By Madison Martinez
Senior Mercedez Zea is as cheerful as the pink sweater she wore to her interview. A communications major, Zea has a plans join the likes of BuzzFeed as a social media manager, but her true passion and goal is to become a professional singer. The road ahead of her has been well paved as she has been singing on campus numerous times for events like the Invocation in the recent Commencement Ceremony. However, she began using her voice far before that.
“I’ve been singing since for as long as I can remember. I’ve never had professional training,” Zea said. “I sang myself. I put on shows for my mom when I was a kid, and it kind of just flowed naturally.”
However, the path to improving her voice isn’t a lonely one. Zea participated in her class choir since middle school, which was led by teachers who were professionally trained. They set a great example for her in terms of warming up her voice and techniques.
As for her discovery, Zea’s first big performance was at Yogi Bear Stadium in Montclair University.
“One day one of my friends who can speak sign language, and he does performances in sign language for the national anthem,” Zea said. “He asked me to perform with him… So that kind of like, started my career in like national anthem singing and everything in between.”
Zea has been performing at school events since and even performed Marine Corps Retirement ball in New York City at age 17.
“That was a big deal for me,” Zea said. “Surrounded by military men I didn’t know…I was 17, and I was really nervous…but it all went out well.”
The singer has many accomplishments under her belt, but her biggest strengths are the passion behind her voice and ability to adapt to challenges.
“The way I kind of like to go about [performing] is if you’re not nervous, you don’t want it enough,” Zea said. “I do get nervous here and there, but I just have to take a breath. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, and if I mess up, I mess up, and I grew from that and I learned from that.”
By becoming a singer, Zea hopes to inspire others to find their motivation and their passion in life. She said it very inspiringly.
“Something I hold close to my heart is trying to inspire other people to either reach their goals or trying to step out of their comfort zone,” Zea said. “Because everyone has their own taste in music. Anyone who walks around with headphones, airpods, their music has a meaning to them and their music. Sometimes it’s the thing that motivates them to get up in the morning, to get up and go to the gym. So I feel like I want to be that person to motivate another person to keep going.
Zea manages her busy schedule as a resident assistant, student, and worker by prioritizing her tasks every day, and always starting off with positivity. That is something she believes in and wants to share with everyone.
“Never be afraid to express yourself in any manner, no matter what type of person you are,” Zea said. “I think everyone can sing. It just takes practice and practice and practice.”
If you would like to listen to Mercedes talk about music and its influence, tune in to her radio show “Benz on the B” on 89.1 WFDU-HD3 on Fridays from 9-10am.
Mercedez Zea is Looking to turn her passion into a career.
Photo by Madison Martinez
Categories: Student Lifestyle