Written by Chantel DaCosta

My St. Lucia: Lateefah

lateefah-publicity-photo

Photo by James Nettey

Lateefah is a neo soul-gospel singer and songwriter based in London. Lateefah was born in London but spent her early years growing-up in St. Lucia. She attended the St. Lucia School of Music, and later at the London Centre for Contemporary Music (LCCM) where she gained a bachelor’s degree in music production, voice and performance. Amongst her influences Lateefah counts such names as Jill Scott, Lisa McClendon, Layryn Hill, India Arie and Ledisi. Today this talented artist shares what she loves most about St. Lucia.

Describe St. Lucia in three words.

Stunning, peaceful, home.

What is your favourite St. Lucian traditional dish, and why?

I don’t think it is traditional but I absolutely love breadfruit pie. When we were younger, my brother and I hated hard food so my mum turned everything into a pie. Believe me it’s to die for!

What is your favourite childhood memory?

Walking to and from school with my friends. Those walks were filled with so many jokes and stories that to this day still make me laugh. I miss those days.

Where did you attend high school?

I attended the Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School.

What was your favourite subject in high school?

Music, hands down.

What is your favourite restaurant?

Well, when I’m on island my favourite restaurant is Debbie’s Place in Sapphire. The food there is amazing! I find the scenery so relaxing and tranquil.

What is your favourite music?

My favourite type of music is soul or neo soul. There’s just something about the music that makes such a deep connection inside of me, and it is hard for me to truly explain just how strong this feeling is.

What is your favourite time of the year?

When I am in St. Lucia, I absolutely love the month of October, because of the Jounen Kweyol festivities.

Which local activist/personality do you admire the most, and why?

I admire Derek Walcott, he is such a brilliant writer, and a supporter of the Arts and of course a son of the soil.

What major developments would you like to see happen in St. Lucia in the next 20 years?

Recognizing and appreciating the diversity that exists in St. Lucian arts. It would be nice to see substantial financial investment being made into supporting young people who are interested in the Arts. A school for the performing arts would be amazing.

Where would you recommend as a ‘must go’ to a first time visitor to St. Lucia?

The Sulphur Springs. It’s not every day that you can have a bath in a volcano!

Considering a staycation, where in St. Lucia is your favourite place to unwind and recharge?

Well, after my last visit, it is definitely Almond Morgan Bay in Gros-Islet. Eat all you want, sleep all you want. It is perfect.

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