Singing sensation is a natural star
Those who know Amalea Ribeiro realize she marches to a different drummer. They also know she can sing to any drum-beat and hit any note.
This 12-year-old singing phenomenon is blessed with an amazing voice, and she is also blessed with a good attitude and a gift for performing in public. No problem. In spite of her confidence, she is simply an unassuming Marshall Middle School student who happens to sing in public, in competitions, on the radio and in a recording studio. It doesn’t faze her or affect her good nature; she takes it all in stride.
Yes, she started singing at a young age.
“When I was five I started imitating opera,” she said.
“When I did my very first big performance as a solo artist, I just turned eight and it was at the Fashion Valley Mall,” she explained, adding that there were about 100 to 200 people in the audience.
When Amalea had her first opportunity to perform live, she just dove in. In fact, she was the one who recognized the opportunity and took action. She was with her mother to see her cousin perform at the mall for Tunes for Tots, a charitable organization for children. Amalea walked up to the event’s leader and said, “I can sing too.”
Amalea’s mother, Cynthia Ribeiro, explained what happened next.
“She said, ‘Really?, sing something for me.’ So (Amalea) belted out ‘The Hills are Alive’ from the ‘Sound of Music,’ and she said ‘Okay, will you come back tomorrow and sing?’ And that’s how she got her first gig.”
Amalea did not hesitate when she had her chance to sing in front of an audience for the first time, according to her mother.
“So, there was no fear from the beginning,” Cynthia said. “She’d just go up there and I’m crying and she’s singing.”
Amalea soon began performing with Tunes for Tots and sang at concerts all over San Diego for charity. She had not even begun taking singing lessons at the time. She started lessons when she was nine, and now she has a lesson once a week from singing instructor David Freeman. Amalea said she warms up for 25 minutes and then sings a song, getting coaching about the song from her teacher at the end of each lesson.
Today, Amalea estimates she has performed for a live audience as many as 50 times. In addition, she has recorded songs three times with producer Hans Oropallo in a studio located in Poway. She has performed on American Veterans Radio online on “Unplugged at Steve O's Place Live,” which features new, independent artists. She has also been in one music video.
Amalea recently earned second place in the RB Idol singing competition and will participate in the Spirit of the Fourth Parade in Rancho Bernardo and sing for the audience prior to the July 4 fireworks at Bernardo Heights Middle School.
Tuesday, June 27, Amalea will compete in the final round of the “In the Spotlight” vocal competition at the San Diego County Fair. Approximately 1,000 vocalists entered the contest. Ribeiro, earned a position as a finalist and will compete against nine other youngsters in the Youth Division for 8 to 12-year-olds. Winners will receive cash awards and trophies. The “In the Spotlight” competition will begin at 3 p.m. on the Showcase Stage at the fair.
With so much experience already, it’s easy to believe Amalea loves performing, especially in front of a live crowd. “Yeah, I like that, it’s fun,” she said quietly.
Does she ever get stage fright?
“I don’t really get nervous … I only did once,” she explained. “That was my ‘America’s Got Talent’ audition. I got so nervous my hands were shaking,” adding that the audition was a surprise; they received the call that very same morning.
Amalea has auditioned for two television shows, the other being “Little Big Shots.”
Her mother drives Amalea to her auditions and practices, and makes the big decisions regarding the direction of her talent and young career.
“You have to be careful and protective as a parent,” Cynthia said. “We only allow her to do things we are comfortable with; mostly local at this point. She has done a few of those bigger auditions with a little hesitance from me, but you want her to be able to chase her dreams as well.”
Amalea probably received some of her talent from her mother. Cynthia was active in theater when she was young and was a pop backup singer when she was in her 20s, she said. She performed at venues around Hollywood and Los Angeles, including Whiskey a Go Go, the old Madam Woo’s and The Roxy Theatre.
Amalea has already considered her future and has made preliminary goals. First, she wants to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, an independent college of contemporary music. Its purpose is to educate, train and develop students to excel in a music career.
She eventually wants to become a professional singer.
“I kind of want to be a pop-R&B type artist,” she said. “It’s like more challenging pop. Like what you hear on the radio is not very challenging.”
In the meantime, Amalea is enjoying summer as any child does, and looks forward to being a seventh-grader in the fall. She sings in choir class at Marshall Middle School, and has learned to mix with the other voices in the choir.
“I try to blend in because it’s supposed to sound like one voice,” she explained. “I had a little bit of trouble in the beginning, but once I got used to the choir then, okay, I get it. I get how to blend with other people now.”
Those wishing to see and hear more of Amalea may visit her on Facebook: @amalearosebud. She can also be found on YouTube by searching for Amalea Rose, or type bit.ly/2sGIuXe into your browser.
If you have a news tip or idea for a story, contact John Gregory: firstname.lastname@example.org