Laurel V Williams
Coming from a family of musicians, Melody Chelsea Nicholas not only does his name justice but also proves that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
The talented standard student of St Gabriel’s Girls’ RC, San Fernando, this year won the junior calypso competition organized by the San Fernando Carnival Committee (SFCC). She will be eight in July.
His parents, Turon and Vivian Nicholas are singers and members of the Southernaires Choir.
âI love to sing. It’s a beautiful thing,â the soft-spoken Melody told Newsday Kids at the family home in Hillcrest Gardens, Retrench Village, San Fernando.
Melody’s uncle, singer and songwriter Kerron Roberts, wrote Covid Aint Easy, which earned him first place in the competition. It only took her about two weeks to learn the lyrics about how life has changed due to the covid19 pandemic.
Winning, Melody said: “I was very happy.”
The title is not the first to his credit.
She started competing at age five when she was in the first year class. The following year, she placed second in the school competition. Last year, she placed fourth in the SFCC Junior Calypso Competition.
Melody also performed as a duet at a concert with her mother Turon, a classical singer. At one of her school’s Christmas concerts, Melody sang Silent Night solo.
Although she can’t identify Calypsonians by name, Melody does know their songs and melodies. Family members often play and teach music in her home.
Melody’s talents go beyond singing.
She said, âGrandma (Bernadette Roberts) is teaching me how to play the piano and the pan. I am also learning ballet with the Eugene Joseph Dance Group. I also dance in church. It is difficult to decide which I prefer, to sing or to dance. “
Roberts, a retired high school music teacher, offers private lessons. Among his many students are his grandchildren, including Melody. She teaches piano, pan and singing.
âA lot of my students have studied music at universities. Five of my seven grandchildren live in TT, so I teach them on Mondays,â Roberts said.
Melody’s mother, Turon, said she had a well-balanced school life with extracurricular activities.
“Her activities don’t affect her school studies at all. She is doing very well and I think that helps her development. She has a deep appreciation for culture,” Turon said as Melody nodded.
On whether Melody can ever compete in national competitions, such as calypso and soca monarch, Turon said, âWho knows which path she would take? So far, she’s comfortable with calypso. She loves to sing. We (the parents) don’t want to force her to do a particular talent. “
Melody admitted that she was undecided about the career she wanted. She laughed, saying, “It always changes. I wanted to be a pilot. Then I wanted to be a hairdresser. I also wanted to be a teacher.”
“I love helping mom make desserts like cupcakes. I watch cooking games on my tablet. I play with toys and I also have an ice cream maker.”
Melody said that whenever she got nervous in front of an audience, she “just imagined that no one was there” to get rid of the jitters.