A first timer in the Calypso arena, Laura Richardson whose stage name is Laura Lisa, is the only female to make it into the final of the National calypso monarch competition to be held at the national Sporting Stadium at Queen’s Park on August 7th.
The female singer who is originally from Byelands in St. Andrew but currently lives at Good Hope, St. Paul’s impressed the judges in Sunday night’s semi-final show at Victoria Park in Grenville, St. Andrew with her two selections, “Unfamiliar Face” and “This Carnival”.
In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper, Laura Lisa who copped the 9th and final place gave an insight into her two songs.
“My first song is called “Unfamiliar face” (and) you can take it anyway you want it but it’s basically about losing yourself and finding yourself again”, she said.
“…It’s like when you look at yourself, due to certain things that happen to you…it’s an unfamiliar face you’re seeing, it’s not you…”, she added.
In making reference to her second song, “This Carnival”, she said: “…I actually dreamt that song…”.
According to Laura Lisa, she has been involved in the music industry for approximately 10 years with mainly soca but not directly with calypso.
However, she said she has always been in touch with Calypso but wasn’t sure how she should enter the competition.
She told this newspaper: “A lot of years I’ve been wanting to but I just didn’t know how. Last year I wanted to but I was too late. So, this year I did it again and I went to Ajamu. We did the first song, he said “ok, I can come in the tent as a guest and then I said you know what I should come up with another song”.
“…It’s (calypso) new…in the soca we don’t have to do all these practices and writing music, practice with the tent and make sure everything is right….tent launch and judging of two songs…you know in soca we normally do one…it’s a different experience,” she said.
Laura Lisa is very proud of herself to make it this far in the competition as it is her first time ever making it into Dimanche Gras and competing with the others for the title.
Among the others she will face on the “big night” are seven time monarch winner, Findley “Scholar” Jeffrey, as well as Kelly Clyne (Roots Man Kelly), Teacher Eddie, and her mentor and Tent Leader, Edison Mitchell (Ajamu) who is the defending king.
Laura Lisa appears to be very apprehensive about her debut appearance at the Dimanche Gras show.
“I am kind of anxious competing against them but I mean everything is a learning experience. So, in going into this, I said there are a lot of things that I could learn from these people that I didn’t know.
“There are certain reasons why they are there still doing it, so it’s for young people to want to learn it as well and the only way you can learn it is if you are around them, looking at them.
“…Most of all is experience. As you know it’s my first time and there are still things I haven’t learnt as yet but I am there. I probably know a bit … but I want experience so that next year I can be more comfortable in what I have to do.”
It is Laura Lisa’s intention to continue in the Calypso arena as she made special mention of Ajamu and thanked him for “encouraging me and helping me, when a lot of people didn’t think that Laura Lisa could do this because they saw me in a different light”.
The female artiste also praised her manager, Angus Steele of Spice Concoction.