“Being on the edge doesn’t mean that you have come to the end… It means that now you have a better view of what’s below and your only option is to keep going up,” a clearly passionate Claudia Edward says to us during her spotlight interview. “That’s the message I seek to portray through my music. To encourage others to keep fighting the good fight. Whatever their passion, don’t give up.”
Fight the good fight, she certainly does! Swinging and winning!
Affectionately called ‘The Diva,’ Claudia’s love journey with music began from the age of 8; singing in church. Even at such a young age, so unique and beautiful was a her voice, and her love for singing so apparent, that it wasn’t long before she was a regular part of church worship and school activities, singing in the choir and at school assemblies.
For Claudia, this foundation of being raised in a nurturing musical SDA church environment is something she considers a great fortune, noting that it allowed her from young to identify and grow her talents and her passion.
It was therefore a natural evolution and no surprise when in 1997 she delved into music on a more professional level, enrolling in vocal training classes in New Jersey and releasing her debut music single, ‘Reason to Love’ with Gale Frank off the compilation “Ricky D & Friends.”
From there, Claudia was akin to an unstoppable force, determined to grab every opportunity to further develop her music talent and to create for herself a lasting and successful music career. To date her accolades include; but are certainly not limited to; the release of three music albums—with her fourth scheduled for release in early 2016; performances at various Caribbean Jazz events including Grenada and St Lucia; a nomination for Best Female Artist of the Year; A Europe Tour with Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott as the lead vocalist in the play, ‘The Odyssey’; a riveting performance at the Soul Fusion Concert in London during the 2012 Olympics; and most recently her performance tours and stints in Thailand.
Admittedly, this energetic artist says it took some time and quite a bit of experimentation before she found the sound which most resonated with her; Alternative Rock. “It’s my most favored genre of music,” she says with a sassy wide smile; adding that to her, her music is “energetic” and her vocals “simply unique.” “I love when people can easily identify me with my music. It means that there is no vocal that sounds like mine,” she states with her eyes alight.
In terms of her lyrical inspiration, Claudia largely credits the Creator, who she says provides her with strength daily to keep strong even during her most difficult periods. Beyond that, Claudia describes herself as intuitive, so she is easily stirred by her observation of nature, her own struggles, the lives of others and her best moments.
With so many amazing accomplishments under her wing, to what does Claudia attribute her success? Her response? Simple and pure: “Help Along the way.”
“I could never be where I am today, if I didn’t have persons like Wallace Tisson, Arthur Tisson, Collin Weeks, Christopher Neil, Toni Nicholas and Michael Rogers in my corner at the very beginning of my career,” she says adamantly. “These people believed in me and helped me get better in my craft. So my successes were possible because I had a solid foundation from the very start.”
Yet being where she is today certainly did not come without its fair share of challenges, some which she says still exist today. She identifies finance for recording and opportunities in St Lucia for performing as two of the greatest hurdles faced by her and many other artists. “We have limited finances and limited festivals and many entities are not willing to pay what music is worth. For these reasons, it’s almost impossible to live on just music if you are based in St Lucia. It’s why so many musicians are forced to make music a part-time job.”
But with her fight & win attitude, Claudia has never allowed those hurdles to stall her musical progress. She addresses those challenges head on by reaching out to sponsors to assist financially and seeking music performance opportunities outside of St Lucia to sustain her livelihood.
Outside of her music pursuits, Claudia spends a lot of time focusing on her charity Foundation, “Edward4Education.” Through this initiative, Claudia and her team seek to create better learning atmospheres for the children of St Lucia, by helping schools with the funding of various infrastructural and upkeep projects. Find out how you can donate to Edward4Education by clicking HERE.
Now how about some tidbit insights into this dynamic, inspiring, go-getter artist?
ECCO: One thing about yourself that most people won’t know
Claudia: “I like to stay home and be with my family. I am not a big party girl. I am a home body.”
ECCO: Do you have any music mentors? Music influences?
My St. Lucian music mentor is Deredee Williams. I grew up also listening to music from Etta James, Anita Baker and later on in my career I couldn’t stop listening to Pink.
ECCO: What is your ultimate music goal?
Claudia: I just want to keep performing on as many stages in the world as possible.
ECCO: Red Wine or White?
ECCO: Cats or Dogs?
ECCO: Favourite Food?
Claudia: Grilled Chicken Wings
ECCO: Passions besides music?
Claudia: I love working out at the gym. Fitness is my passion
ECCO: What makes you laugh?
Claudia: A good tickle
Follow Claudia’s journey and stay tuned for the release of her new album, On the Edge:
—Member Spotlight Written by Christine “Chrycee” Charlemagne