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WHY YOU SHOULD CHASE YOUR DREAMS AND NEVER GIVE UP


Voice of Lele

One of Australia’s most unique performers is Voice of Lele, a West Papuan refugee and proud advocate for cultural diversity. The mum of four, aka Lea Firth, recently released her long-awaited debut single, Island Proud, at the age of 43,. Her message to aspiring singers is to never give up on their dreams. Here, she talks with Lifestyle News about her unique journey.


Q: Tell me a little about your childhood


A: Ever since I was a little girl I always wanted to be a recording artist. I was born into a musical family in West Papua and grew up listening to the music of my dad, Agustinus Rumwaropen - the leader of the legendary back Black Brothers. Dad was my biggest musical influence, he taught me the power and beauty of music. I hope he is looking down at me from above with a big, beautiful, proud smile as he was the one who would encourage me the most to sing loud and proud.


Q: You’re a mum of four daughters aged 18, 15, 8 and 2 – how difficult is it as a hands-on mum to find time for your own projects? 


A: It’s not easy, but I believe that timing is everything and that there is a season for everything, and my time is now. My children are my number one priority, but it is amazing what you can achieve in your downtime as a creative and busy mother and wife, so I guess I have spent the last few years preparing for this moment. 


Q: Did you have any self-defeating doubts about the project?


A: I definitely had some doubts about whether my music would be received well. I really want my music to resonate with everyone who takes the time to listen to it. But overall, I am a very hopeful person, and I believe in myself, my purpose, and my calling.

Q: Why do you think it’s so hard for women to break out of that “I’m just a mum – I can’t do that” mentality?


A: Because although motherhood is wonderful it can be super exhausting. It’s so easy to lose yourself, and the moment you have a second to yourself, you just want to be left alone to ‘just be’ and not have to think about anything else.


I know it can be incredibly hard, and I empathise with any mother reading this who is feeling overwhelmed. For me personally, it was only when I realised that my own dreams mattered and that I needed to do what I could to achieve them that I started working towards them. That literally gave me a new lease on life, and I became a better mother because of it. 


Q: Did you start putting out positive vibes thinking – yes, I can do this, this will be great!


A: Absolutely! I believe in everything I do, and I believe that the energy, heart, and spirit that I put into my work are what people receive when they hear my words and music. That’s what I want to share with the world.


Q: What advice do you have for women your age who want to make a dream come true?


A: It's cliché, but don’t give up on your dreams! Please! You can bury it in the deepest, darkest corners of your heart, but don’t let it go completely. It’s there for a reason, and there will come a time where the light will come in and reignite that dream. You’ll see - it will come to the surface again, and that dream will come to pass because … it’s who you are. 

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Q: How did your husband Mitch Tambo, a fellow star singer, support you in your journey to get the song made?


A: Mitch has supported me in every single aspect of my journey. In songwriting, he helps me make it all make sense, which is very handy in a husband!


Q: How have your own children been supportive of this venture?


A: My children are my cheering squad! Honestly, they love seeing me in my element. I can see the pride in their faces when they see me perform or watch me get glammed up. They are always the first to hear demos and things,  and I value their opinion—they are super supportive. 


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