Paul Kapeleris’ life changed in an instant when his musical career skyrocketed to fame after an extraordinary performance of Andra Day’s Rise Up on popular television program, Australia’s Got Talent earlier this year.
The now 23 year old with the angelic voice and exceptional piano playing skills is the 2019 Vision Australia Carols by Candlelight Ambassador.
The talented musician was born with only 15%; he now only has 5% vision which is slowly deteriorating.
Paul found a new meaning for life when his mother encouraged him to start piano lessons at the age of eight.
‘’It was very difficult as I couldn’t see the notes. Basically my teacher told me to practice and feel the notes with my eyes closed. The piano has a set structure so I don’t have to look to play the piano anymore. There’s a lot of muscle memory going on,’’ Paul explained.
From a young age, Paul would watch talent shows on television such as X Factor and Australian Idol, and would dream of doing something similar as he grew up. To Paul, music was what gave him the confidence and freedom to truly be himself.
Earlier this year, Paul completed his Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in music, which came after years of dedication to the piano and music.
Inspired by his mum, music teachers and professors, Kapeleris has had the privilege to learn from a variety of people over the years.
Kapeleris finds inspiration across the music industry with his idols being Sam Smith and Chris Stapleton for their ability to connect with their music and audience.
‘’I love Ed Sheeran’s songwriting ability, and Gary LeVox and Tori Kelly for the absolutely stunning vocals. All of these incredible artists have sculpted my own artistry in some way, and I am eternally grateful for their drive and passion to make music.’’
As Vision Australia Carols by Candlelight Ambassador, Kapeleris hopes to provide inspiration to those who don’t think they are good enough or have what it takes.
‘’Vision Australia has allowed me to live a life I would never have been able to live otherwise. They have provided me with support, got me out of the house with young adult social activities, and have taught me life skills through occupational therapy. Interacting with other people who have vision impairments is an enriching experience that, for me, would only have been possible through Vision Australia.’’
‘’As someone who has lived with a severe, degenerative vision impairment for all of my life, it means the absolute world to be given this opportunity. We are strong. We are powerful and can do anything.’’
‘’It is quite daunting knowing that I will be performing in front of an audience of millions of people on Christmas Eve. Not being able to see anything helps! It’s just me and that piano on the stage.’’
The rising-star is treating this journey as something special, something to be cherished with every second . Alongside writing his own music, Kapeleris is willing to take on every opportunity that comes his way, he’s going to grab it with both hands and never let go!