BY FR CARLOS LUIS SAC
While the band Clay Jars has been creating a buzz for their unique and varied choice of music, there is one member from Curtorim, Levi Da Silva, a 16-year-old and the youngest among them, who needs a special mention for working with his father, Silvestre Da Silva, to put this band together.
He is currently studying at Rosary Higher Secondary School and started playing the drums at the age of three, inspired by his father. He narrates, “My dad has been my role model since the start and still is. He is a singer and also plays the drums, so I picked it up from him. If it weren't for him, I would never be a drummer or even a musician today.”
Quite the storyteller that he is, he further added, “One day when my dad was not home, I thought of playing the drums for the first time, at the age of three. My legs didn't reach the kick drum pedal as I sat. So, I stood and started playing the drums. My dad had just returned home from work and noticed me playing and making some sense. He came to me, caught my hand and showed me how to play and played the kick drum for me.”
And from then on, there was no looking back for Levi. He taught himself to play the drums, the keyboard, the guitar and the ukulele. Does he plan on dominating the musical world? We will never know, but he says, “My dad as a kid always wanted to become the best drummer in the world. But he had to give up music because of financial difficulties and travel abroad for better prospects. When he came back, he started to play the drums, even joining a band. But due to his job, he wouldn't get enough time to practice.”
Levi continues, saying, “So whenever he had a show, he would perform and get back to work, which wasn’t easy. Thus, he had to sacrifice his career. He wasn't able to fulfil his dream. But, I want to accomplish my dad's dream. I want to make him proud and make him feel that through me he has achieved his dream.”
Such clarity at a young age is commendable, not just that, Levi, through his music intends to bring a smile to the listeners’ faces. He enthusiastically states, “I should see my listeners enjoy and match vibes with me while I'm playing. When I see that, it gives me a different kind of satisfaction and happiness that I can't explain.”
Levi, despite being capable of playing other instruments, enjoys playing the drums as he considers it a gift from God, and without it, he would be just like any other normal teenager.
He recollects, “My late grandmother, Maria Sacramenta Ferrao, was my biggest fan and supporter. She always motivated me and would be so happy whenever I played the drums. Because of kind and generous supporters like her, my drumming career has taken off!”
Music certainly adds masala to our lives. Whether it is a sad or a happy moment, a moment filled with grief or bouts of joy, music surrounds and protects us. For Levi, music comes naturally, and he doesn’t need to follow a routine.
He mentions, “If I'm sitting on the couch and some idea comes in my mind – that very second I sit with the instrument and try to give that idea more colour and make it unique. I sit and practice the drums for at least 3 hours every day. That helps me get new ideas and work on my weaknesses.”
Levi along with playing the drums also likes to play football, a sport that has been very close to his heart since he was a kid. But given a choice, he says he would always choose music. Levi is undoubtedly realistic, he doesn’t believe that dreams are what we get while we are asleep. He says, rather, “A dream is when you wake up and start working to turn your ambition into reality."
To his contemporaries and everyone aspiring to be musicians, he advises, "Don't give up. People are always going to comment on many things when you make mistakes or when you are not good at it. But if playing music is what makes you happy, no one else matters. Try to learn through every mistake you make, keep practising hard, and one day it will all pay off, and you'll be proud of yourself.”
Levi feels indebted to all those who have had his back so far, right from his father, Silvestre, and his mom, Oliva Fernandes, and both his sisters, Esther and Areli Da Silva.
Through thick and thin, Clay Jars' present and past members have also been assisting Levi, and therefore he doesn’t forget them and says, “I have learnt so much from you. Thank you so much for pushing me forward and motivating me to be what I am today. You all are a family to me, and I love every one of you.” And he signs off with a drum roll.
(Carlos Luis is a priest belonging to the Society of the Catholic
Apostolate (Pallottine) and is currently studying for a licentiate
degree in Moral Theology. He comments on social and moral issues.)