The British dance-pop group, Steps were formed in May 1997 and Lisa Scott-Lee was a key member of the band.
Seeing many ups and downs together, the five-member band experienced an unexpected split in 2001, which led each member to pursue their solo careers later on.
When the pop group reunited after 10 years for a concert they were seen rise up in five separate glass tubes to portray them being awoken after the split, showcasing that their bond in truly unbreakable.
A few years after the band came back together, Scott-Lee moved to Dubai in 2014 along with her husband and launched the Dubai Performing Arts Academy while balancing parenthood.
“We decided to give something back to the community, and pass on our wealth of performing experience to budding young performers in the region,” she tEmirates Woman when asked about her reason for launching the academy.
Despite years of being in the industry, the band was asked to reunite on stage once again for a prestigious event in the UK and the release of their latest album, ‘The Platinum Collection’.
To celebrate the band’s 25th anniversary they came together on one of the most important occasions in history for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert “in front of an audience of 10K,” she mentioned.
For this significant event, the Welsh singer said, “It was wonderful to be a part of the celebrations and see the country come together.”
As she continues to make a mark in the region and grow her loyal fanbase year after year, Emirates Woman speaks to her about her career and how Dubai has played a vital role in making her dream come true.
You’ve had an incredible career to date across many facets. Can you walk us through these and how they connect to each other?
I feel blessed that Steps are celebrating 25 years in the music industry. We are thrilled to have recently received two prestigious awards, an ‘Icon’ award and a Lifetime Achievement award, and we were honored to perform for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert in the UK. The celebrations continue this summer and a UK Tour and the release of our Greatest Hits album, the ‘Platinum Collection.’ Here in Dubai, we are proud to be the first school to launch BTEC in Performing Arts Diplomas in the Middle East, in affiliation with Pearson and Taaleem. We are thrilled to have received outstanding results for our first BTEC in Performing Arts graduates, our students have all received a 100 per cent distinction and it is proving to be a wonderful and successful year.
What inspired you to launch the Dubai Performing Arts Academy in 2014?
With me being in the International pop group Steps, and my husband, Johnny being from London’s West End, we decided to give something back to the community, and pass on our wealth of performing experience to budding young performers in the region, and hence, DPA was born.
What have been the biggest challenges to date and how did you overcome them?
I think the biggest challenge is trying to balance my work in two countries, along with motherhood. I am lucky to have a wonderfully supportive husband and our beautiful children Jaden and Star-Lily. We are fortunate that our children are following in our performing footsteps, and love coming to DPA, which means we can spend a lot of time together. Our son Jaden is currently playing Billy Elliot in the UK musical, which is dream come true for him, after having trained with us at DPA from an early age. We are also lucky to have found a lovely network of friends, who have become our ‘Dubai Family’, and enable us to enjoy so many incredible experiences both in the UK and here.
What brought you to Dubai and how has your journey evolved to date?
We originally moved to Dubai as we wanted to buy property on The Palm, I was blown away by the engineering and unique design, and The Palm continues to dazzle me until today. We moved to Dubai in 2011 with two babies, two suitcases, and a two-year plan. We fell in love with Dubai and decided to raise our children in this beautiful, cosmopolitan safe city, which it is very much my home years on. After having been awarded the prestigious Golden Visa in 2021 for our services to Performing Arts, we are here to stay.
We love the fact that new careers can emerge or reemerge at any age. Do you feel people are having more than one career in their lives these days?
I think a lot of it comes down to pure hard work and determination. I also think Dubai and the UAE is the land of opportunity, and the rulers and government are very supportive of new setups, which helps incredibly.
How has the industry changed since you started out and how has the evolution been throughout?
The industry has changed massively over my 25-year career span. When Steps launched in 1997, neither the internet nor social media had been invented and so this has brought the biggest change for artists, in terms of streaming and having instant feedback from fans. As we know, there are pros and cons to Social media, but for music artists, it’s a great tool for sharing music and news from around the world.
You’ve just played at the Queen’s Jubilee in the UK. How did this honor come to fruition?
Steps were honored to be asked to close the Queen’s Jubilee Concert filmed in Manchester Arena, in front of an audience of 10K, in the mark of her 70 years of service. London and the UK were decorated with flags and bunting, and it was wonderful to be a part of the celebrations and see the country come together.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Listen to your elders. I think with time, you realize how important it is to listen to the advice of those who have experienced life before you, and also to treasure this and loved ones.
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Images: Supplied & Feature image: Getty