Illustration by Shenuka Corea

With Vera Ciocca

The musical career of NYUAD first-year student Vera Ciocca: from childhood to opening for Ricky Martin.

Mar 3, 2018

On Feb. 23, the third and final day of the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz festival, Vera Ciocca opened the Ricky Martin concert, performing 14 songs. Ciocca is a talented first-year student at NYU Abu Dhabi who was given the opportunity to sing for the first hour of the concert in front of a large audience.
Ciocca is Colombian, and credits the beginning of her singing career to her musical childhood. Growing up, Ciocca was immersed in the art of music. At the age of 7, she joined the local choir and sang classical, medieval and baroque music. Around the age of 11, she began taking piano and music production lessons. As she became more interested in the field of music, she began singing different music genres such as pop and R&B, which is her current preferred style. With her rising interest in music production and composition, Ciocca produced three of her own original songs, which won her a chance to record a music composition at the Berklee College of Music.
Ciocca participated in The Voice Colombia (Teen), a reality TV singing competition to identify talented vocalists. Ciocca finished as one of eight finalists and she considers it to be one of the turning points in her musical career.
“It was a really really great experience. I got to meet a lot of people and people interested in working with me,” Ciocca said of this experience.
Shortly afterwards, she applied to universities and committed to NYUAD as she “fell in love with the university.” With her major in music, she took her first vocal lessons on campus and has carried on taking piano lessons. Her music career in the UAE has been progressing smoothly. During her first semester, Ciocca participated in the Yasalam Emerging Talent Competition and stood as one of the finalists. Ciocca credits her public exposure from the Emerging Talent Competition with her incredible opportunity to perform at Ricky Martin’s concert. Just this past weekend, Ciocca performed in the Abu Dhabi Ideas Weekend. Looking back at all the great opportunities and experiences she has had the past year, she reflects that one should, “Never lose any opportunities that you have and always try to be original.”
Photo by Aizaz Ansari
Ciocca works hard to maintain a balance between her musical career and her academics as a college student. The support of both her professors and the school play a helpful role as she diligently works as both a student and a musician.
As a musician, Ciocca revealed her desire to produce music that anyone can relate to and have their own interpretations of. This summer, Ciocca plans to release original songs in Colombia, one of which is Sala de Espera, which translates to Waiting Room.
“Sala de Espera can be interpreted in many ways. When I wrote this, I had several scenarios in mind. I thought it would be really cool for people to listen and have their own interpretations of the song.”
For Ciocca, singing is a powerful method of communication.
“Singing is a voice that can reach out to thousands of people. To get a message across. To go on stage and have people feel the emotions of your singing and to relate. It is a really powerful way to express yourself and connect.”
With her talent and bright personality, Ciocca has an exciting future ahead of her.
Stephanie Lim is News Deputy. Email her at*
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