Lynn singer goes from Y to ‘La Voz Kids’

By Daphnee Puryear The Daily Item, May 7, 2015

Merlyn_TheLynnItemLYNN, MA — Merlyn Garcia, a member of the Lynn YMCA Music Clubhouse, is preparing for the battle rounds on “La Voz Kids” on Telemundo.

Garcia, a fourth-grader at Lincoln-Thomson School, has made it to the Top 50 of “La Voz” children. Being a part of the Lynn YMCA Music Clubhouse has helped foster her musical talents, she said, adding that she was motivated to join the competition by Amanda Mena — last year’s “La Voz” winner.

“She told me it was going to be a great experience, and so far it has been,” Garcia said.

Garcia said after she made her decision to try out, she started getting anxious to get on the show. She was ready to try out and practiced daily. She said she feels comfortable singing in English, but was happy to get the chance to sing in Spanish as well. Two of the songs Garcia sang for the competition were Jennifer Holliday’s “And I Am Telling You” and Beyonce’s “Listen.”

Garcia said despite her mother being born in another country, she listens to old types of music. And that has made Garcia interested in it as well. Her mother has also helped her be more diverse musically, she said.

She remembers a time when she was watching television and could hear her aunt listening to music, and the songs she was listening to was Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” and Jessie J singing “Mamma Knows Best.” By listening to these different types of artists, Garcia said it has helped her with her auditions.

“I really look up to Jennifer Holliday, Natalia Jimenez — my coach on La Voz — and Nina Simone,” she said.

Now, Garcia is preparing for the battle rounds. Although she is nervous, she says she feels well-prepared, and it helps that she has the support of her friends, family, and staff at the YMCA. A lot is at stake for the competition. The winner get a full ride to any college of his or her choice and $50,000.

“If I win I want to go to Harvard, Princeton or Berkeley and study music and industry,” Garcia said.

Garcia said if she had to give people advice it would be to never give up on their dreams because they never know how far they might get, and that dreams really do come true.

“No matter what I will always go for what I want, because even if I don’t pass, other doors will open,” Garcia said.