, and I hope to do the same.

Who is your instructor at the Arcadia location you take lessons at?

My instructor is a guy named Zach Zanardo. He’s been my teacher for as long as I’ve been at Arcadia and he turned a shy, clueless 9-year-old into a passionate musician. I’m so grateful to him and I thank him for everything he’s done to get me where I am today.

Are you working on anything new? Any plans for travelling, education, album recordings?

I would really like to record an album, but maybe the opportunity will come when I’m a little older. I haven’t really thought too far ahead. I’m young, I have time to decide what I want to do. Right now I am just focusing on school and on improving as a musician.

What can you tell us about your current projects, and are there any upcoming events?

I have been working on writing new songs, practicing my guitar and ukulele and I have joined the band program at Arcadia. That has been keeping me busy. I have been invited to perform at the inauguration of the Christmas lights for the City of Aurora. I am also looking forward to be part of the Annual Christmas concert held by Arcadia Newmarket in December.

Do you have a social media/webpage where our readers can go and listen to your music?

I do have a YouTube channel, and that has everything from my recent performances to embarrassing videos from when I was 7. There are a few videos from my channel attached to this article. I hope you enjoy and share them! I also have a soundcloud account where I will be posting some of my original material.

How has it been balancing your professional music career and school?

School is very important. It has been sometimes a challenge to balance both, but I’ve been trying to manage my time accordingly. Especially when I need to practice for something important and prepare for a test. I am very glad that all the main events I have taken part of have happened in the summer while I didn’t have to worry about school. But preparing for these events also gives me a sense of responsibility that helps with school.

If you had to recommend a great song (any genre), what would it be and why?

Holly Henry has this gorgeous song called Katie. It’s one of those songs that can soothe you and unsettle you at the same time. It’s gentle, with nothing but an acoustic guitar and Holly’s haunting voice. A simple song with complex lyrics that are open to interpretation. I could listen to it for hours.

Tell us about your experience with the talent competitions you have been in and what was it like winning the 2015 Aurora Teen Idol?

Check a newspaper article on Louisa’s win!

Winning Aurora Teen Idol was definitely the highlight of my year. It was absolutely incredible, and I’ve been able to do so much because of it. I was invited to emcee the rib tasting competition and perform and at the Aurora 2015 Ribfest, I sang the National Anthem in a few events of the town, I performed during the Movies in The Park in Aurora, I was the attraction during the intermission of the Colours of the Fall event. This whole year has been awesome, competition-wise. I did great at the CNE this year, even though I didn’t win Rising Star, I was among the final 12. I’ve learned and grown so much and I don’t want this journey to end.

What advice would you give to other young musicians who want to audition for talent competitions etc.?

Do it. If you see yourself with a future in music, competing and performing is the best way to learn what it’s all about and gain confidence. You might do well, you might not. It doesn’t matter. These kinds of things help you develop and gain experience. Always try and do your best. You will only get better.

Article on CNE Rising Star Competition

Do you get nervous at these competitions? How do you handle it?

Nervousness was something I really used to struggle with. At one point, my nerves cost me a competition. But I kept on performing anywhere I could, even on small family gatherings, and now I can just be fully in the moment when I sing. That happens when you get used to being on a stage. I just let them judge me now, it doesn’t faze me anymore. Of course, I still get nervous, but I’ve learned that all you can do is power through it, do your best, and let people say what they will.

How often and for how long do you practice?

I don’t have a certain amount of time I spend practicing. Depends on what I’m doing. Darryl, the owner of my music school told me, ‘Practice until you sound good,’ so I guess I practice for as long as it’s needed, although I do make an effort to practice something every day.

As a student of Arcadia Academy of Music, what are your views on music education and how important is music education to you?

Music education is very important. It really is amazing how much more you can do with music when you know what makes up a song, how to read notes, all that good stuff. Anyone with dreams of being a musician should study music. It will enhance your abilities.

Do you have any songs, performances, or videos of your music anywhere online that you’d recommend?

I have been crazy excited about a recording I did at Arcadia’s studio of my new song Briar. Now that the video is all done, I would definitely appreciate it if people were to have a look.

Any last thoughts, comments, suggestions?

I just wanted to thank everybody that has supported me and helped me get to where I am now. This whole experience has been amazing!! Thank you so much for allowing me to do this, and have a nice day!

Thank you, Louisa!

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