Talented Lisa-marie hopes to cook up Open Mic fame

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A talented singer-songwriter from Portstewart has made it through to the Regional Finals of the prestigious Open Mic UK competition which will be held in the King’s Hall in Belfast this Saturday evening.

Derry-born Lisa-marie Lyle says she is thrilled to make it so far and hopes to to make it to the grand final with a chance of winning £5,000 to spend on the development of her music career.

She told the Times: “I am a cook and work at Supervalu Portstewart (Trolans).

“That’s my day job. By night it is music, my true passion.

“I have been living in Portstewart for ten years but was from Coleraine prior to that. “I spent my former years in South Africa. This competition means the world to me as a singer/songwriter and I hope to get through.”

Open Mic UK is the biggest search for unsigned talent in the country, and travels the country every year in search for the best singers, singer-songwriters, rappers and vocalists of all genres performing either covers or their own original material.

The competition has discovered artistes such as Atlantic Record’s Jacob Banks, Warner Music’s Birdy, Sony Music’s Jaymi Hensley from Union J and Jahmene Douglas, Luke Friend and Columbia Record’s Lucy Spraggan.

Lisa-marie, who is currently the lead singer with four-piece alternative rock outfit Little Big Box , her voice has been described as “Marianne Faithfull getting down with Janis Joplin”.

“Even as a child, I was fascinated by music,” she says.

“My mother’s record collection was a huge object of wonder: she was always around music, it has always been in her life and I can remember her playing records – Dire Straits to David Bowie, Tracy Chapman, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, the Pointer sisters, Roy Orbison, Roxy Music, Blondie, Nina Simone, U2, Michael Jackson, the Jackson Five, Karen Carpenter...the list goes on and on.”

On SaturdayLisa-marie will hope to wow an expected big audience and a music industry judging panel in a bid to reach the UK finals.