Performing in the final of “Voice of Astana”, an international contest of variety performers in Kazakhstan, singer Shreya Sharma of Meerut has brought laurels to the city in the field of music. Shreya’s performance won the hearts of the international audience on foreign land.

“Voice of Astana” was organised from 15-16 June in the capital city Astana by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

It was the international contest of pop singers of the age group 18-35 in which 500 performers from about 20 countries, including Kazakhstan, had participated.

The participants from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Britain, USA, Italy, Bulgaria, Estonia, China, Mongolia, Turkey and Israel also performed in the competition.

Representing India at international platform Shreya won the hearts of the people in Astana by singing a song in Kazakh language.

“I took the challenge of singing a Kazakh song about Astana (we were allowed to sing a song about Astana in any language) as I wanted to pay respect to the thoughts and emotions attached with Kazakhstan people andstaying authentic,” said Shreya while talking to The Statesman shortly on her return to India on Sunday night.

Shreya sang a Kazhak song in the semifinal which confirmed her place to the finals. The performance of an Indian girl in Kazhak language attracted attention of the media towards her in the press conference.

Overwhelmed by the love of audience in Astana, Shreya said that it was not easy to perform in their language. Kazakh has complex rhythmic patterns and often a lot of key changes, so her ear training was pushed.

In the final Shreya scored 60/66 while the winning score was 64/66. In the final she sang an opera style original song by young composer Debarpito Saha.

Her song recieved wide appreciation and applause though could not win her a title, said her elder sister Yasha, adding that her achievement is great considering the fact that she was the only participant without a producer or a sponsor.

“The whole experience was good and I enjoyed interacting with other contestants like Bao Lin from China and Serap from Turkey. I got to meet some amazing women who have had such a fabulous musical journey,” said Shreya, feeling proud to have represented her country at an international level.

The parents of this young singer are also elated . “I am proud of Shreya who represented her country at an international platform of such a huge scale and excelled there,” said Dr Mridula Sharma, her mother.

Shreya is the younger of the two daughters of Dr Mridula and Dr Malay Sharma, a well known doctor of the area.

“It is a great feeling of nationalism when someone represents your country at any international platform and this time the honour is mine that she is my daughter, who not only was the only Indian flag holder in the competition but also performed well,” stated Dr Malay.

Shreya is a trained opera and musical theatre singer. She has a bachelor degree with concentration in musical theatre and opera from United States.

She is also trained in Indian classical music under the tutelage of Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan, Rupan Sarkar, Rupi Mahindroo, Dr Sunita Saxena, Sulochana Brahaspati and Mrs Chatterji.

She is having a fresh tone in her singing and besides Hindi and English can sing in French, Russian, Spanish, Italian and Hebrew. She is now working hard to make her carrier in Indian music industry and has released some videos of her singing on YouTube which have been appreciated.

She has recorded two singles that are unreleased and has been working on jingles. She has also sung background vocals for Phillauri and another Marathi film and record scratches for music directors.