Naomi Cowan Brings Star Power to The Lemmon Stage at El Mocambo

Reggae artist and singer/songwriter Naomi Cowan hit the stage at El Mocambo in Toronto as part of the Lemmon Stage Discovery Series on November 16, 2021.

Lemmon Stage, founded by live music mavens Lemmon Entertainment, in partnership with El Mocambo is supporting music industry recovery by providing an ongoing professional development platform for emerging artists. Lemmon Stage is the only year-long program at the El Mocambo, presenting live performance opportunities for new talent.

Naomi Cowan is touted as one of the top rising female artists in Caribbean music. Cowan is the daughter of two influential figures in the reggae and gospel music markets – Tommy Cowan (OD) and Carlene Davis, and was recognized as Breakthrough Reggae Artist at the 2019 Jamaica Reggae Industry Awards. She was Brand Ambassador for the Bob Marley Foundation, and with her unique vocal tone and stellar live performance abilities has also opened for Grammy-award winning R&B artist Estelle. Her hit single Paradise Plum has topped several reggae charts and has become a staple in the new wave of reggae music.

We danced along to Naomi’s energetic live show all night before catching up with her in a neon-lit, bustling corner of the El Mocambo.

“I just feel so privileged to have been able to do that for 25 minutes,” said Cowan following her performance, “You know what I mean? It’s been real for a lot of us artists, especially mental health wise. So, to be able to share this experience with people, I’m just thankful.”

A feeling of thankfulness seemed to emanate from everyone in the venue as fans greeted Cowan to share their excitement with her following her set. “My main goal is always for everybody to have fun with me or have a good time,” said Cowan after speaking with a few attendees, “I want to make sure I have fun, more than anything, and I know that others will join me.”

Knowing how to put on a show runs in Cowan’s family. Her mother, Dr. Carlene Davis-Cowan also played at the El Mocambo back in the 70’s – a sweet full circle moment for the family. “I’m always inspired to level up from what my parents have done,” said Cowan, “I always find it’s so crazy to see these moments of alignment. Whenever I realize there’s alignment between my mom’s history and my dad’s history, it just reminds me that I’m doing the right thing.”

Cowan’s dedication to her craft can be heard in her latest project, Star Girl, a 13-track mixtape that’s only the first step in the Star Girl universe. “I already had songs from 2019 I’ve recorded, and I was like, ‘what am I going to do with all this music, how are we going to make it make sense?” said Cowan, “It was last year where I came up with this idea of creating an alternate universe. It was actually going to be a series of projects with Star Girl being the first one. What I wanted to do was take these songs because I feel like they represent some of the different elements that make up who I am as an artist. I wanted the foundation to be laid with Star Girl, so you could be like, ‘Oh, this is part of who she is.'”

Cowan surely tapped into the Star Girl energy with her performance at the El Mocambo and we can’t wait to see what she does next.




Cassandra Popescu

Cassandra Popescu

Contributor at ADDICTED
Cassandra is a writer and photographer based in Toronto, Ontario. In 2015, she picked up a camera and dove into concert photography. Since then, she has covered events like Festival d'été de Québec, Wayhome, Toronto Urban Roots Festival, Field Trip, Canadian Music Week, NXNE, and many more.
Cassandra Popescu