She is definitely no stranger to the Caribbean musical landscape. Michelle Xavier was born in San Fernando, South Trinidad, where she started her career in music at the tender age of 16. Her music over the last 18 years has not only evolved but has made an impact on the hearts, minds and cultures of various ethnicities, as she has released different genres of music.
From 1998 to 2000, Michelle was a member of a pop/rock band called 'Gregory's Dream' while she attended Naparima Girls High School. Michelle was presented the opportunity to be a part of a new band, "Imij & Company", where she remained a member from 2001 to 2011. Over those 10 years, she had the pleasure of working alongside numerous talented vocalists such as Kees Dieffenthaller, Ricardo Drue, Russell Cadogan and many more. In her final year with the band, Michelle released her first power soca, "Fetting For Days", which was a huge success and took her all the way to the Soca Monarch Finals and won her an International Soca Award for "Uptempo Soca Female Of The Year”.
After all those years of experience, Michelle decided to create her own path and embarked on her solo career, which lead her to reunite with her former bandmate, Kees Dieffenthaller of Kes The Band, to release the monster road hit "Head Bad (On De Road)" in 2012.
The following year, Michelle was invited to perform alongside Soca superstar Machel Montano himself at the biggest event for the season, Machel Monday. In that same year, she achieved yet another accomplishment by qualifying for the Chutney Soca Monarch Finals with her hit song, "Indian Man". In 2014, Michelle decided to explore new opportunities and accepted an invitation to work with Grammy nominated producer Johnny "Powers" Severin of Red One Productions in Los Angeles. There, she had the honour of recording her urban/dance track "Move To My Body" at the world renowned Jim Henson Studios.
The project exceeded all expectations, which lead her to return to LA later that year to film her first full-length video. Although Michelle was encouraged by many to launch the song abroad, she wanted to share it first with her home, Trinidad & Tobago. Fans were blown away when the song and video were both released in Trinidad in 2016 and Michelle was forever humbled by the overwhelming love and support.
Her 18-year career in the industry has reinforced Michelle's passion for her culture and led her to explore yet another territory, Barbados, when she released her well-received Cropover hit, "Music", produced by the legendary Carl 'Beaver' Henderson in 2018. This only motivated Michelle more to deliver her brand new track for Carnival 2019 titled, "Frolic", which was produced by Johann Seaton of Mad Men Productions and Road March winners Ultimate Rejects. Michelle is excited and ready to share her new music with her fans that have been supporting her over her vast career and she looks forward to where else it may take her in her very promising future.
Michelle is now embarking on a new chapter in her life, now married to the love of her life Nicholas Lee and they are expecting their first baby in September. I recently caught up with the glowing mother-to-be and this is what she wanted to share with us.
What has Michelle been up to?
Apart from recording and releasing new material for all my loyal fans, I've been adjusting to married life and now the blessing of pregnancy.
How would you best describe yourself?
Hmmm....a planner. Basically OCD. LOL.
Tell me, how does it feel to be pregnant?
Amazing actually, I feel so blessed. I have waited a long time for this, so I am excited to finally experience it all for myself and in the end, bring our own little miracle into the world. I am extremely grateful for my growing baby bump!
Tell us more about your husband?
He is my best friend, my co-worker, my partner in crime...literally my everything. Not to mention he's funny, kind-hearted and a real people person, and could be quite annoying when he's ready but so can I, I guess.
What food do you crave most these days?
This week is mac and cheese, which I usually never eat. Interested to see what I crave next week.
Very soon you would be balancing being a mother, wife and an artist. How do you plan to juggle all this and still have time for yourself?
I believe a woman can do it all once she has balance in her life. My husband, also being my manager, means he is more understanding to me having new boundaries. It also means that when the baby arrives and I have to work, Daddy won't be able to babysit as he will be working as well but thank god for family and in-laws! Ask me a year from now if I still have time for myself....that would be the biggest challenge.
Do you think coming from a large family has prepared you for motherhood?
Yes, most definitely. I have gained a lot of experience with kids between my nieces, nephews and my husband's nephews and I have been looking forward to one day becoming a mother myself and having my own family. At the same time, nothing truly prepares you for having your own tiny human that is 100% your responsibility.
What women have inspired you throughout your life? And how so?
My mother has inspired me my entire life because she was always a very hands-on parent—the kind I would like to be. She drove me to every competition, every performance, was always present, involved and supportive. My mother-in-law has inspired me over the last almost 9 years with her resilience, her strength and her very big heart. The women in my field that are mothers and still blazing the trail such as Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez, Patrice Roberts and Destra Garcia inspire me because they prove that it is possible to have it all.
What is one thing that most people do not know about you?
That I love to take pictures, purple is my favourite colour and I have a very bad sweet tooth. Sorry, I couldn't just choose one!
How would you describe your sense of style?
In addition to becoming a mother what plans are in store for Michelle in the near future?
More music! You will be hearing a lot more releases from me and I could not be more excited.
What is one advice given to you by your mother that you value and cherish most?
Family is everything.
What advice would you give mothers-to-be out there?
Don't be too hard on yourself, remember you are creating a human being and it is truly a miracle. Take each day in stride, do what you can but do not use it as a crotch at the same time.
How do you plan to spend Mother's day?
My husband and I will be spending Mother's Day with my mother-in-law (my mother is currently out of the country). I consider myself a mom-to-be but not quite a mother yet; I may celebrate differently next year and hope to be spoilt by my baby (which really means my husband, LOL).
Photography: Stephen Doobal
Styling & Creative Direction: Brian Matthew
Hair: Ashvin Bally
Makeup: Ashonda James
Wardrobe: Fly Boutique, 107 Long Circular Rd, Maraval