BOSTON — While Arpine Martoyan is a regular 15-year-old from Armenia, her alter ego, Maléna, is an international singing sensation who won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC) in 2021 with the song, Qami Qami, the live performance of which, as of this writing, has more than 3 million hits on YouTube.
“It’s surreal. And the music video has more than 11 million views. Back when the song was in its early stages, I felt and heard the potential of it, but to actually reach that many people is a wonderful feeling,” said Maléna in a recent interview.
Maléna is currently in Boston, at the Berklee College of Music, for the Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive, a prestigious program whose alumni include Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor. She received the school’s Armenian Scholarship.
“I always knew that Berklee was an incredible and unique place for young musicians to develop themselves — with each person bringing their own background and musical experience to one place. Receiving this scholarship is something I am so thankful for,” Maléna noted.
Maléna is having a grand time at Berklee.
“The summer program has been so fun. I’ve met many great new people, I’ve been going to jam sessions, and just generally sharing thoughts with the other students I’m meeting, and communicating through music. The professors are also amazing, and I’m learning so much,” she said.