A Govana and Pop Style Music’s Jada Kingdom collab was destined to clear a path to the top before it was recorded. And my did it deliver. ‘Better Than That’ shot to #1 Trending on YouTube and stood undefeated for 5 days. A week and 550k views later its still trending top 3 and bunning down every dance, radio station and device from Kingston to the world.
Pop Style Music’s triple-threat artist/musician/producer Serani has achieved many things on his musical journey – from platinum plaques as a producer to his timeless Dancehall classic No Games, Serani has outlasted many of his peers in the game.
His continuous hard work, touring and dedication to his craft continues to pay off and he has now been added to the 2018 staging of the prestigious Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. Spread over the weekend of July 6-8 the Essence Festival is billed as America’s biggest celebration of Black Women and Black Culture. With free conferences and expos in the day the main focus of the festival are the nightly music events, held inside the city’s landmark Superdome Arena.
Among the headliners who Serani will be performing alongside are Janet Jackson, Mary J Blige, Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, Miguel, H.E.R and Daniel Caesar. Essence Festival also likes to give its thousands of attendees some of their favorites amor years gone by such as Kelly Price, SWV, Backstreet, Queen Latifah and Xscape.
Serani, who will be performing with his band, is delighted to be booked for the event.
“When my manager Julian called me and told me I was ecstatic,” he said. “To be picked to perform alongside these superstars is an honour and validates all the handwork I have done and continue to put in. Sometimes you don’t always get the love at home in Jamaica if you’re not seen as one of the hype or hot-at-the-moment artists, so its reassuring to know there are people out there who appreciate your talent. Performing is an aspect of my career that I really pay attention to and take pride in so Essence Festival can look forward to some proper Jamaican energy when I touch the stage.”
Serani released his latest self-produced single ‘I Will Be There” last Friday. Prior to performing at Essence Serani is slated to perform in Canada this weekend before appearing in Tampa, Atlanta and Orlando, with shows in Haiti and Colombia scheduled later on in July.
Just 19 years old, Pop Style Music’s Jada Kingdom didn’t come to play with people. Disrupting the Jamaican music industry quickly with her unique blend of word, sound and power Jada Kingdom has raised the new wave of Jamaican talent to a higher dimension. Her third single was released on Universal Music/Aftercluv and has already been added to 2 official https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/spotify/playlist/37i9dQZF1DXan38dNVDdl4“>Spotify Playlists and is all over Apple Music and iTunes. Her next single B.Y.E.H. drops June 1 on Universal Music/Aftercluv. Be ready.
Pop Style Music recently inked a label deal with Universal Music/Aftercluv and proudly launched ‘Tu Pum Pum’ as the first release in April. Starring Latin Queen Karol G ‘longside Dancehall Godfather Shaggy and young gunner Sekeunce, the Track Starr-produced take on a Dancehall/Reggaeton classic has stormed to 30 million views on YouTube already. Watch below to see why.
Jada Kingdom’s growing fanbase got an extra present when we dropped her second video ~ Unwanted, on Christmas Day. The stunning visuals accompanying Jada’s new banger contain a plot twist from Love Situations that no doubt helped it trend @ #1 on YouTube for several days.
There’s a lot more to come in 2018 from Jamaica’s 19 year-old rising star proudly blazing her own trail.
Unity for 2018 and beyond — music insiders cite changes they want in industry
The issue of who are the king and the queen of dancehall has once again caused strife.
Beenie Man and Spice, widely regarded as the current monarchs of the genre, have been exchanging unpleasant comments over the past few days, each claiming the other is not worthy of the title.
In an interview on the weekend, Beenie Man said the queen of the dancehall was baptised, in reference to Marion Hall, formerly known as Lady Saw.
And when asked about Spice being designated as the next queen, Beenie Man said: “She is the one that step up to the plate but that’s not how you become a queen because if yah go take Lady Saw crown yuh affi do weh Lady Saw do. No disrespect, yuh can’t do less work. She’s the designated queen, the queen elect.”
Spice was not amused and used her Instagram platform to launch a broadside against Beenie Man, saying he crowned himself king when Yellowman had the crown.
“Unlike Bounty Killer who highlighted so many dancehall careers, what did you ever do for dancehall after so many years as the ‘king’? Not even a one girl yu never buss as a dancer much less, not even your own daughter, a Ding Dong haffie dweet,” Spice vented.
