One 12-year-old girl in Trinidad and Tobago officially began her journey to stardom last year, delivering her first studio release, and now, at this juncture, she is increasing momentum, teaming up with super-songwriter, Shaft, to see her dreams materialize.
Jalessa Lazarus has the vocal ability of a seasoned vocalist and because of her natural talent, her mother has dedicatedly directed her child along the path she knows she was born to pursue. Earlier this year, Jalessa released a track called, ‘Kiddies Carnival,’ – a song with the children of carnival in T&T, in mind. She understands her cultural assignment but her heart pines for much more. The St. Charles High School student has big dreams of realizing her full potential as an international recording artiste and entertainer. Her mother, Phylesha, is behind her every step of the way. “Jalessa is extremely talented, and she’s full of life, full of joy and energy. She is also incredibly passionate,” explained Phylicia. She’s gone through the full gamut to prepare her eldest daughter for the world that lies in wait for her. “At the age of six, she entered an online competition hosted by Nailah Blackman and won. She was able to perform on stage with Nailah,” she said, noting that Blackman is one of the artistes that Jaleesa looks up to.
The youngster’s talent was first introduced to the world through her mother’s social media platforms. “I would put her on my Facebook LIVE and she would sing. I always believed in my daughter,” said Phylesha. In September 2022, a video of Jalessa performing at a karaoke competition, singing Adele’s “Easy on Me,” became a viral TikTok video, with over 900,000 views to date. Competitions like the Lyndon Ross Talent Show and the Ministry of Education’s 2023 Junior Soca Monarch Competition, have yielded positive results for the pre-teen, Jalessa placing first and 2nd respectively. Phylesha stands firmly beside Jaleesa, ensuring that she has had vocal training under the tutelage of Tiffany Paul and via Curtis Jordan’s Training Academy.
Now, fully invested and ready to take on the world, Jalessa is set to release a new single, written by renowned T&T songwriter, Jason ‘Shaft’ Bishop. “I had been searching for a songwriter and was eventually sent his name and contact information. From the moment he heard Jaleesa’s voice, he was sold. He immediately sent a song to us,” said the excited mom.
The new single, “Focus,” is being released as a summer anthem for young boys and girls. “It’s an Afro Beat track that offers good motivation for our country’s youths,” Phylesha explained.
The Arima born artiste, who has two younger siblings, is proof that one can achieve one’s dreams with determination and the strong support of family. Excited for the triumphs of the future, mom Phylesha Lazarus is encouraging parents to listen to their children’s desires and stand with them to the end. “Let the children’s light shine. Believe in them, support them. The limit is beyond the sky. I mean… why not? If you have to spend all your money, why not?”
To keep up with Jalessa, follow her on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook @jalessa_lazarus.