An unsuspecting, musically gifted trailblazer is slowly but surely taking her place. Much like Jamaica’s Koffee seemed to have emerged out of nowhere overnight, and quickly stamped her name into history, so too will Trinidad and Tobago born rising star, Phia.
Sophia Smith is a 20-year-old diamond in the rough. According to engineering mastermind, PengCo Music, she’s the real deal. In fact, so confident is PengCo in Phia’s natural talent, her passion and drive, that he’s ready to risk it all, to take her to the heights of the music business.
Phia grew up in Gonzales, Belmont with her mother, grandmother and extended family members. She fondly recalls being called upon by her uncle to perform for friends who would come over to house parties held at the family home. They would encourage her talent, often gifting her with cash after her impromptu performances. An eventual relocation to Petite Bourg, in San Juan with her father brought with it an even greater appreciation for music and dance. Noting her father and uncles’ constant singing and dancing display at the house, Phia said it was not too long before she too became completely mesmerized by music.
“All I think about is music,” relays a most recent Instagram post by the young soulful singer. Unlike most in the Caribbean, who’re attuned to island beats and the Caribbean flavour, this young artist stays true to herself, maintaining her love for soulful genres of music. “I grew up with my grandmother. Our neighbour would play music every morning,” she explains. “I grew up listening to Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and Johnny Cash, just to name a few.”
Untraditional for a youth of this era some may argue, but for PengCo, Phia’s vibe is refreshing, new, exciting. “She’s going to be big,” he says confidently, and with that assurance, Phia too, stands ready to push even harder. On April 1st, Phia released visuals for her single, ‘Red,’ which she penned. The track was recorded at Proden Studios and mixed and mastered by Pengco Music. Asserting herself as a GenZ neo-soul artist, Phia’s laid back delivery is reminiscent of that of RnB singer, the late, Aaliyah Haughton.
“I’d describe my music as soothing. I think my music’s relatable to events that unfold in most people’s everyday lives,” she explains, admitting that her major contemporary influences have come from international RnB superstars, Chris Brown and Kehlani. “Dancing was really my first love. I used to watch Chris Brown’s music videos and try to emulate every move and his voice. On the flip side, Kehlani has influenced my style a bit. They’re both major vocal influences but I like the way Kehlani dresses,” she said.
With her eye on the prize, her heart humble and her passion unwavering, Phia’s on a journey that’ll ultimately lead to the big leagues. Her only hope is that the support at home in the Caribbean is forthcoming, after all, the love and support of ‘home’ beats all else.
Buju Brings the ‘Summer Bubbler’. Entertains Fans Online. VIDEO INSIDE.
New music now making the rounds, reggae and dancehall heavyweight, Buju Banton stays focused and happy at home in Jamaica, delivering to fans worldwide, pieces of himself via online platforms like Instagram. On Wednesday, on the heels of news that he’d unleashed a brand new summer bubbler with the ladies in mind, Gargamel solidified the promotion of the track with a mini concert that engaged fans from as far as Ghana.
It’s been almost two years since Buju’s career, like that of many other Caribbean artistes, has been halted- with no major concert events being planned. He appeared alongside Beres Hammond on a virtual stage in February this year, but of course, that was nothing like a live show would be. Still, Buju’s creativity remains powerful and present.
The latest single, “Summer Body”, is aimed at offering fans a little fun and enjoyment, according to the artist. In a statement, the song is described as one that borrows signature sounds from the 90s reggae/dancehall era and features Buju’s quintessential deejay style over a hardcore Dancehall riddim. The song was produced by Buju himself, alongside dancehall staple Jon Jon. According to Buju’s team, the new release encourages fans to celebrate life, remove doubt and any sense of restriction from their minds.
On Wednesday, as he engaged fans on his Instagram live, Buju smiled happily, singing his new release and even belting out familiar tunes from the past. Take a look at how that went down…
Shenseea’s New Video “Run, Run” Bashed As “Demonic.” Rvssian Retorts.
In just five days, Shenseea’s latest music video, “Run Run” has been streamed over 2.4 million times on YouTube. Whether that’s fueled by criticism over the “demonic” imagery of the video, as some call it, or just plain curiosity and fan loyalty, we’re uncertain, but 2.4 million streams in a week, is big news.
Earlier this month, Shenseea announced her new management alignment with Canadian, music exec, Wassim ‘Sal’ Slaiby. In an Instagram post, the Jamaican artist who had previously been managed by Romeich Major, said she was happy to now have a manager with “such dynamic character on my team.” Shen alluded to big moves ahead, saying, “we’re about to unfold a new chapter.”
Just a few days later, a promotional video was posted to her IG, showing what was on the way. The video for “Run Run” portrayed visuals that leaned more toward the international trends seen in videos like Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s “WAP” and Lil Nas X’s “Montero” music videos. Some fans dug in after the video’s release on Friday. “Omg, I’m so sorry for Shenseea… she don’t know what she’s getting into,” one person wrote on YouTube. Another said, “We need more music videos with artists ascending into Heaven, normalize ascending instead of descending into hell.” Some even posted prayers for their Jamaican dancehall sweetheart.
The new single is the first track off of Shen’s debut album. On the weekend, Shenseea posted a scene that showed her being lowered into what one can only assume is “hell.” She wore bull horns in the excerpt. She told fans this was her favorite scene.
In response to comments against the visual creativity, producer Rvssian took to Twitter. “They say people sell them soul. But how much do these type of things go for? 😂 and is a store or what? Mi confuse😂😂” he retorted. He continued by saying that he praises God and has given all his success and credit to Him, lashing out at critics with biblical reference, saying, “The Bible say Matthew 7 – do not judge…do you know the rest? But you guys are more holy than we are- look into ya self.”
His response was quite similar to one given by incarcerated dancehall artist, Vybz Kartel who was asked about allegations that he had sold his soul for fame, by On Stage host, Winford Williams, prior to his incarceration.
HERE’S SHENSEEA’S “RUN RUN” VIDEO
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