Los Angeles singer Velvin Lamont is a contestant on The Voice of Ireland. He lives in Ballincollig with his wife, Ann and their five-month-old son, Velvin Jnr.
“My first thought every morning is ‘thank you, I am here to see another day’. I think you have to be thankful in life. If I’m up at around 6am or 7am, and my son Velvin Jnr and my wife, Ann are still sleeping, I might go for a jog. I don’t really count how many kilometres I do, I just go from Ballincollig into the city and back again. I do that most mornings because back in Los Angeles, for a long time, I was working two or three jobs. When you’re working the graveyard shift, you train your body to readjust to a sleeping pattern.
Afterwards I'll have oatmeal. I am weaning myself off tea and coffee because I take way too much sugar in them. I have about five or six spoons per cup and I used to drink seven cups a day! Seeing the pattern I was developing, I just had to say ‘no more’. It’s tough in Ireland because drinking tea here is almost the thing to do to pass the time.
I was born and raised in LA and came to Cork around six months ago. I met Ann, who is from Cork, at my job when I was working at a grocery store in the US. She was a customer and we started talking, exchanged numbers and one thing led to another. I guess you could say that it was love at first sight.
We came to Cork just at the end of Ann’s pregnancy- luckily she is very small framed so we were able to get away with travelling on the plane- because this is our first child and Ann’s family’s first grandchild. She said ‘my family will never forgive me if I was to stay in the States and have this baby’. So we had to come back.
Coming here six months ago was my first time ever being in Ireland. I love it. A lot of people complain about the weather but that’s part of what makes Ireland the place it is. Right now, I feel truly blessed. I have been getting nothing but support from Ann’s family. It was actually a friend of the family who mentioned I should audition for The Voice of Ireland. Word travels fast over here if someone hears there’s a singer in the mix! At first I was like, ‘oh I don’t think so’. Eventually they talked me into it. So I went ahead, did it and here I am.