Show-stopping songstress, Lisa Sanchez joined Maidstone Vegan Festival on 3rd March for our 2017 launch party. She belted out our favourite diva’s best tunes as part of her act, Back to Winehouse, while we served up gourmet vegan burgers, hot dogs and enjoyed The Northern Seaman’s vegan real ales.
We spoke to Lisa ahead of the party…
You’re performing as Amy Winehouse at the Maidstone Vegan Launch Party on 3rd March – we’re really excited. When did you first discover you had a talent for singing Amy’s music?
I’m really excited too, thank you for having me! I first found out I could sing Amy’s music when was asked by an agent if I’d like to do a tribute to her. I loved her music, so I tried the songs and found they suited my voice perfectly. I am also told how much I look like Amy when I perform !
Other than Amy Winehouse, what other music do you enjoy singing?
I pretty much like singing everything, but I particularly love reggae, which is great, as Amy was a huge fan of reggae too!
Is there one track that is guaranteed to get the party started when you’re on stage?
If I perform as Amy, I always start with ‘Rehab’, it always gets people moving and singing along. On my other gigs, ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley is always a winner.
Have you ever used your performances as a way to share the vegan message?
Whenever I can, I do! It’s great doing vegan events like Maidstone Vegan Festival, and the Kent Vegan Festival, at which I performed last year. It enables me to promote veganism on social media to try and spread the message further.
How long have you been vegan, and why did you choose this lifestyle?
I’ve been vegan about four years. Before that I was vegetarian for many years. Then a good friend of mine educated me about the dairy industry, so that was the start of it! My main reasons for choosing this lifestyle are; animal welfare (I am a huge animal lover), the environment, and of course, a useful side effect of veganism is much better health!
You’re half Cuban – has your Cuban heritage influenced your musical style?
Yes, very much so. I love salsa and learnt how to dance to it many years ago. I write and produce music too, so often Latin percussion will make its way into my productions. I have also done quite a few Latin gigs too.
Is Caribbean cuisine easy to veganise? Are there any dishes we should try?
I think anything is easy to veganise if you can cook. I would recommend a staple dish of Cuba which is Frijoles Negros. The Cubans make it with pork fat, but there are some great recipes out there that don’t use it and here’s one of them. Also, fried plantain is good and Jamaican rice and peas. There are also some very good Caribbean curries, that use all sorts of exotic root vegetables, yum!
What would your desert island disc be?
I think my desert island disc would have to be ’Africa Unite’ by Bob Marley and the Wailers.
And what about your desert island dish?
Hmm, this is a tough one, but probably vegetable green Thai curry, minus the fish sauce of course!