Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke with singer-songwriter Piera Van de Wiel. She told us about her initiative Stronger with Music. She also shared her advice for aspiring entertainers. Find out what she had to say.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Could you tell us about Stronger with Music?
Piera Van de Wiel: Stronger with Music promotes the importance of music and mental health and music and social impact. We work with music therapists, trauma specialists and neuroscientists and offer educational seminars, workshops, music therapy programs, and specialized music and trauma programs.
CS: How has the pandemic affected your work?
PVW: My last in-person concert was in St Lucia in February at the Regional Caribbean STEAM & Innovation Symposia with the Aspire Artemis Foundation, UN Women and Microsoft, and I was surrounded by incredible high schoolers! I loved every second!
The following month I was going to the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas to perform my single “Come Back Home (Abaco Relief Song)” that has been raising awareness and funds for the last year for the people of Abaco who lived through Hurricane Dorian in 2019. I was performing at an opening of the school which had been built from donations, but due to COVID-19 that did not happen.
Like many artists and entrepreneurs, we moved over to virtual events, panels and concerts! It took me some time to get used to, but it’s great how you can connect and network with so many people virtually.
During this time, I have been grateful for being able to work on moving my social impact projects forward with my songwriting and music videos. My work was selected for festivals such as the Arts x SDG festival, Los Angeles Film Awards, Independent Shorts Awards, Los Angeles International Music Video Festival, and the Awareness Festival.
CS: How did you get your start as an entertainer?
PVW: I graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts, and I was cast in an off-Broadway show, The Three Musketeers, with the incredible Classical Theatre of Harlem. I was cast as the antagonist Milady de Winter. It was at CTH where I was given the stage to find my voice within the industry.
I will always be grateful to the impeccably talented, gracious, force of nature Ty Jones (the producing artistic director). Especially during this time of COVID let’s show some love to these fantastic theatre companies.
CS: What advice would you give someone who wants to be an entertainer?
PVW: Create your own work and write, write, write. Don’t wait and sit around for someone to give you the opportunity, go out and create opportunities for yourself!
CS: What other projects have you worked on recently?
On September 21st, the International Day of Peace, I performed as a part of the Global Voices Program of UN75 with the foundation, The Dais, Foggs, and other partnering foundations.
CS: Anything to add?
PVW: If you want to get more involved with the work of Stronger with Music follow us or my page @pieravandewielofficial and send a DM!
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