Spice admitted that Hall had left big shoes to fill and said that they would not be filled overnight. But she asked Beenie “You also do know that the king is incarcerated right?” referring to Vybz Kartel.
Julian Jones-Griffith, manager for Charly Black, told THE STAR that dancehall is full of kings and queens, and believes that an entertainer’s body of work should decide whether they are crowned.
“Lady Saw was appointed queen by the people and everyone is looking at Spice as her natural successor. When titles are self-appointed, detractors are always going to have things to say. Beenie called himself king of the dancehall and Kartel also released an album of that name, but who’s going to argue with either of them about their achievements and claims to that title?” Jones-Griffith reasoned.
“Spice is a humble person and knows those are tall heels to fill, but she has the love of the fans and talent to step up. Dancehall is extremely competitive so crowns and titles are always going to be coveted and argued over. But your body of work will ultimately decide where you stand in the history of Jamaican music,” Jones-Griffith added.
Keona Williams, entertainment consultant, said some entertainers are not concerned about titles because their work speaks volumes.
“(But) it’s all perspective. After many years of being on top, topping the charts, winning the awards, some people want that respect. There is no question about it, Spice is right there. She is going to be that person that dominates year after year. So after years of being that dominant female, you just want that respect.”
Released on Pop Style Music on July 21, 18 year-old Jada Kingdom’s debut single/video had a phenomenal start to its first week of release. With an epic premiere on Ebro’s Beats1 Apple Music radio show on July 20, Love Situations was also added to Apple Music’s The A-List: Reggae playlist.
The video launched on Jada’s VEVO channel and has racked up an amazing 50k views in its debut week. Love Situations’ ‘Dexter’-inspired video induced thousands of comments, almost wholly positive, and quickly went viral. Jada’s Instagram stories have been full of dozens of fans who initiated the #LoveSituationsChallenge – clips of her fans singing their favorite Love Situations lines. Jamaica’s hottest radio stations have also started to plug the record into their playlists, with ZIP FM and Sun City leading the charge.
Fulljoy the video and expect more greatness from Jada soon.
Local artistes are being urged to put more thought into the music they produce if they want to establish themselves on the international scene.
Industry insiders with whom The Gleaner spoke, said while Jamaica possesses a plethora of talented entertainers, too many of them are focused on making music for the local market while neglecting their potential overseas pull.
Julian Jones Griffith, manager for Diamond-selling artiste, Charly Black, says that while there isn’t one singular thing that limits an artiste’s potential to break on the international scene, he believes a song that is too localised will automatically work against that artiste.
“You have to have the right songs, they have to be structured properly and the beat has to be right, too. If the content of your song is too localised, then the artiste is automatically limiting the song’s potential reach,” he said. “Keep true to the culture, but something about the song has to be translatable. Songwriting is an art and making hit records is a formula and maybe we need to study it a bit more.”
With that said, Griffith pointed out that local artistes do not have a level playing field in the world of music. He explained that despite the progress that dancehall music has made, it is still placed in a box.
“It’s always been hard to get
our music on commercial radio, and we are facing the same battle with streaming in terms of getting records on playlists that introduce your song to a wider audience,” he said. “It rough out deh, but at least give yourself a fighting chance by making the right songs.”
Shelly-Ann Curran, manager for Grammy-nominated dancehall/reggae artiste Devin Di Dakta, agrees. She believes the main reason behind local artistes being unable to tap into the international market is their inability to see the music as a business.
“I definitely think some artistes lack vision, but mostly they lack guidance. They don’t look at the music market as a world market, they are busy making songs for Jamaica , speaking on issues only relatable to Jamaica and Jamaicans,” she said.
Curran says she had to adjust her client’s image and sound to fit the international market and believes those adjustments were what landed him a Grammy nomination.
“The first six months (as Devin’s manager) I entered without a strategy, just to learn the business. I quickly understood that most of his music was really being made for the Jamaican audience, so we decided to go for an international appeal. We slowed down his style so he could be more audible; we used better lyrical content and made songs with a world appeal. Now, apart from the Grammy nomination, Devin has had three international collaborations, and we are definitely seeing progress.”
Curran also believes that there are too many artistes who have the wrong team around them, pointing out that having people around you who know the best moves to make regarding one’s career is what determines success or failure.
“Once an artiste sets a goal, he or she should pick a team that will help them meet that goal. Having a good management team is important because they can make the necessary moves to get you where you want to go.”
– Shereita Grizzle