Belén Raya, NH Hoteles’ very own vocalist!

By Courtney Imel | 10:55

In this dynamic and rhythmic monthly theme of music, we have had the wonderful opportunity to interview some of our very own employees that also dedicate their lives to many different genres of music. The chance to discover the passion and excitement behind what drives these musicians is something unique and well worth discovering. 

Today we introduce you to Belén Raya, Sales Department at NH Abascal in Madrid, who also dedicates her life to being a vocalist. She sing various styles, anything from melodic ballads to pop and has also been to several castings. In addition, she has combined her passion with work by singing at a NH Eurobuilding party. On the other hand, she has also participated as a student at the academy Laboratorio de La Voz, a professional singing school in Madrid. 

It looks like she has an extensive vocal career and when we asked her how and when she first began singing, she answered: 

“The truth is that I always remember singing in my life, since I was in school where I sang in the choir. Later, I was fortunate to sing with friends but I always took it as a hobby and now in my forties I’m learning to sing professionally. It’s never too late!”

She generally sings melodic and ballads and as an artist her own personal style can be described as: 

“My style is pop and perhaps mixed with Jazz, and generally, I adapt better to the melodic themes. Singing is telling and for this we must feel and, more importantly, convey and impact all of those who listen to you. They say my way of singing is special, that I adapt every song to my own style. Having a title as a singer is a gift you are born with. I was very lucky!” 

Here inspiration to sing comes from deep within and is shaped by her experiences, she explains:  

“All situations that make me feel, both good and bad, inspire me at the time of singing. I am inspired when singing and when I don’t feel inspired I simply start singing and escape from everything around me and fly. It’s my best method of handling stress. Two of my favorite singers of all time that give me inspiration are Freddie Mercury and Alejandro Sanz.” 

Juggling a singing career as well as a professional career may seem difficult to manage, but not for Belén! She let’s us in on her secret: 

“It is easy, thanks to the music I have energy to work every day. When I finish work in the afternoon I rush over to ‘Laboratorio de la Voz, a music school, and give it my all. On weekends I make the most out of my time to study and rehearse. Actually I’d say I’ve combined music with work.” 

Speaking of work and pleasure, she continues with her unforgettable experience singing at the NH Eurobuilding party! 

“It was amazing! A few days before the Christmas party we learned that the group coming to sing was the Spanish rock/pop group Modestia Aparte. I told my colleagues, rather jokingly, that if they sang ‘Ojos de Hielo’ I would go out with them on stage. It was a song that I had sung many times on guitar and I loved it. Furthermore, the song means a lot in my life. The day of the party I noticed something strange in the air: my colleagues were watching me, I guess in case I got out of sight-and suddenly, I heard them say: “Now we’ll sing ‘Ojos de Hielo’.” I didn’t hesitate and in seconds there I was, climbing on stage in front of all my colleagues.

The feeling was magical, awesome. When I started singing there was silence throughout the room, it was a very special moment for me: the lights, the music of the piano, the faces of everyone watching me… And, last but not least, I was performing at the hotel where I worked. When I finished singing I was enveloped in hugs, kisses, and congratulations. I  had managed to move everyone with my voice and that’s something I can never forget.”

This extraordinary performance wasn’t actually her first time performing for a live audience. She’s been doing it live for years and she has also attended many castings: 

“I spent several summers working in Benidorm, a quaint beach town on the coast of Spain at a venue for live Jazz accompanied by guitar, piano and sax played by Cuban musicians who were also great friends of mine. I also played some concerts and worked with a known singer from Asturias, in Northern Spain. 

“As far as castings go, I have been to some, but from my own personal experience: I’ve never trusted them. I went to the cast of ‘Pop Stars’ (2005) which was held at the NH Parque de las Avenidas, in Madrid. It started at 9:00 in the morning and I didn’t sing until 10 o’clock at night! I also went to the casting of ‘The Voice’ (2012) in Spain. I went through the first phase but not the second.” 

And last but definitely not least…If she were given the chance to choose, which artist would she love to perform a concert with on stage? 

“If I had to choose two Spanish singers, I would undoubtedly go with Alejandro Sanz and David Bisbal. On the international scene, George Michael!” 

 We hope you enjoyed this slice of life of one our very own passionate vocalists! Visit our blog in the near future where you will find many more inspiring stories of our other NH Hoteles’ musicians. 


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