While words are supposed to make you think, music makes you feel, and those who have mastered the art of both will surely make you feel the thought. In a society where almost everyone who can fix words together in a flowing sound is called a singer, there is evidently only a few who do it right, besides the space of possibilities. In the same fraternity of art, there are those who work and push extremely hard to perfect their art, but you cannot ignore simple living talent that is possessed by a very few.
When it comes to the very few who are blessed with the voice of all ranges and reach, leave out not Paul-William Shipanga. The 19-year old and second year full time second year medical student has a rare gift of healing through music. When philosophers said singing provides a true sense of lightheartedness, this is exactly what Paul brings to the mic.
His heart-wrenching voice has introduced him to stages of importance that many only wish to set foot. He has become a favourite to the house of the first citizens and other formal events. In a very unique way, those he showers with his masterpiece performances are always left jaw-dropped trying to comprehend not only how but why such a talented soul is doing at Unam School of Medicine and not in a music school.
His last tour, which he mostly does during his school breaks, was a week performance in Rosh Pinah. And just like any stage he has stepped on, those on the receiving end have his name to their lips as far as raw talent is concerned.
“Nothing besides the fact that I am blessed explains my talent,” explained the humble and focused young vocalist.
Many have dubbed him to have an old soul. This is referenced to his eloquent mastering of great hits like that of Luther Vendross, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, Maxwell and other legends of yesteryear. He does it in a manner only Paul can explain if not the original singers.
His singing journey was packed and set to explode for the world when he was grade 4. Just like any Idols-inspired child, Paul was just having fun. Little did he know that it was the beginning of a journey now many wish to trace. In high school, he took the stage again, but this time getting a wider circumference of believers in his talent.
With a push from those who reminded him of his talent, he entered the Namibian Championships of Performing Arts. His outstanding performance of undoubted talent got him a Visa to Los Angeles to compete with the greatest of his caliber in the world. He scooped 7 gold medals each in a respective category.
“That was when I realized that I am blessed. And if I ever give up this talent, I will have a big prize to pay.”
“But I decided not to be naïve because education remains power. If you are not educated to write genuine lyrics, it is going to be evident in your art. So imagine when you have education and talent. So I can be talented as people say I am, but I will be in school and read my books.”
While prioritizing his education, the versatile charm believes he cannot imagine living a life where he ignores his talent, which he says goes hand in hand with medicine – “both are a tool to heal.”
“I chose medicine because I want to heal. I asked myself, what gives me the same peace that music gives me – medicine was the answer. Medicine gives me the education and the ability to heal and music gives me the talent and the ability to heal.”
He adds: “My purpose is to heal through my music, medicine and to make a difference. All of us in this world I obliged to express ourselves as destined to do so. We should not ignore our talents and opportunities that come before us. We are all meant for something great. And when people come to you afterwards telling you how you have touched them, that is the blessings that comes with it.”
The talented vocalist takes on music with a passive approach. He would listen to the greatest of his liking and push himself to the edge to sing just alike if not better. As such, the young vocalist blessed with the ability to master the vocal dynamics, he is able to hit that strong and loud base and at the same time stretch that lowest note where he sings from the stomach.
“I can sing from soprano to base. Sometimes I sing like a fat black man or like a skinny white woman. I just let it go. I love it. It is one thing that give me the biggest joy.”
Inspired by those who have a positive impact in the lives of the youth like the First Lady Monica Geingos, Paul says his journey has just started with the vision of being a living testimony to his peers. With the public reputation he has created over the years, he says he will remain humble and thankful to those who have pushed him this far.
His friends have at times questioned his loyalty to the circle because of his lifestyle but he says his is to achieve and step up to heights many would aspire to follow. He has started writing material of his own but maintains tightlipped on the day the talent will explode and grace the fraternity with his conscious voice.
The Okahandja-born remains humble for the invites he gets from those who believe in his talent and promises a bigger chapter is yet to open. He stays committed to his school work that he aims to grow parallel to his gift of music.
In conclusion, he directs all praises and success to his grandparents whom he claims have raised a disciplined young many with the right life principals. “I’m so thankful for my family because they believe and support me. They taught me everything that a young man is meant to know. My strong foundation is just another blessing.