The old adage, “never judge a book by its cover,” truly applies here. A homeless woman by the name of Emily Zamourka has captured the hearts of viewers everywhere with her stunning operatic voice. After being discovered in a Los Angeles subway, Emily is now on the road to stardom with an offer for a recording contract.
An Unbelievable Talent
Emily is a violinist and pianist who moved from Russia to the United States 30 years ago. She began to teach music to pay the bills. However, after facing serious health issues, Emily racked up major medical bills that took a hit on her finances. She worked several jobs just to make ends meet, including playing her violin on the streets for extra cash. However, her violin was stolen a few years ago. The talented woman ended up on the streets when she was unable to pay her rent and bills. She mainly relies on the $400 a month she gets from the government to survive.
In spite of her circumstances, Emily used her voice to captivate subway commuters on a regular basis. One day, an LAPD officer, known only by his last name Frazier, recorded the woman singing a famous Puccini aria in the subway. The video was later posted on the department’s Twitter account where it quickly went viral with over 1 million views. Little did Emily know that the video and her amazing voice was going to change the trajectory of her entire life.
After the video went viral, opportunities for Emily have been rolling in. Two separate GoFundMe accounts were set up in her name and have garnered over $100,000 in donations. Emily was also commissioned to sing at the opening of Little Italy, a newly opened strip in San Pedro that celebrates Italian culture. Branimir Kvartuc, a spokesperson for Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino, confirmed the news to the Los Angeles Times.
An even bigger opportunity for Emily came from Grammy-nominated producer Joel Diamond. After seeing the woman’s viral video, Joel drew up an official contract to sign Emily to his label, Silver Blue Records. His hope is to create an “innovative classical/EDM [electronic dance music] crossover hit record for the subway soprano,” he said in a press release. “I try very hard to think out of the box,” the producer told CBS News of his decision. “I saw her on this viral video like everybody else and I said to myself, ‘You know something — and I felt it in my gut — there’s not only a great story here, but also a great career here. And all she needs is an opportunity to help her fulfill her dream.'” There is no word yet on if Emily has accepted or declined the offer.
An Unforgettable Encounter
Nonetheless, Emily’s life has turned around all thanks to this video. The LAPD reached out to Emily to see if there was anything else that officers could assist her with. “Her voice continues to captivate our city, and as the offers for help pour in, we asked: ‘Emily, what can we do for you?’” the department shared on another Twitter post. “Her answer: ‘I want to thank Officer Frazier for taking the video.’”
The LAPD granted Emily’s wish. Emily and Officer Frazier officially met face to face recently. Emily thanked him for what he did for her, bursting into tears as the two shared a warm embrace. Officer Frazier’s video and the global attention that it has received has given Emily hope for her future. She dreams of being able to work in music again someday and getting back on her feet. “I will be so grateful to anyone who is trying to help me to get off the streets, and to have my own place, to have my instrument,” she said to ABC 7 News.
Watch this talented singer below!
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