She sings about the pain of leaving everything you know to follow a dream. She celebrates the joy of making the dream come true. She is Lena Prima, singer/songwriter and recording artist.
Prima grew up in Las Vegas and New Orleans as she traveled with her father, the late bandleader Louis Prima. She worked for many years in the music industry in Las Vegas. By choice, she and husband Tim Fahey now reside in New Orleans full-time. The recent release of her new album “Starting Something” shares the joy she feels in that choice.
The biographical album contains fourteen tracks, eleven of which she had a hand in creating. She shares the challenge of stepping out on faith and the triumph of bringing a dream to fruition. Each song invites the listener into a portion of her heart. From the pain of leaving old friends to the delight of new ones, Prima tells her story through song.
In her early days onstage, Prima sang with rock and roll bands for nine years. Those roots weave through the album. She showcases her style which she describes as a blend of funk and rock from “back in the day.”
From the rousing “Make You a Believer” to the introspective fourth track “Out of the Shadows,” Prima describes her journey toward finding the confidence to make the move into center stage with her own music.
With John Fogerty’s “Long as I Can See the Light,” she pays tribute to the friends she left in Las Vegas when she and Fahey moved to New Orleans. The remainder of the album paints pictures of her southern home and the people she’s found.
When Prima performs, she prefers to use live musicians. She has performed to canned tracks on occasion but says “I just can’t stand it. It just feels wrong.” Even though doing so has sometimes cost her money, Prima defends the need for live accompaniment.
“Musicians should be making a living and playing music and I don’t want to be up there without them.” She shares that sentiment in one of the tracks, “Kickin’ It Old School.” She has horns, guitars, drums and keyboard backing her as she sings, creating a sound that fills the room with brass and boldness and the rich tones of her voice.
Songs like “Buy the Shoes” urge listeners to go ahead and take the step now toward their dreams, rather than wait and let the dreams pass by. Every note of her music reminds people that it’s never too late to go for your dream.
Prima’s philosophy is simple: “It doesn’t matter what kind of place we live in or how much money we have. It’s ‘What are we doing with our lives?’ Are we using our gifts and talents? Are we bringing joy to others? Are we bringing joy to ourselves? Are we creating?”
Lena Prima sings “I believe in New Orleans and I hope New Orleans believes in me.” With her new album, Prima proves that she has a great deal to offer New Orleans. As she performs across the country, she offers New Orleans to the world.