Australian raised Dancehall / Afro / Pop singer songwriter LISA VIOLA, has been busy making her mark around the globe.
As a triple threat, LISA has appeared in Baz Luhrmann’s blockbuster hit The Great Gatsby, has been mentored by Kelly Rowland in her unique African Dance Troupe in the TV Show Everybody Dance Now, and has performed onstage with multi-platinum selling artists such as Ky-Mani Marley, Stan Walker and C&C Music Factory. Her latest single featuring Nigerian artist B’Cole ‘Crazy Love‘ is being played around the world and is continuing to spread recognition for this multi faceted artist.
But like all successful people, chasing her passion and dreams didn’t come overnight. It has involved hard work, persistence, and embracing change.
On moving from Angola to Australia as a kid
Our family immigrated from Angola to Australia in 1989. I remember how hard it was for my mother because everything was so foreign and she couldn’t speak English. Little things like going to the supermarket and being overwhelmed with unfamiliar foods and brands were hard for her. As a child I remember taking on her stress and it really made me grow up quickly. I felt responsible at a very young age and I had to step up to help her.
From the age of 16 you taught children in performing arts, and then ran your own talent school in Dunsborough, inspiring others to pursue their dreams.
This taught me the importance of community. I taught in and around a small country town called Dunsborough in Western Australia. When running a business in a small town, you really learn to deal with people on a personal level. You HAVE to be genuine in all that you do otherwise your business will not survive. I feel I was always a genuine person but I learnt to go that extra mile and really treat people like family. I feel I carry that with me everywhere I go now, so whether I’m talking business in New York or networking in London I connect with people on a genuine level first…and then go from there.
From Perth to Sydney
I was convinced I needed to be in Sydney long before I actually made the move. (I’m a firm believer that we already know ‘the truth…. we just need to listen). It was more about letting go of my fears. I remember once standing in front of my teenage students and having my usual spiel about how important it is to be fearless and to believe in yourself. It struck me quite hard that I needed to take some of my own advice. So I did!
Discovering a love for music and dance
I believe my passion for music and dance stems from my African roots. It’s such a big part of our culture. It’s what we do to feel good! I used to imagine myself performing in front of a big crowd. These are some of my earliest memories. My love for music and dance went beyond most children’s recreation. I always imagined myself making the music and/or performing the steps.
On doing what you love
It’s total freedom. There is no better feeling.
I want to get to a point in my career where the foundation has been laid. That I will always be able to work in my industry because I’m the best in my field. That drives me right now because at that point I look forward to starting a family.
The challenge is having soo many ideas and never knowing where to start or what to prioritise!!
I always go with my gut instinct. I’m a strong believer that we already know the truth, we just need to listen to our inner voice. If it feels good, do it…and you need to learn the difference between the feeling of fear and the feeling that something isn’t right. Fear isn’t a good reason not to do something. But if something doesn’t feel ‘right’ then that’s the absolute reason not to do something!
[Tweet “I’m a strong believer that we already know the truth, we just need to listen to our inner voice – Lisa Viola”]
3 inspirational women
Chimamanda Adichie – She is smart, beautiful and eloquent in her campaign for feminism!
Beyonce Knowles Carter – Because of her work ethic and talent!
Aminata Conteh Biger – I had the pleasure of working with 4 amazing women in a theatre piece last year called ‘The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe’. These women told their amazing stories of survival. Aminata touched me in a special way. She is a UNHCR ambassador, a wife, a mother and wonderful spirit that reminds me every time I’m in her presence to have faith.
Self-care and maintaining balance
In all honesty I’m still not as consistent as I should be…but I’m working on it. I try to eat well, meditate, read, and give my body a pamper every now and then. It’s the little things that keep you sane when life is full steam ahead. Self-care is also keeping your soul happy… so doing what you love is the most important thing in our quest for balance and harmony.
[Tweet “Doing what you love is the most important thing in our quest for balance and harmony – Lisa Viola”]
Hopes and dreams
I see myself performing, writing music, and recording forever. I’m focused on releasing an album in the coming months, and I’m really pushing myself to create a body of work that is timeless and touches people with a positive message.
I would love to play a lead in theatre one day. Really flex my triple threat muscle. I’d like to do a movie…something meaningful. I want to find true love and build a family with someone amazing. I want it all!
Words of wisdom for others breaking out and making a life change
Just do it. Stop making excuses. Tough love on that one!!
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