There’s never an end to the amount of information you can learn. There are so many different genres of music, tones and styles. Finding your voice and what you enjoy singing is important. I’ve learned some music theory and have realized there is so much more music theory that I may never get to truly explore. Always keep learning!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Pooja Kylasa, a singer, songwriter, musician, actress, model, nail artist and philanthropist. She has been singing since the age of 7 and recently performed at a charity event for Team1RHR, a non profit organization that promotes peace, unity, and equality. She has been invited to sing the National Anthem at events all across California. Pooja’s interest for modeling began when she became an American Mall Model Search contest winner and was signed by her first modeling agency. She is also a philanthropist heavily involved in various types of charity work. Pooja has hundreds of hours of service working as a volunteer for Adventist Health in Bakersfield and helping people in need through work with the National Honor Society. Pooja has played in over 50 USCF rated chess tournaments since kindergarten and led her high school chess team as President. She also enjoys freehanding abstract designs on her nails and making charms and jewelry in her free time.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Yes, thank you for having me! Growing up, I always used to watch the Disney Channel shows and fell in love with the singers on Disney Channel including Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato! They were all major inspirations for my music, but the first big push happened when my brother started taking vocal lessons. Hearing my brother singing inspired me to start singing myself, and I also began working with our local vocal instructor Ms. Reynolds who has remained my coach for eleven years. From a young age, I’ve been eager to perform on stage and make connections with people. The stage is another home for me and provides me with an outlet for expression. None of this would be possible without the constant support of my Mom who has helped me with every step in my journey.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?
There have been so many magical moments during my music career from singing the National Anthem at the Rabobank Convention Center to Christmas caroling at Adventist Health, but I would have to say being a part of and singing for the live studio audience for the Finals of AGT Champions was amazing. During the breaks, there were only a few people selected to sing. I was miraculously chosen out of the thousands of people seated. As soon as I started singing, Mel B and Heidi Klum turned around to see me sing (Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel were backstage during the break)! The crowd was also super supportive and started snapping along with me as I sang.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I have several cover songs that I’ve recorded in a studio and hope to make a music video for one of them soon! I’m also preparing for an upcoming group performance at the Young Artists Awards for “Love is the Only River” written by my talented friends Trinity Rose and Ian Sloane.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I’ve met so many amazing people this past year! Last summer, I took a music course at UCSD regarding music theory and composition. I met some incredibly talented people in my class who ended up becoming some of my best friends. Their talent ranged from playing violin, piano, guitar to bass, saxophone, clarinet and so much more. There were days when we were assigned homework to compose music and then in class we would all collaborate together by having our classmates play the composed music we created.
One day, after going on a field trip to see a museum in San Diego with my class, we were assigned to write a composition inspired by our trip. One thing that stuck out to me was a sad looking bear wearing a tutu and a party hat with no shoes… so I created a short song about him from his perspective! That song is one of the most interesting original songs I’ve written and composed.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
Rosa Parks inspires me because she decided not to give up her seat on a bus just because she was black. She believed everyone, no matter their color or race deserved to have a seat in the bus. Her refusal to give up her seat to a light skinned person encouraged other people to boycott for their rights. Her actions ignited hope and courage for many people.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
For 3 years now, I’ve done Christmas caroling at Adventist Health as a Junior Volunteer. I’ve also sung Christmas songs in retirement homes. Not only do I enjoy singing Christmas songs, but many people in the retirement homes and hospital love hearing my songs. The holidays can be a rough time for many people, so I’m glad that I can help those people feel happier even if just for a little while.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would start a movement where clean water is supplied to people in India and other highly populated places where clean water does not exist in ample amounts. Clean water is important and an absolute necessity for everyone.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Keep doing what you love and are passionate about! It can be one, two, three or many other things that you’re passionate about doing. Don’t do something just because someone else does it. Rather, be inspired by those around you and travel further, deeper into your passion. It’s okay to be inspired by people. We all influence each other in some way, shape, or form. But make sure you’re doing what you really want to do. Also make sure to know your own limits and take breaks if needed!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Holding a microphone from a certain distance when you sing. I learned this more as I was performing on stage often and from practices with my vocal instructor.
- It’s not easy. There are going to be times when you want to give up but you have to make sure that you enjoy what you’re doing. I constantly work on learning new songs and reviewing other ones that I sang when I was younger.
- Writing down your goals and reviewing them often to stay on track! It’s easy to get distracted and forget about something you want to accomplish.
- Doing research online for auditions and for other people who can help you. I’m always looking online for the next thing I can do and derive lots of inspiration from those searches.
- There’s never an end to the amount of information you can learn. There are so many different genres of music, tones and styles. Finding your voice and what you enjoy singing is important. I’ve learned some music theory and have realized there is so much more music theory that I may never get to truly explore. Always keep learning!
We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
I absolutely love Sabrina Carpenter and would love to have a private lunch with her! She creates fun, creative and heartfelt songs. She also makes sure to stay really connected with her fans through Instagram and Twitter.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
YouTube (Pooja Kylasa)
TikTok (Pooja Kylasa)
but I am most active on Instagram!
Thank you for these great insights. This was very inspiring!
About the author:
Chaya Weiner is the Director of branding and photography at Authority Magazine’s Thought Leader Incubator. TLI is a thought leadership program that helps leaders establish a brand as a trusted authority in their field. Please click HERE to learn more about Thought Leader Incubator.