Gospel singer, Lydia McLelland, performed to a packed house during the Solid Rock Cafe at the Rock Youth Centre in 108 Mile Ranch on March 15.
The public coffee house is held the second Friday of almost every month from fall to spring. The genres of music that can be heard include jazz, blue, gospel to pop music by performers of all ages.
100 Mile Free Press reporter, Millar Hill sat down with McLelland for an interview.
Question: When did you first start singing?
Answer: “Oh boy, it was a very long time ago. I believe I was around five years old. I began singing in the church, the children’s choir when I lived in Africa.”
Q: Was singing something you picked up on as a child or was music something that ran in your family?
A: “It all started at the church for me. Seeing the children’s choir, I wanted to sing. My brother would play the guitar and I would sing along with him.”
Q: Where in Africa were you born?
A: “I was born in Central Africa, The Democratic Republic of Congo.”
Q: How long did you live there before immigrating to Canada?
A: “I lived there until I was 28. I have been in Canada for 11 years now. I first moved to Vancouver and I have now been in the Cariboo for three years.”
Q: What is your favourite genre of music to sing?”
A: “I really enjoy singing gospel and soul music.”
Q: How often do you sing?
A: “I sing every single day, at home. I don’t perform too often. Usually, I will perform once, every two months.”
Q: What is it like getting up in front of a crowd and singing?
A: “It is very nerve-wracking. I am nervous at the beginning, almost every time. I do really enjoy being in front of people and singing for them.”
Q: How does it make you feel when you look into the crowd and see people’s expressions?
A: “It makes me feel good, to see that other people are happy. I am a people-pleaser, I really want to please the audience. When I see them enjoying the music, it drives me to keep singing.”
Q: Could you see yourself having a career in the music industry?
A: “Having a family is a lot of responsibility, which takes up a lot of my time. However, I would love to do something with music in the future. I want to record my own album one day.”