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Fourth time sweetest as singer captures prize at Pepsi Contest

It’s taken the planet a few spins around the sun but Mr Soukthavy Southammavong, also known as Jimmy, is finally ready to declare himself a winner after capturing the Pepsi Singing Contest 2017.
This is his fourth time to compete on this stage.
Trying his very best he emerged as the overall winner this year.
He is very happy and proud of the title because it is not easy to win such prizes.
As the winner, he was awarded with a Minister of Education and Sports’ trophy by the minister herself, Ms Sengdeuane

Mr Soukthavy with his prizes.               --Photos Jimmy

Lachanthaboun, as well as educational funding worth 15 million kip and other additional gifts thanks to sponsors including Pepsi.
Mr Soukthavy’s first time to compete was in 2014 but he could not pass the audition round at that time.
However, he did not cease in his attempts and tried again in 2015 and 2016, never getting past the semi final round.
Fortunately, this year, after practicing hard in all steps he could finally be declared the winner.
It was not easy to triumph because he had to compete with more than 300 candidates in the audition round, 30 contestants in the semi-final round, and 11 contestants in the final round.
Mr Soukthavy is a 20 year old student in Year 3 at Soutsaka Collegein Vientiane.
He was born on January 11, 1997, at Phontongsavath village Chanthabouly district where he still lives with his family to this day.
He is a student who has talent in singing, and loves both singing and playing music.
Mr Soukthavy started practicing singing and playing guitar by himself some five years ago.
The past five years of practice has made him a better singer and he occasionally shows his talents to the public with his brother’s band which entertains at social events.
He is an active student who is good at study and diligent in his behaviour, and he actively participates in all activities held within the school.
Being the winner, Mr Soukthavy now has also the chance to work with an entertainment company and he is now considering his preferred stable.
Mr Soukthavy is currently studying in the last year of the college and after graduation he plans to find a job to earn money and improving his singing chops at the same time.
He said that he was very happy and proud with the title, if somewhat surprised.
“It was kind of shockrf when my name was announced as the winner because I had not expected the title, but I’ll admit I tried my best.
“This is the first and only one stage I have ever competed on, yet it is not easy to become the winner as I had to work for four years.
 “In addition, on the stage there were many worthy contestants, and they were judged on three best aspects such as singing, performance, and voice.
“This time, I was nervous about it, but finally, I was announced as the winner, so it means that I have made my best effort,” he said.
“I would like to thank the organisers for organising the contest and giving the chance to all contestants to show their talent; the tutors for training us in all the singing and dancing skills and lessons on performances; my school and family for supporting and cheering me on and up,” he added.
“I will use the prizes I have received wisely and valuably, giving some to my beloved parents and dedicating the rest for my education and also for improving my singing and music skills.”
“I love music especially singing. Of course, I hope to continue to improve and develop my singing and music ability and if I am professional singer I will regularly produce nice music with quality for my fans.”
The Pepsi Singing Contest is held primarily to encourage students who are interested in the arts, especially music.
It seeks to encourage students to use their free time wisely and valuably by playing music and staying away from drugs and other social ills while encouraging those students who have talent in singing and performing in order to further develop those abilities.
It is also an activity for giving the chance for students all over the country to compete for winning the chalice of Minister of Educations and Sports as well as a good way of culture preservation and extension through music and arts.
This year’s contest is the sixth since it was initially held in 2012.
The contest was organised into three rounds: an audition, semi-final, and final, while contestants were asked to prove their talents in both slower and more upbeat musical styles.
The final round was held on the 7th of this month at National Convention Hall.
During the finale, contestants competed with each other with two songs - one ballad and one faster paced song.
Contestants were then scored on three aspects of their performance: their singing style and skills, their performance, and their voices, with victory sweetest for young Jimmy, coming out on top at long last.

By Visith Teppalath
(Latest Update May 27, 2017 )

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