Raneem Al-Buaijan, 21, a Kuwaiti student completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Miami, discovered her passion for singing the day she learned to speak. She describes her love for singing as a hobby and a passion.
Tell me about yourself?
I’m a senior at The UM, majoring in Electronic Media and minoring in Public Health and Psychology.I’m a correspondent for the television station called UMTV, and I work on the entertainment channel called Polls T.V at UM. I do camera work, editing on post production, and I’ve also helped pitched ideas. I hope to become the host for the channel next year.
Is music a part of you?
Music is second nature to me. Home videos of myself as a child show how music has always been a part of me and the only thing that kept me from crying, of course, then when the music ended, I would be upset.
Was your family supportive of you?
My parents have always been supportive and also love music. My mom always put me in music lessons I wanted. They’ve always given me a lot of advice, “don’t be nervous, you will do just fine.” Always making me feel better, they have always been so encouraging.
Have you performed in Kuwait and in Miami?
Yes, I have. My friends in high school always pushed me to sing, saying, “You have to sing, you can sing.” My first performance, I was about to pass out on stage. I was crying on the inside, but I knew I just had to do it. In university, I sing so much that it’s gotten much easier, but there are times I still get nervous, so I always practice.
How do you feel about being on stage?
It is a very different feeling, if I take away the anxiety and nervousness, I have to block out all the voices in my head saying, “you can’t do it!” When I get into the song, I must forget where I am, and become that song. I stop thinking about how my voice is going to sound. Sing songs I can relate to as a form of expression.
What draws your inspiration to sing?
Whatever my mood may be, I’ll find music that helps reflect that feeling.
Do you ever dream of becoming a singer?
That’s the ultimate goal for a music lover, including myself. I’m not Whitney Houston, or Michael Jackson, I’m not extraordinarily talented. Television and Radio is more connected to music today, which is why I’m in that field. I always want to work with music, hopefully one day I start my own record label, or become a radio host so I can pick the music, meet the artists and help them become big. I would love to be my own singer, if it happens, it happens.
Have you experienced any challenges along the way? If so, what?
The challenge is more internal, because when I want to sing, I have to find that courage to sing. What stops me is the fear of sounding bad. I’ve had times where the mic stopped working, and I’ve tripped. I am not someone that is very assertive, I don’t just say, “Oh put me in I want to sing.” I think talent speaks for itself. If someone has heard me sing, I want them to vouch for me and say, “She can sing and put her on the show.” Every challenge I’ve faced helped me grow.
Who are your musical inspirations?
Generally, artists that our generation doesn’t listen to, I love the classics from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. I admire Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, and Prince. People that we don’t typically listen to now were inspirations for all these other artists. They created an era of the music that I listen to. The classics are beautiful.