Poova Sri Rama already has a colourful music career spanning a decade under her belt, but she is not resting on her laurels.

The 39-year-old singer-songwriter recently participated in the Asian Dream talent show and impressed music legend Michael Bolton so much that he said she had set the bar high for the other competitors on the show.

Bolton serves as the judge, creator and executive producer, in the reality show presented by Subaru Asia, which premiered on AXN on Aug 6. Filipina singer-songwriter and TV personality Morissette Amon appears as his co-judge.

Astro Ulagam caught up with Poova, whose real name is Poovanesvary Sri Rama, to talk about her journey in the world of music.

According to Selangor-born lass, music has always been around in her life, as she grew up. Her great grandfather was an Indian classical musician and her father used to sing.

"It's just that back then, I never thought it (singing) would become my career.

"Only much later, did my passion became my career," she quipped.

In the last 10 years, Poova has won a number of accolades, namely the Best New Artiste at the 2014 Anugerah Industri Muzik, and was also nominated for the Best Vocal Performance In A Song (Female) at the same award ceremony.

She has also represented Malaysia in various music festivals abroad, including the Hong Kong Asian-Pop Music Festival in 2015.

On the biggest challenge she has faced thus far, Poova said the common problem faced by many local musicians is the lack of platform to showcase their talents.

"There are many local talents out there, but many lack the platform to showcase their skills. It's easier now though, with social media and the internet, but local radio stations should also highlight local talents more," she said.

Hits and Misses

Poova considers her AIM win in 2014 the biggest achievement in her career. She also takes pride in the various instances she had represented Malaysia in the global arena, including via the Asian Dream show.

"My only slight regret would be I wish I had started (in music) younger. But then again, starting where I did was what gave me the experience, maturity, and 'stories' to tell through my songs."

Despite her vast experience in professional singing, Poova said she is still "learning and moving forward", with her next venture being the release of a Malay single, 'Karya' this coming October.

"The Malay music scene is very challenge, and I'm sure there will be ups and downs, but I'm lucky to have the right people to help me with it."

Although Poova is no stranger to performing before a crowd, Asian Dream is her first reality show experience.

"I had a lot of fun doing the show, and I learned a lot about myself - what are my strengths, and what I can do better. I would say the experience I gained from the show is the most precious," she said.

'Be Passionate, And Never Give Up'

Asked about whether she had any advice for aspiring local musicians who are too afraid or hesitant to take the first step, Poova had this to say: "You have to be bold. The music industry can be unforgiving, but you must have passion (for what you do) and never ever give up. Keep going as (music) is a journey that gives you much valuable experience.

"Also, be sincere and authentic in what you do."

So having won awards, and making Malaysia proud in the global arena, what's next for Poova?

"I will concentrate on breaking into the Malay market, and also release some of my original English songs.

"I will keep doing what I do, and may be one day in the future, I will get into production, vocal teaching and guiding aspiring musicians to become the next Poova," she quipped.

Poova will be battling it out with five other contestants from the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam to emerge tops and for a chance to join Bolton on his Asian Dream Tour, and become Subaru Asia ambassador.

You can tune in to the Asian Dream every Thursday on AXN (Astro channel 701 HD or 721) at 7.25pm. Past episodes can also be viewed online on Subaru Asia’s official website at https://www.subaru.asia/sg/en/lifestyle/asian-dream/.