A local artist, Charlette Dickson from Belgravia opens up about her humble beginning with her musical journey. Though it was not a smooth ride she always knew “music soothes and stirs the soul like nothing I have ever encountered.”She discovered her passion for singing after struggling to fit in her community after moving from Gauteng.“I struggled to integrate myself into my new life and then we started attending Blomvlei Road Baptist Church in Hanover Park. I found a community of people who loved music and performance as much as I did – I was home,” says Dickson.From then, she never stopped looking for opportunities, and though financial challenges saw her opting for another career path, she always fell back on music. She tried teaching in and outside of South Africa until 1999 when she decided to pursue studies in music at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Unfortunately, finances were still a challenge and she dropped out. “I learned so much about myself but sadly I was unable to continue,” she says.Her breakthrough came in 2008 when she attended a jazz evening called Jazz on Fridays in Franschhoek.A bassist Wesley Rustin invited her to do a few songs with them and later that evening the bandleader, Derk Blaisse, of the band Cape Dutch Connection asked her to join them at a gig they were booked for.“I will forever be grateful to those two humans for taking a chance on the shy little girl,” Dickson says. Today, she is even thankful to venues like The Crypt Jazz Restaurant for offering her a platform. She recently had a performance backed by a live jazz band at the restaurant on Saturday 29 June. She performed songs by Aretha Franklin, Bill Withers, Patti Le Belle, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Ross and others.Dickson inherited her husky harmonious voice from her family, and she comes from a religious background with her father being a pastor.Dickson says no matter what the circumstances are, one must always remember there is hope and that everyone is different.“Nothing we go through in life is ever in vain, there is always a lesson for us and encouragement for someone else. There is always hope even in the darkest of moments,” says Dickson.