A homeless woman whose stunning singing voice made her go viral has been offered a recording contract by Grammy-nominated music producer Joel Diamond.
Footage of Emily Zamourka showing off her incredible talent was shared online last week by an LAPD officer, who filmed her singing Puccini’s O mio babbino caro in a Los Angeles subway.
The footage has since been shared far and wide as Zamourka’s voice astounded social media users, with many people calling for her to be made a professional opera singer.
Listen to the singer here:
One of those impressed viewers was Diamond, who has produced 36 Gold and Platinum recordings and had over 54 recordings on the Billboard Charts. But rather than simply retweet the video of Zamourka, the music producer offered her a real chance at stardom.
According to TMZ, Diamond has drawn up an offer letter for the subway singer with the hope of creating a ‘huge classical/EDM crossover hit record for the subway soprano’. The deal would be for one initial record titled Paradise, which would be released on the producer’s label, Silver Blue Records.
I’ve seen her for years on the Metro. I heard her once singing “Ave Maria” and thought it was a radio at first. Everyone has a story…this woman does too. I don’t know why she’s been homeless all these years, but she’s a human being…that’s all that matters
— Kara Miller (@Kara37078289) September 28, 2019
At the time of writing (October 2), it’s unclear whether Zamourka has accepted the offer. Diamond’s proposal is just one of the exciting new doors opening for Zamourka since the release of the video, as she’s also reportedly scored a gig on Saturday night singing at an Italian heritage event in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the Russian-born singer learned to sing by imitating opera performers on TV as a child. She explained her homelessness comes after years of financial difficulties and serious health problems, meaning she now sleeps where she can while living on $400 a month in government aid.
As the footage of Zamourka spread online, some people found it hard to believe it was real, with a few convinced she was actually a trained actor planted on the platform to maximise social media attention.
Branimir Kvartuc, a spokesperson for Councilman Joe Buscaino who tried locating the singer after the video went viral, said those responses are indicative of the association of homelessness with drug addiction or mental illness, the LA Times reported.
Way too many people have categorised the homeless as a certain kind of class. That’s not the case. The majority of people are just people.
As well as singing, Zamourka played the violin for members of the public until someone took the instrument and broke it. Since going viral, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the 52-year-old with her financial difficulties as well as to allow her to replace her violin.
Law enforcement sources told TMZ people reached out to buy Zamourka a new violin directly but she declined. The LAPD is said to have put her in touch with its Homeless Outreach Team.
It will be incredible to see where Zamourka’s talents take her in future!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.