Dancehall starlet Shenseea has been shining all year and she recently shared her story and plans with top entertainment outlet, E! News.
The Wasabi songstress is now on their Ones To Watch radar, and she spoke proudly and excitedly in her five-minute virtual spotlight. Touching on her humble beginnings, inspiration, and being a woman in the music industry, the ShenYeng Boss gave a buzzworthy interview.
Climbing the ranks of the male-dominated dancehall genre hasn’t been easy for the 24-year-old single mom. In just three short years, however, she’s been blessed to work with everyone from Vybz Kartel to Tarrus Riley, gracing some of the most diverse stages worldwide. It’s opened up her eyes a great deal to the industry’s double standards for women and ultimately influenced her approach to her craft.
She lamented the unfair expectations of male vs female performances, where men can recite the lyrics and “build a likkle vibes”, whereas women are expected to put on a full show with plenty of antics and titillating, essentially stripping on stage. “That’s why I try to shift the focus where I stop trying to write the type of music where people might think I’m required to bust it down on the stage, things that you can relate to and you sing out rather than just twerking”, Shenseea said.
It’s a method that has produced the intended infectious results, lifting songs like Rebel, Trending Gyal and Blessed to major success across streaming platforms. The dynamic singjay called herself a ‘chameleon’, citing her love for all genres and ability to adapt various sounds and concepts in her art. This she says is what makes her so magnetic and authentic to her loyal fanbase, the ShenYengs.
“‘My sound is unique, my music definitely is energetic. It speaks truth because I normally try to write based off what I’m going through or what someone else is going through because I like to write music that people can relate to. When people hear it they feel like I’m talking to them. Yeah, I just do it from the heart honestly,” she said.
She’s expanded her reach significantly despite being hampered by global constraints, adding brand ambassador and beauty entrepreneur to a growing list of feats. Her work ethic is one thing, but it turns out there’s a more grounded source to sustaining her tenacity.
“God and my son,” she said with a bright smile. “Listen, even when I’m down I pray every single day. I pray for everything I want, I pray for strength and my son he’s my biggest motivation,” she said, adding that the fact that he’s a fan of her music only makes her work more fun.
She name-dropped another Caribbean queen, Rihanna, as a major influence in carving out a path for herself. As a child she’d wish to “be the next Rihanna” but as time went by, she realized that who she wanted to be instead was the best version of herself. “Rihanna is an inspiration, she’s one of my favourite artists but I try to give that advice to people who say they want to be like Shenseea. I say, ‘no, try to be the best version of yourself’.”
Ironically, just like her idol Riri, fans have been dying for a body of work from the Hard Drive crooner and she’s promised to deliver before the year is out.
“My album for sure is definitely this year. I’m not going to spoil anything so you’re just gonna have to wait and see, you’re gonna have to tune in coz I’m telling you it is gonna be fire,” she said.
More and more persons have taken note of the starlet, whose January ‘Don’t Rush’ freestyle was widely circulated landing her a Shade Room repost and more.
The attention garnered a few Nicki Minaj comparisons too but Shenseea, who was recently seen in studio with H.E.R., remains unruffled by either praise or probing, laser-focused on her legacy and expanding her horizons instead.
“I’m about my work, I’m about my music so if you’re on some different stuff then ya gots to go and we cannot work together”, the Lighter singer said.
“I’m doing soca, rap, reggae, dancehall. I want to be that woman where you may see me doing this, but it’s not just this alone. I cook, I style, I direct videos. Be that person that does everything. That’s I want that to be my legacy to be, versatility. And that’s why I try to write the music that says, ‘Hey, be this, be that, be the boss, work for this, because once you get that concept, who gon’ tell you what to do?”