Growing up in Brampton, Lydia Persaud got her start singing in church. It wasn’t until she stumbled upon a cassette—VH1 Divas Live—that her love of soul music was activated. With influences like Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers and Carole King, Lydia has developed her own modern blend of folk and soul. She has opened for Sarah Harmer, Serena Ryder, and many more, and has collaborated with Lee Fields, Jill Barber, Royal Wood, Karl Wolf and others.
SDTC: When and where do you feel most content?
LP: When I’m making music and living in the moment.
What were you going through personally that helped shape your new album?
While writing the music for this album, I had experienced love, loss, loneliness and discrimination. Documenting those experiences required a deep honesty in understanding how each of [them] affected me.
What do you hope listeners take away from your new album?
I hope that this album creates a vibe that people enjoy, whatever that may be. Happiness, reflection, comfort, understanding—I want the music to connect with people.
Who or what has had the greatest influence on your music?
My Toronto community has definitely been my biggest inspiration. I could list a dozen musical influencers that I’ve never met, but in reality it has been the journey of making music with my friends and writing with different groups that has shaped this music the most.
What dish always satisfies you?
A good bowl of seafood chowder from the east coast of Canada is something that I often crave.
What show has recently wowed you?
Sorry To Bother You with Lakeith Stanfield.
What’s on your current reading list?
Split Tooth – Tanya Tagaq
Becoming – Michelle Obama
Inconvenient Indian – Thomas King
All About Love – Bell Hooks
What Toronto spaces do you truly love?
Venue: Great Hall
Coffee Shop: Wallace Espresso
Restaurant: Golden Turtle
What museum are you dying to see?
Museum of Social Justice in Winnipeg.
Your go-to coping mechanism?
What five things would you want if you were deserted on an island?
Mexican veg food
An iPod that never dies
A Margarita machine
Water might be helpful
When you compare yourself now to where you were at ten years ago, what’s a major change you can identify?
Ten years ago I was just starting to write my own music with the dream of being an original artist.
Goal(s) for 2019?
To continue growing while being unafraid to make mistakes.