A TEENAGE singer with a growing fan base is taking a major step forward in her bid for stardom, writes David Carnduff.

Lisa Kowalski, from Paisley, has seen her popularity rise since wowing the crowd at Barrhead’s Christmas lights switch-on event last year.

At just 17, she is already a familiar face in Paisley’s High Street, where her Saturday busking sessions have been a smash hit with shoppers.

Now she is about to launch her recording debut as a singer-songwriter.

Lisa’s first EP – Free Spirits – was launched at a gig yesterday (Thursday, April 20), with the online release taking place today.

The EP, backed by organisers of the Paisley 2021 City of Culture bid, is a major milestone for the Ralston teenager, who started writing her own songs at the age of 13.

One major boost was the opportunity to work with former Love and Money singer James Grant at a Create Paisley youth music project last year.

Lisa was over the moon when James described her as a songwriter of “great maturity and poise”.

She said: “It was fantastic to receive that praise from someone so highly respected in the music industry. He was so sweet and gave me a lot of great advice.

“One of the first songs I wrote was called One Day, which was about my dreams to become a singer and songwriter.

“I was very pleased with it as an early effort but I think I have progressed and gone on to write better material.”

Describing her style as “pop with a country influence”, Lisa added: “I have played three times at St Mirren games, in front of crowds up to 5,000.

“One of the songs I sang at the stadium is called Hearts of Gold and is a tribute to the people of Paisley and how kind they are to me when I busk in the High Street on Saturdays.

“I just love busking, it’s the best thing ever and I still want to be out there singing.”

Lisa, a former pupil at Ralston Primary and Paisley Grammar School, is being backed by her proud parents Rebecca and Olek, as well as siblings Jennifer, 21, and 18-year-old Robert.

Rebecca said: “We are delighted because she is getting good local airplay and interest from UK and overseas country and folk music organisations.

“There’s also a slot on STV’s Riverside show lined up for May.”