Zachary “Zach” de Lima’s gave his 80-year-old aunt a musical gift of a personal concert at her surprise birthday luncheon two weekends ago.
He delighted her and guests with the depth of his range, performing songs of varied genres, including the oldies.
The 20-year-old music enthusiast hopes one day to be known as writer, producer, entertainer and teacher. He plays the keyboard, guitar, piano and steelpan and sings.
His musical career started at age four, playing the steelpan at Dunross Preparatory School in Westmoorings. By ten, de Lima started private piano lessons with Gail Granderson-Lloyd and reached to Grade V in the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examinations. Entering Fatima College, the quiet-spoken musician sang in the choir under director Kwasi Noel.
“I sang in several of Fatima’s Gifts of Blue and Gold (GOBAG) Xmas concerts and also played with the Fatima steelband in that segment of GOBAG. It was a matter of rushing from the steelband into the choir during rehearsals and performances. At Dunross, I also took part in football, karate, cricket, swimming and water polo, but just water polo in Fatima.”
In 2009, when he was 12, one of his Christmas gifts was a guitar. “I started to teach myself guitar through YouTube. It is my first guitar and remains near and dear to my heart. I wanted to be able to write songs and support my singing so it was important to play the guitar as multiple instruments would make me versatile.”
De Lima also took part in the Biennial Music Festival with Dunross and Fatima’s steel orchestras, as well as the Fatima choir.
“It was pretty difficult but something I was passionate about and had complete support from both my parents, especially my mom, Jennifer, who is always there for me.....For Father’s Day 2016, I wrote My Dear Papa for my dad, Richard, who is also very supportive.”
Listening to de Lima, one wonders how does this young man fit it all into 24-hour days, since one of his multiple activities includes playing the keyboard on a Saturday for the Nativity Church choir in Diego Martin.
“I am very passionate about my music,” explains de Lima who also enjoys teaching piano and guitar. He has tried his hand at organising a band, Insight, which only lasted between 2011 and 2012 as he prefers to be on his own right now, preparing for a future as a solo artiste, writing and producing his own songs.
After graduating from Fatima College, having passed the CXC and CAPE examinations, de Lima started voice training in 2014 with June Nathaniel. That was the year he also took part in the Digicel Rising Stars competition.
Writing and producing for other people is a still to be fulfilled dream and with this in mind, de Lima completed a certificate programme in music technology at the University of Trinidad and Tobago for the 2016-2017 academic year.
His musical accomplishments include winning a jingle-writing competition, recording a chutney soca song that went viral, after which he was invited to perform with the artiste at an event; performing more than once at Kaiso Blues Cafe; writing and producing his own music, organising instruments and putting them together for recording at Maarten Manmohan’s studio.
De Lima’s musical choice is pop but he has a love for hip hop, and has even tried his hand at writing soca. He has steelband performances for Christmas concerts coupled with songs for crèche events.
He joined the Copyright Organisation of TT in 2015 and has copyrighted more than 60 of the 100-plus songs he has written. His debut song Together, released on May 27, can be found on digital platforms such as iTunes, Spotify and YouTube.
The young musician wishes for “collaborations with lots of artistes so we would write songs together and then perform together.” He can be contacted on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Sound Cloud.