VANCOUVER – Living with cerebral palsy and blindness, confined to a wheelchair, Melanie Krishna, 35, does not fit the preconceived image of a singer-songwriter. But the parishioner of St. Joseph’s, Langley, BC is not only a member of a community choir and an enthusiastic hymn singer at Mass, she has also produced her own CD – a CD filled with happy songs. and invigorating that she wrote herself. .
“This has been my goal for a long time,” Krishna said of the CD, explaining that she started singing when she was only three years old.
“Oh yes, she loves to sing”, Jeannette Ridley, her adopted sister and caregiver.
Krishna, who was born prematurely and raised by adoptive parents, recognized that her long-standing goal of becoming a recording artist certainly faced challenges. Her cerebral palsy has led to various medical complications, and she relies on family members and caregivers to do what most people take for granted.
“I have been through a lot because of my disability. I have been sick several times. But I fight a lot, ”Krishna said.
“I’m just happy that even though I was born little, I can go through it all and just have life and live it to the fullest.”
It is clear that his faith inspires him. In fact, her song “Within My Faith”, which she wrote in 2008, is about the support of “Jesus and Mary and all the people who have been in my life on Earth”.
Two years after writing the song, Krishna started taking singing lessons. Then, in 2011, she joined the Langley Community Chorus, made up of 80 members.
“She’s incredibly intuitive,” said choir director Anita Comba. Krishna’s hearing is so sensitive that she can sing with the choir in “perfect timing” despite not being able to see the conductor or the score. “She doesn’t seem at all disadvantaged.”
Krishna, a soprano, learns his role by memorizing songs and practicing with the choir and with recorded music.
When the pandemic hit, Krishna was able to use Zoom and other virtual platforms to continue his singing lessons and choir participation. As restrictions ease, she attends live rehearsals every two weeks.
When inspiration comes and she begins to compose a song, Krishna memorizes sections of lyrics and musical phrases, then asks family members or the singing teacher Liana Savard to record them.
When Savard heard “In my faith”, she was impressed.
“She had never studied music, but she put on a very structured and very well thought out piece,” said Savard. “From the early stages, she loved to compose as a gift for people. She writes many songs about people to show how much she loves and cherishes them.
Not only does music give Krishna a feeling of joy and fulfillment, but Savard says that it also helps his health. People with cerebral palsy face serious coordination difficulties and weak or stiff muscles; learning to sing helped Krishna improve his breathing and his self-confidence.
Krishna freed Gift of life in the summer of 2019. It includes 12 original songs on Faith, Love, Family and Canada, featuring Krishna singing and Savard accompanying on piano and song.
Krishna sings his own story in “Letting Me Live”.
“I want people to know there is life,” she said. “People with babies don’t have to worry about other options, because if they can’t care for a baby, they can get it adopted, just like my parents did for me.
She is so convinced of the value of all children that she donates the proceeds from CD sales to Advokate Life and Education Services, the Fraser Valley pro-life organization that operates the Hope for Pregnancy Care Center. Women.
Singing teacher Savard says there is power in Krishna’s music and his message.
“When she wrote her pro-life article it was just amazing for me to see how she put it all together,” she said. “She played it in one of our recitals and everyone in the audience was beside themselves, totally taken aback by her and in tears.”
“We are all very proud to know her and proud of her accomplishments,” said choir director Comba. “She really has special gifts for songwriting and I think we all feel very lucky that she is such a role model to embrace life and not be held back.”
Deacon Dan Ritchie of St. Joseph Parish said Krishna is known as a cheerful and inspiring friend and musician. It was even the subject of one of his homilies.
“I used Melanie as an example of character, associating her with a gospel message of faith, hope, love, and counting your blessings,” said Ritchie. “I explained to the ward what her handicap was and how she was suffering, yet I was so grateful to God for the gift of life.
Caregiver Ridley is thrilled with her adopted sister’s accomplishments.
“My favorite song is the song about my dad called ‘The Patience Piece’. It’s different, funny and hits the mark when describing my father, who is a carpenter by trade, ”she said.
“I hope listeners are inspired to increase the sense of faith and hope in God in a way that Melanie has, despite all of her physical adversities.”
For information on how to purchase a copy of the Melanie Krishna CD, email [email protected]