There are thousands of people living on the streets of LA. Each one with a unique story, a different reason for ending up where they are. One of those stories is going viral.
Meet Emily Zamourka, a 52-year old from Russia who ended up on the streets of LA due to medical bills.
Now known as the subway songstress, Emily was captured on film by a police officer who saw her singing in the LA subway with the mesmerizing voice of an angel. The captivating performance was filmed in the Wilshire-Normandie subway station.
The officer posted the video to the LAPD Twitter account with the caption: “4 million people call LA home. 4 million stories. 4 million voices… sometimes you just have to stop and listen to one, to hear something beautiful.”
4 million people call LA home. 4 million stories. 4 million voices…sometimes you just have to stop and listen to one, to hear something beautiful. pic.twitter.com/VzlmA0c6jX
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) September 27, 2019
The post went viral almost immediately, with people from all over the world sharing, commenting and liking it. As of now, the video has over 1.12 million views, 6,850 retweets, and 20,000+ likes.
The world wanted to hear more of her singing, and more about her story. And so, the musically-blessed woman introduced herself as Emily Zamourka, a 52-year-old songstress and musician from Russia.
Growing up, Emily would watch opera singers perform on television and that is how she learned to sing. As she grew older, her passion for music expanded and she learned how to play the piano and violin.
Eventually she made the move to North America where she hoped to gain independence and new experiences.
When she first arrived in the States, she worked odd jobs at nursing homes and restaurants to pay the bills, but eventually her love for music won out and she began teaching it.
Sadly, a host of medical issues and subsequent medical bills ended up crippling the self-sufficient musician to the point she was forced to give up her home, and that’s how she ended up on the streets of LA.
Emily used to play the violin on the streets of LA until someone stole her treasured instrument.
Unfortunately, things got even worse for Emily when someone stole her $10,000 violin and destroyed it. At that point, her violin was her only source of income and so not only was she out $10k, but she was out of a way to put food in her mouth.
Someone could steal her instrument, but no one could steal her talent and passion for music. This was proven by the video captured by the LAPD officer. Instrument or no instrument, this woman still has the voice of an angel.
Emily’s story has resonated with so many people who are now on a mission to help the songstress get back on her feet.
Since the video went viral, the subway singer has turned into a local celebrity with massive crowds gathering around to hear her sing. In addition, she was invited to sing at the opening of Little Italy in celebration of Italian heritage in Los Angeles.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help Emily regain her footing and get off the streets. At the time of writing this, the campaign has already raised over $77,000.
Michael Trujillo, the man behind the GoFundMeAccount, started the fundraiser after hearing Emily‘s story on the Sunday night news.
“[I] noticed no account had been set up when I entered her first and last name – so decided to do one myself,” he explained, adding that he contributed $15 to the account before going to bed.
When he woke up the next morning the campaign had raised $1,000.
“As more attention to Emily’s story occurred the donations kept coming in – from the media accounts I have seen her life has taken a turn for the positive and on my end it has been very intense,” Michael writes on GoFundMe.com.
“I live in LA, but have never met Emily. Currently, LA Councilman Joe Buscaino’s office has been communicating with her and they know my goal is to give Emily control of this account when she is ready for it. I haven’t touched any of the money, nor will I ever.”
“For all the folks who have e-mailed me about donating a violin, housing, a job for her those emails have been saved and when Emily is ready she can read each one and go from there.”
You never know who you might find in your local subway – from painters to street performers and musical artists, there is so much to discover when you open your eyes. Especially in a city like LA, where thousands of people end up on the streets despite their talents and good hearts.
More info: GoFundMe