Western Voice 2022: Meet the Contestants!

Get ready for the event of the year, Western Voice is returning March 16th starring six new contestants and a big celebrity guest judge! It’s the largest singing competition on campus and features students across all years and faculties. This year, the event will be hosted on Youtube, premiering on Wednesday, March 16th at 8 PM, with a Meet and Greet beforehand where you can chat with our celebrity guest judge and talented contestants.


Get to know some of our contestants below!

Esther Chang - 4th-year Medical Sciences


What inspired you to start singing?

My entire family is pretty musical, they're all super musically inclined and they love karaoke and performing. Everyone knows how to sing, play guitar, or piano, and I was kind of like the black sheep. They used to poke fun at me, but I think I’ve improved a lot since then. I kept practicing in the shower and singing just became my favourite hobby,


Where do you draw a lot of your inspiration?

I am inspired a lot by R&B, I just like how smooth and emotional it is. When you feel the motion of the song and find something that actually resonates within you, it becomes a part of you. I’m drawn to the flow and the beat of a song because it’s what echoes in my body and I understand the song better when I vibe with it and it just flows within me.


If you could collab with any artist, who would it be and why?

I’d want to work with Pink Sweat$ because he’s one of my favourite artists. He’s an R&B artist, which is a style I like to sing to and listen to currently, and his music is always playing. It would be nice to duet one of his songs cause I know them all really well by heart.


What is your go-to karaoke song?

Baby One More Time by Britney Spears



Maanasa Guda - 2nd-year Politics, Philosophy and Economics


What inspired you to start singing?

My mom mainly inspired me to start singing. She always wanted me to learn how to sing because it’s a big part of South Indian culture so she signed me up for Carnatic classes, which is a style of classical music in South India. My grandma also really loves singing, and we would always sing together when I visited her. Since then, I’ve really grown to love music.


Where do you draw a lot of your inspiration?

For me, the most fun genre to perform is R&B songs because the melodies are really intricate. So it’s more challenging to sing in a way, which is what I enjoy. R&B influences the way that I sing because I might even choose something that’s outside of the genre to emulate these sounds, so I can come up with my own rendition of the song.


If you could collab with any artist, who would it be and why?

Snoh Aalegra, I love her music and her voice. It’s very jazzy, which is something that I’m getting into more.


What is your go-to karaoke song?

Since You Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson!



Roma MacDonald - 1st-year Popular Music Studies for Voice


What inspired you to start singing?

I’ve always loved singing. I remember when I was 7, I really wanted this solo for a spring concert, so it’s something that’s always been at the back of my head. Then, I chose vocal music as my art elective in grade 9 and it was a pretty pivotal decision in my life. From there, I got a vocal coach and through working with her, I was able to pursue music past high school.


Where do you draw a lot of your inspiration?

Growing up, the musical theatre trained voice is something that I loved. A lot of musical theatre is done in the ‘mix’ voice, which is in between your head voice and belt. It's something I used quite a bit. I also take a lot of inspiration from pop, like Demi Lovato who has such a strong, healthy placement. There’s a lot of range in pop music, especially in female singer-songwriters who have amazing vocals and storytelling abilities.


If you could collab with any artist, who would it be and why?

I’m kinda torn! I would say Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Basset because I love them both so much and for different reasons. It’s funny because they’re polar opposites, especially with the way the internet has put them.


What is your go-to karaoke song?

I think if you’re in a fun group, you can’t go wrong with Bohemian Rapsody! You can just scream it and put your whole body into it.


Siena Vreugde - 4th-year Music Studies


What inspired you to start singing?

I feel like I’ve been singing my whole life. I started in musical theatre in elementary school and high school and I loved doing broadway musicals which kickstarted my passion. Then I started writing my own songs!


Where do you draw a lot of your inspiration?

When I write my own songs, I usually have something I need to say but I can’t figure out how to say it with words. So to me, music is the most authentic and true mode of expression. When there’s something big that I need to express, words just aren’t enough. In terms of singing, I love indie folk music and R&B. Lately, I also have been making a lot of lo-fi-type stuff, so I guess it depends on how I’m feeling!


If you could collab with any artist, who would it be and why?

Right now I would probably say Daniel Caeser. I think he’s really creative and he makes these complex but beautiful chord progressions and harmonies. His style is so unique.


What is your go-to karaoke song?

Shallow by Lady Gaga. I sang it on my birthday with my friends at karaoke and it was really fun.


Marv Quijano - 3rd-year Political Science


What inspired you to start singing?

I just remember being in 7th grade and my teacher telling me I have a god-given talent, I think that has really followed me in life. I’m also a natural entertainer, I love connecting with my audience, especially my friends and family. Being able to tell a story with my voice really inspires me to connect with people and move people.


Where do you draw a lot of your inspiration?

A lot of my inspiration comes from the 90s Divas ballad type of music, like Mariah Carey. I also love soul music and artists with powerful voices like Adele. I'm also in love with R&B style and Singer-songwriter styles, but I feel like I pull inspiration from everything, even rap.


If you could collab with any artist, who would it be and why?

That’s a good question because I love literally everyone. I remember seeing Ed Sheeran live and I don’t know why people hate on him because I love that guy. I love the way he writes his music and people argue it’s corny, but I love it. So I would probably collab with him because his music’s messaging is really strong.


What is your go-to karaoke song?

My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion, that’s been my go-to for years, literally since I was a child!


Anya Sarma - 2nd-year Medical Sciences


What inspired you to start singing?

Coming from a family of singers, I have been singing ever since I was little. I don’t think it was an option for me not to be a singer. My mom is an artist/singer, as well as my sister and grandparents, so it quickly became a large part of my upbringing. That connection with music is something I’m grateful to have today, as it has given me an outlet for creativity, and has brought me closer to my family.


Where do you draw a lot of your inspiration?

I found that it comes from aspiring artists that I see on social media, especially seeing songwriters on youtube. The challenges that people participate in, and the creativity they have inspires me to be a better songwriter and it pushes me to go out of my comfort zone in terms of the difficulty of songs, and the genre.


If you could collab with any artist, who would it be and why?

There are so many iconic artists who have shaped me into the person I am, so it’s really hard to choose. That being said, one artist that I can safely say has impacted me a ton in terms of the way he writes his music and the style he uses is The Weeknd. There’s just this energy to him that I love, and I think I could really play off of his voice if we collaborated together. I also just love his music (I will admit to playing his After Hours album on repeat).


What is your go-to karaoke song?

This is an easy one. Any ABBA song or You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift. Absolute classic.



To learn more about this year’s contestants, visit our Youtube channel to watch their intro videos. And don’t forget to tune in on Wednesday, March 16th for the official premiere of Western Voice 2022!