April 25th 1972 – Michelle Oscar was born to Melvina Oscar of Antigua and Simon Joseph Oscar aka Might Falcon of Trinidad & Tobago who spent much of his life in Dominica. Michelle’s formative years were spent in Dominica; she was relocated there with her family shortly after birth before returning to Antigua after her fourth birthday.
Michelle attended the Foundation Mixed School then the Antigua Girls High School (AGHS).
Her pathway to singing commenced at age six (6) with the St. Boniface Anglican choir. She was the only child in the choir and had to be placed on a box to be seen by the congregation. By the time she was in second form at AGHS she was already a recognised crooner and would go on to win the school’s annual Queen of the Form in her final year (5th form) which paved the way to join other budding artists performing on the hotel circuit.
At 17 years old Michelle would gig with Four by Four, the original EL A Kru (Rohan Hector, Gavin Christopher, M16 and John Laviscount) joining Bike as the lead vocalists. There would be duo performances with Gavin Christopher (cousin); with Just Friends which comprised Ricky Mackintosh, Courtney Winter, and Vince Mccoy and the late Albert ‘Chaplin’ Bowers. She would also perform with Power Union Band, The Christophers, Vision Band and Pyramid Band where she served her longest stint as female lead vocalist.
Oscar also worked clerical/sales stints at the Lady Hamilton, where she started out part time since second form at AGHS, and Sunseakers, until she decided to focus on a career in the entertainment industry, consisting of regular performances in the rapidly expanding tourism industry and traveling opportunities.
Specific to Calypso, Michelle states ‘I was literally forced into singing calypso but I loved it’. She co-wrote a song for a junior calypsonian who unfortunately backed out of the competition that year. Her co-writer and then partner Vaughn Pigott encouraged her to take another look at the lyrics and enter the calypso competition. After some nudging by him, she discussed it with her family. She recalls ‘my mom said why not maybe you will win since your dad never won any competition. So I rewrote the song from an adult standpoint.’
To address the challenge of a second song she approached Dalton Dyer who gave the idea and first line of the immediate hit, and eventual timeless classic ‘Apple’. She recalled the concept stirred in her head for two weeks while Vaughn Pigott built the music. One night at the studio “Purple Heart Studio ” Vaughn, perhaps in frustration, indicated that it was time to finish the song as the studio was going to be taken over by Doctor Solo and Short Shirt who were scheduled to come in that night to get their recordings done. Michelle regales, “So I told him ok, let me get in the booth. Play the music let me see what I can come up with”. One take later Apple was done, “never written but straight out of my head and I was officially a calypso contender, Lady Falcon.”
Lady Falcon entered and won the freshly introduced Female Calypso Monarch 1992, and went on to place 1st runner-up to King Short Shirt, her idol, in the Calypso Monarch Finals of the same year. She would place 1st runner up in the Female Calypso Monarch for subsequent years until 1995 her last year of competing.
In response to the query regarding her departure from competing and producing calypso music Queen Lady Falcon shared that with the passing of time and new entrants into the Queens Calypso Competition, the competition became “less fun, full of aggression and mean spirited behaviour.” She shared that on her last night of competition, having left her performance outfit in the dressing room for a few she returned to find it shredded and shards of bottle in her boots. She completed her performance in an alternate outfit and made a decision to close the chapter related to competition; she was not willing to risk her life for Calypso. She reflected that to date she has still to receive the funds due from that last year she participated. She simple gave up after years of query to the offices of the Carnival Development Committee which subsequently morphed in the Antigua & Barbuda Festivals Commission.
Notwithstanding her departure from Competition she was very disappointed when the decision was made to discontinue the Female Calypso Monarch. From her perspective the competition has become a platform through which women honing their skills to compete at the highest level, while increasing the number of females participating in the entertainment business. She deems it unfortunate that the Carnival policy makers fell victim to the myopic outlook of the men who focused on the unlevel prize package rather than the long term comprehensive development of the artform.
She counts among her best moments, being part of the team that got Singing Althea into the art form and rates her as one of the best.
Lady Falcon can be found today still in the entertainment business operating one of the most popular Karaoke enterprises on Antigua, Lady Falcon’s Ultimate Karaoke. Her base is Sweet T’s in Falmouth.