By: Kat Harlton
Actor/Singer Soma Chhaya recently released her new single, “Forever Boy”. Recorded with producer/musician Sam Arion (Mute Choir), the final version of ‘Forever Boy’ is a passionate love ballad juxtaposed with underlying eerie vibes of sadness. Soma Chhaya’s music, her hands on approach to her brand and her talented ability to script, produce, direct and edit her own music videos is what sets Soma apart as a singular and truly unique talent.
“Die Antwoord has been a really big musical influence for me, as well as a personal one. They are so unorthodox in how they work and how they made themselves big in the music industry. I love how they are so unapologetically themselves and will not shift who they are or their image for anything. It’s so easy to kind of morph to what you think is right or what will get you to where you’re going faster, but nothing’s more gratifying then being yourself and being able to put out the art that you want. Just do your thing and be who who you are.”
Stepping out on stage for the first time in many years, however, wasn’t easy. Although Chhaya studied piano and regularly participated in singing competitions as a child, an intense bout of stage fright literally stopped her cold.
“I grew up with stage fright, to the point where I’d run off the stage crying. So acting came a lot easier because I just had to stand there and talk, I didn’t even have to be myself. Acting kind of built my confidence and going for auditions and being in front of large groups of adults judging you, that definitely helped build a thicker skin for me, and really helped with my stage presence. I did theatre when I was younger, so I feel I learned how to be more animated and how to entertain an audience. I feel like when you’re on stage, one portion is doing singing and making sure that it’s technically right, and then a whole other portion is making sure people are having a good time.”
In recent years Chhaya has amassed some formidable credits: appearing as Goldi Nahir in Degrassi – Next Class and in films including 2015’s Poltergeist and The Breadwinner – a full-length adult animated film based on Deborah Ellis’ best-selling book in which she plays a major role. Since debuting at TIFF 2017, The Breadwinner has been released widely in theatres to highly positive reviews, nominated for a 2018 Golden Globe Award and is nominated for an Oscar at the 2018 Academy Awards.
“Funnily enough Breadwinner didn’t take up much time, I went in the studio for eight hours and finished the entire movie. The whole process has been really cool, it’s hard to fathom that this happened to this film because it’s such a local group of filmmakers. The entire cast is ethic, which I really like. Even though they didn’t have to keep ethic people, they did and I think it was very important to the story-line. I’m just really happy it’s gotten so much attention.”
As Chhaya’s star grows, she plans on continuing to stay true to herself and offers advice for any artists who may be struggling. “If you want it deep down in your heart, it doesn’t really matter how you’re going to get there. I feel like life has a funny way of putting things together when you want something. I’m a firm believer in the power of the universe and a bigger purpose, so just have faith in yourself and faith in your desire and just keep working at your craft. Make sure you love it and that you’re doing it for the right reasons.”
“Forever Boy” is available globally on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Music and all other streaming and download stores.