Mischu Laikah (real name Mischulaikah Richardson) was born to Lorna Richardson and Richinel Fazalalikhan in The Hague, Netherlands. She was born into a very musical family. Her mother had always been active with music; she played the guitar, learned how to play the piano and often sang in choirs. The rest of her family was also very influential as they all sang and played various instruments. It was around the age of twelve when her mom decided that they would leave the Netherlands and return to her mother's birth island of St. Maarten. In 1995, St. Maarten was destroyed by hurricane Louis and this drastically changed life on the island. It created emotional and social changes in her life, where she went from having everything her heart desired, to having practically nothing.

The experience of hardship on the island made Mischu Laikah who she is today, her growth has been a lesson learnt every step of the way, it has humbled her and changed her in many ways, most notably; her taste in music but also her identity as a person. It was there she developed a greater appreciation for her Caribbean heritage. In 2003 she returned to the Netherlands to pursue her studies but music continued to be a major influence in her every day life.

In 2007, she came into contact with Stonerich© Studio to record the successful track "Let Me Show You". She has since signed a management contract with Stonerich© Studio and together they are working to further develop her musical career. Mischu Laikah's recent track 'I Wish' was released on Valentines Day, February 14th 2008. It's a reggae influenced track, with a fresh new sound, that shows Mischu Laikah's true colors.

Q Who was your idol growing up as a child?

A Without wanting to sound cliche, my idol was my mother. She was the one that worked so hard to get us the things we needed or wanted. She took me to ballet classes and music school since my third year, because she thought that was important. Her perseverence to get somewhere has always been tremendous and if it wasn't for her strenght, I would be in a whole different place today! I looked up to her then, and do so now!

Q Where do you get your inspiration from?

A My inspiration comes from everything around me. Mostly personal experience, which would mean my experience, or someone's close to me. My inspiration comes from things that are real. Nothing subliminal, I just say how it is. I get great feedback from people all over the world telling me how they can relate to my music and that is wonderful!

Q What makes your music different from other female singers?

A My music is different because I sing my way, which can be influenced by r&b, jazz, soul and pop on a reggae riddim. Why reggae? Because it does something to me, it makes me feel calm. It's very easy-listening music and it allows you to take any approach and make it yours. You can easily put any of my songs on an r&b track or jazz track and it would sound great! But the fact that I choose reggae, makes it different!

Q How long have you been singing?

A Hmm let me think. Singing and performing professionally for about 8 years. I used to sing in my school choir and we performed a lot, I did a couple of musicals as well and I've competed in several competitions and won. Singing is a passion of mine that I have been doing for ever it seems. But yes, professionally about 8 years.

Q Name a few places where you've performed and tell us where you liked most.

A Well still being in the beginning stage of my solo career, I haven't been close to where I will be in the near future! But my favorite performance was on St. Maarten (home) where I had the privilige to sing for the Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander and his wife Princess Maxima! That was such an honor!

Q Did you always know that you wanted to be a singer?

A No! I knew that I always wanted to perform some form of art professionally! I wanted to be a ballerina. I did ballet for 9 years of my life. I went to music school for the same amount of years where I learned to play guitar from a very young age, but ballet was still my passion back then. It is when I moved to the Caribbean, when I got an even more broader insight of the flavour and melodious sounds in our music. I would say that my passion for entertainment and the influence of music on the islands are what drove me into this direction. I was always highlighted in the choir, i won first place competitions because I was driven and just loved performing.

Q What career would you choose if you had to start over?

A Wow.. If I would go back and make different choices, I would have made wise choices and continued my journey to be a Dermatologist. But this, right now, what I am doing is more than my dream coming true. It is the dream I didnt dare to dream. Being an entertainer has always been my dream, but the need of having a legitimate back up plan, like studies have always kinda held me back. But since I've put my 100% into my music, I've never been happier! Never been so driven. I love it!

Q One word that best describes yourself?

A Passionate

Q What do you dislike most about yourself?

A Hahahaha, believe it or not, my voice! I'm never satisfied! When I'm finished recording a song its always like... hmm I wonder if I should have done that part a bit different? In the end, a song is NEVER done.. there's soo much you can do! You just gotta stop somewhere!

Q What are you most proud of?

A I am most proud of my family. My mother and sisters! They are the loves of my life. We've been through a lot of struggle. Life was hard and we've always been able to keep our heads up high and move forward. Not just move on.. but move forward! Thats what i'm proud of... OHHH and my management. Stonerich for basically bringing me where i am at today, on his own! I'm very proud of him as well!

Q What things in life give you the most pleasure, most laughter?

A That's easy. Being able to bring across a message through song, that people feel, people can relate to. Being able to send a message so strong that people get tears in their eyes. I am pleased when I sing a song and get good feedback. Their appreciation makes me happy. The most laughter? My niece Dhèstinée. When she claps her hands or smiles at me when I sing to her.

Q What advice do you have for young people today?

A Shine! If you have a talent or you are good at something, don't let modesty keep you down. We need people to shine, to have people to be inspired by. The idols we consider our idols are people that have excelled at something. That's why we want to be like them. So don't keep yourself back. Do what your good at with grace and confidence. You yourself will inspire someone else someday. So shine!

Interview : CARIBELLE MAGAZINE (August 2008)