Isabelle

My name's Isabelle. I'm half-African, half-French. I grew up in Paris - all my family live in Paris, just I alone live in London.

It's not easy: One day, you come from abroad and decide to speak English. Nobody else in my family speaks English - just me. I tried to forget my French to focus more on English because I work as a medical secretary, and I do a lot of charity work. Through that I made a lot of friends; my mother worked in the court and helped a lot of people. I told them I was tired of Paris and looking for a new life, and they told me they could find me a job. The following day, they found me a job, and now I'm in London.

I learned a lot of things: I learned to play the guitar, I learned to play the piano, singing... Before that, I didn't do these things, I was a medical secretary and from that I became an artist, and now I paint and I do a lot of artist things, some creative writing. I've had a lot of exhibitions in St. Martin's Connections, to expose my creative writing.

I've been coming to the Choir in King's Cross for like three years now. I really enjoy it because I sing for a lot of choirs in the community. I really like to invest in the charity, to sing for the homeless community and to help people on the outside so that they can get shelter. It's really joyful to be in the Choir With No Name because everybody is friendly, you learn a lot of things about the music - voice training, a lot of technique - it's really enjoyable to be in the Choir With No Name. It's a lot of voice trainee-trainee, singy-singy.

The difference with the Choir With No Name is that you sing a lot of different songs, you sing a mixture of songs like gospel, jazz, gigs - a lot of things really.

You know, for a lot of people the experience of being homeless means your life is not easy, where in your life you lose everything. Here, you try to forget, and to try to build yourself up again. It doesn't matter what happened for you, it's your past. You can't live in your past, you have to move on and do something new. You should focus less on your problems and just focus on the songs, because the songs have meaning for us. Everything you sing, it comes from your heart; you really feel it, because when you sing something and you don't feel it, it doesn't have meaning. The more you have feeling the more you can come out. For every bad experience you have in life, you don't live inside it - you move on.

Isabelle

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