If you haven’t heard the name Lisa Punch then you must be living under a rock.
The Guyana Star – yes, the actual winner of the Star Guyana talent competition has for years been a leading artist here known for her Whitney Houston renditions, her charming personality and her beautiful smile.
Lisa migrated to the US on December 14 last year and has since been living in Brooklyn, New York. Six months later, she is on television and being viewed by audiences worldwide having grasped the opportunity to audition for the ABC Network’s “Rising Star” reality competition. Last week, she secured enough votes to move on to the second round of the competition and The Scene made contact with the songbird via email to talk about her new life and new experiences:
The Scene: So Lisa, it’s been a while since our last interview. How have you been?
The Scene: What was moving from Guyana like? The country you sang and so boldly represented for most of your life?
Lisa: It was definitely hard because I wasn’t sure what to expect and if I would have been accepted on this side of the world as I was in Guyana. I absolutely love Guyana and for that reason I take on the responsibility to tell everyone of my country every chance I get.
The Scene: What most do you miss about Guyana?
Lisa: I say every day that I miss the food. LOL. I love my curry chicken, stew chicken, bora. I just miss the taste! I also miss my friends and family in Guyana.
The Scene: So tell me about living in Brooklyn, New York. What has the experience been like thus far?
Lisa: It’s been great! I love the feel I get when I walk down the streets of New York. It makes me feel I can live my dreams. It’s so inspiring.
The Scene: So about the competition that has everyone talking… what prompted you to enter “Rising Star”?
Lisa: I was at home watching ABC because that is the only channel we watch besides Disney and I saw the advertisement which I got very excited about. The reason I was so excited about it is because I’m a lover of stars and being the winner of Star Guyana I believed that my place was to be on the show so I sent my audition tape in and I got a call saying I have to audition in person. I was so excited! I am still very excited.
The Scene: A lot of people were a bit upset about your description of Guyana, “Poor” was the world that ticked off a few bombs on social media. Can you comment on this?
Lisa: Our currency is $201 to US$1. An average person makes US$200 a month in Guyana. I can go on and on but they also missed the most important thing when I said ‘Guyana is a beautiful country’. People will always find things to talk about and it’s funny to me that some of them found that one thing to talk about. LOL.
The Scene: About your song choice, now we know that Witney Houston has been and will forever be your idol, but why this particular song?
Lisa: I chose this song because it’s a fun song and when I first heard the song it reminded me of someone so I wanted to give it that same meaning and life. Lucky for me Sam Smith’s version was the exact thing I was feeling so we decided to go right ahead with it.
The Scene: Will you always sing Houston songs which captured the attention of the American audience and some celebrities, notably NBC’s Meteoro-logist Al Roker who supported you by voting?
Lisa: No I will not always do a Whitney Houston. I love her but I don’t want to be compared to her, she’s already a legend now it’s time for me to leave my mark.
The Scene: What feedback have you personally received so far since the first stage?
Lisa: It’s been awesome! I got feedback from all over the world and I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love and still touch some and help inspire them. I am very happy that I got a chance to not only represent myself and family but also represent Guyana, the Caribbean, South America and New York.
The Scene: Is there anything you tell yourself should been done better or in a different way?
Lisa: Yes so many things but it already happened so I’m not worried about it.
The Scene: Now you have received 80%, which is 10% more than is needed to “Raise the Wall” and advance to the next stage. Other competitors have 90% and compared to some you were on the borderline when votes were starting to close. What do you think can be done to quicken and elevate your level to be successful in the competition?
Lisa: I honestly don’t go on stage thinking it’s a competition and I need to do better than the other person and stuff like that. I go on stage to give meaning to a song, my interpretation of that song. I go on stage to be Lisa Punch and show everyone that you can live your dreams. I go on stage for those who watched me on television and want to do what I do but don’t have the belief that they can. If the percentages go up then so be it and if not then so be it. I’m doing what I love and that’s all I can ask for.
The Scene: Your fans… what would you like to say to them?
Lisa: Thank you for your love and support. Be good, be safe, be humble, be yourself and God bless you.