* My interview with Lisa Michelle was previously posted in 2013.
I first met Lisa Michelle when she sat in on my interview with rapper and producer Solitar. She seemed more than willing join in on our “off the record” discussions. I knew from then that she deserved an actual sit down interview. She had a cool way about her and I severely girl crushed on her awesome hair! (Her beautiful dreads NEED mention in this interview!) I also wanted to blog about her music and present her soulful voice to you.
Who is Lisa Michelle?
Lisa Michelle is a singer, songwriter and stage performer who quit her day job in advertising over 4 years ago to pursue her love of singing. #YOLO. She has flexed her creative muscles in the musical Godspell, among other stage plays, and most recently performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival.
I was fortunate enough to score a sit down with her after she returned from her luxurious vacay in Hawaii. Do you, girl!
Here’s a bit of our talk.
At what age did you know that you wanted to be a singer?
Probably at 13 or 14 years old. My class went to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on a class trip. That was the first musical I’ve ever seen. Performers were dancing hard…singing hard. I was like, “This is a job?” It’s incredible. From then on, I knew I wanted to be on stage. Didn’t know necessarily that I wanted to sing or act. I just knew I wanted to do that!
When did you start singing?
My first memory was singing in church. My friend’s dad was an evangelist at the church we went to and he was a singer. He always wanted me and his daughter to sing back up for him. I was like, “I’m not a singer!” My friend begged me so I started singing with her, and then to my surprise I was like, “I’m really good!” I really didn’t know that I could sing. It’s not something that I did. How I learned was listening to gospel. Gospel music had the best vocals. Those singers can sang! Musical theatre was the next step.
What artists influenced you?
For gospel…… everyone in Kirk Franklin’s choir and Fred Hammond. For musical theatre, Joseph starring Donny Osmond was the first musical I ever saw and it’s what made me want to be a stage performer. Playing Nala in The Lion King is still my dream role—until I create my own role in my own musical. Also definitely Jill Scott. She is where I found my own voice. She is the apex of all …She’s everything I want to be in a performer and songwriter. If you’ve seen Jill Scott perform live….it’s sooo real. You feel like one of her friends.
Do you write all your songs?
I co-write all my songs. With This Moment (latest album), when I met Solitair aka Silver, we started working together. He is so multi-talented. A lot of the times he’ll give me a beat, I come with the melody and lyrics, and he’d make it better. He’d make minor changes and it’s like wow! There’s a reason why you’ve been doing this for many years. This Moment is truly a collaborative work.
Who are you listening to right now?
I love Beyonce’s album “4.” It’s such a good album to warm up to. It’s my favourite Beyonce album. I still go back to older things. Still very much into Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun album. Neo-soul is what really keeps me in the game.
Love your vibe and esthetic. Do you have a stylist or do you create your own look?
Once in a while I use a stylist…she’s actually my friend –Arianne Young. I’m one of those rare human beings that doesn’t like to shop. The only thing I like to buy is makeup and jewelry.
What’s next for Lisa Michelle?
Doing Godspell in the fall. I’m really excited to do it because they picked up the exact same cast we had last year. Right after that, I have another musical opportunity that I can’t discuss yet!
That was the end of our recorded conversation – I foolishly took off my digital recorder when I should have kept it on. I did ask all of my questions, but unfortunately all the juicy convos happen when the voice recorder comes off! Lol. Oh wells! Thanks for the chat, Lisa
Fave Lisa Michelle quote: “If you know what you want to do in life you have to do it. It’s almost unfair to anyone else who doesn’t know.
The ‘musical opportunity’ Lisa Michelle alluded to at the end of the interview was a National Tour that took place 2013-2014! Lisa and her “Godspell” castmates performed the musical in 26 U.S. & Canadian cities . Lisa is currently exercising her performance skills with Second City’s Improv Conservatory program.
Last and certainly not least, Lisa and he husband had their first child in April 2015! McKenzie Avery Love
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