When I first heard Sherwyn Sequeira play a mashup of varied genres like country, Afro, pop and retro in just 60 seconds on the violin, I was mesmerised. And there is plenty from where that came from. This is why many hail him as a versatile fusion violinist.
He is a violin virtuoso who certainly makes Goa proud. Sherwyn is from Majorda and a geology graduate from Parvatibai Chowgule College, Margao.
He has received classical violin and music theory training from the associated board of the Royal College of Music, London.
Sherwyn testifies that he randomly chose to learn the violin in 2004 and adds affirmatively, “My dad, Eduardo Sequeira, made sure I continued learning because as a kid the instrument was quite challenging to me. So, credit to him for helping me jumpstart the journey as a musician.”
Further on, he says, “I got my ear to play the violin naturally when I started playing in a church choir every Sunday. To be frank, the first time I ever played the violin was in a church.
Apart from playing the violin Sherwyn is a fabulous dancer.
He says, “Dancing is one thing which I enjoy doing, especially choreographing a hip-hop style dance. I got immense love when I used to perform. I have some plans in this field as well in the future, but I would definitely choose the violin because it's my bread and butter. This career has helped me to stand on my own feet. It's become my identity.”
Sherwyn credits his mother, Suema Barreto, for introducing him to the dance field.
He recalls, “She choreographed for our dance group when I was a child and we danced on stage for carnival and other events. I continued from there, progressively upgrading and picking up new information on my own. It's been a ride ever since. We brought so many trophies home with us.”
Sherwyn has a power unlike any other and can sculpt sound into beautiful music. One feels he is in love with his violin and wants to merge with it.
When appreciated, he says, “I'm nothing extraordinary though. But, I'm glad many like what I do. I just like the idea of fusing a classical instrument with modern music. I've developed some skills along the way and am still learning. I have a long way to go and lots to learn.”
Sherwyn is grounded and aware of what he wants. He aims to give people who are listening to him play the instrument a good time.
He adds optimistically, “Everybody goes through a lot of things in life, but if I can just bring a smile to their faces, it means a lot to me.”
For Sherwyn too his musical shows in general are an escape. He says, “Playing the instrument keeps me happy, and my work in the field of music is what keeps me going.”
Sherwyn plays all genres, including country, classical, jazz, electronic dance music, Afro and pop. He doesn’t have any favourite as he loves playing everything. Nevertheless, he knows for certain that we are in a competitive age, especially musicians in Goa.
He says, “There is such brilliant talent out there, so being unique is the most important thing as it lets you stand out.” So, being unique isn’t easy, people either get you or they don’t.
Sherwyn narrates his initial difficulties, “As a solo violinist, it was at first difficult for hotels and restaurants to understand what I do. So, opportunities had to be created by sending out videos, giving free trials, etc. Some people did not bother at the start. I've come a long way from that time.”
He now performs at resorts like St Regis Goa, ITC Grand, Planet Hollywood, Jasmine Resort, and restaurants like Leda Seashells, James' Cafe Beach Hut, Leda Balcao, Martin’s Corner, The Garden Restaurant, Orzo Kitchen + Bar. He has recently performed in Bahrain too.
Sherwyn’s favourite piece is “Down by the riverside”. It's one of the easiest pieces to play, he says and adds, “But that was the first piece I learnt from my first music teacher. He passed away 2 years after that, so I always dedicate that song to him.”
He is in awe of the entire music industry filled with amazing personalities who always continue to inspire him.
Sherwyn abides by this wonderful advice he received, “Make the best out of what you have because this too shall pass.”
When asked about his routine before a performance he said, “I take my God's name and am off to work.”
Very humbly he instructs the young musicians by saying, “Stay true to your art and be good at it as much as possible. Younger musicians entering the business zone of music should make sure they have a regular income in the field, create good content to grow their brand and always be professional. Lastly, be consistent and disciplined.”