Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Winning the coveted championship title for NYP Jam! 2015 might’ve been their highlight of the year, but we spoke to the winners, Velonza Michah Jomille Laza (NYP Jam! 2015 NYP Champion) and Tiara Maimun Iskandar (NYP Jam! 2015 Secondary School Champion), to find out their biggest takeaway from the competition.

NYP Jam! 2015 NYP Champion
Velonza Michah Jomille Laza (middle in picture)
School of Engineering

A final year student studying for her Diploma in Digital & Precision Engineering, Michah’s NYP Jam! journey was riddled with obstacles – from nearly missing the registration deadline, to recovering from tonsillitis the day before the finals. Subscribing to the mantra “Quitters never win, and winners never quit”, Michah is a determined soul that never backs away from challenges.

Although she started singing since she was in nursery, Michah only discovered her passion when she was in primary 4. Of course, choosing SoundCard (NYP’s singing group) as her CCA was only natural – where friends and fellow CCAmates had encouraged her to join NYP Jam!.

As a seasoned singer, Michah knows how to please the crowd. By picking upbeat tunes like Beyonce’s ‘Crazy In Love’ to get the audience moving, and sentimental songs like Adele’s ‘Set Fire To The Rain’, she wow-ed the judges with her display of emotions and vocal range.

Even though Michah says that her parents are her biggest supporters, she admitted that she would rather not have them around during the competition for fear of disappointing them. “I convinced them not to [come] by saying that I would be more nervous,” shares Michah. “[But] I draw strength from them through their love and positive attitude.”

Michah advises those who are thinking of joining NYP Jam! to simply take a leap of faith, “To be honest, winning NYP Jam! was not the best part – it’s knowing who is really there for you and who are the people who really believe in you.”

NYP Jam! 2015 Secondary School Champion
Tiara Maimun Iskandar
St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School

Inspired by singer-songwriter Sam Smith, Tiara constantly seeks ways to give back to the community as an active music youth ambassador for nEbO (a subsidiary of NTUC) and World Vision Singapore. “[Sam Smith] is an incredibly talented man, yet a humble philanthropist,” shares Tiara. “He is known for his generous donations and charity works. [I hope to] give back to community, be it in music or voluntary works.”

She first heard about NYP Jam! from her mom, who encouraged her to participate. With her mother’s support, along with her teachers and music instructors, Tiara developed the confidence and positivity that took her through the competition.

When commenting about her biggest takeaway from NYP Jam!, Tiara comments: “I no longer get disheartened or overwhelmed by stress. In fact, I have learnt how to manage my time and cope with studies, music and leisure.”

The experience of competing at this year’s NYP Jam! gave her a great impression of NYP, “It has a good balance of arts and academic choices offered.” She urges future contestants to seize the opportunity to discover a hidden talent, and to not undermine their own abilities.

Inspired by Michah and Tiara? Go on your own music adventure with NYP Jam! and sign up at www.nyp.edu.sg/nypjam now! Be innovative and enterprising, choose your own adventure at the NYP Open House from 7 to 9 Jan 2016!

Published in the Oct 2015 Issue of Teenage Magazine. Reproduced with Permission.

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