STAR of the Month: Shenseea into goals, not rankings
Earlier this year, Shenseea was ranked at number 15 on the Billboard Next Big Sound chart, a competitive listing that predicts fast-tracking artistes' ability to be successful. It is based on downloads, listens and views across all major digital platforms. It was an accomplishment the 'Hard Drive' singjay was enthusiastic to share on social media. However, when it comes to the topic of her rank among local female artistes, Shenseea is not interested.
Shenseea told The STAR that it is up to the people who listen to the music to rank who they want to, "although I am not aware of a ranking system. I don't focus on topics of that nature. I am concentrating on where I want to reach."
"The moment an individual focuses on their rank, is the moment he or she starts comparing themselves to others. Then the focus is where they want to get before the person above them," she said. Shenseea says if she sat down and watched other people, she would not get shows. Music has to be continuous and concepts like a ranking system tend to distract artistes from doing enough music to gain attention from the right people to make the right moves, she said.
It is not new knowledge that women in the local music industry are coming face to face with challenges. Shenseea says her female colleagues are focused on the wrong things and she dislikes hearing excuses being made for the lack of movement or gaining the respect of other artistes, music professionals, and supporters of the Jamaican music genres.
"We just have to work, work, work and stop watching who is above. That is the same issue with the attention placed on ranks," she said. "When something works for someone else yuh hear 'Mi a guh try that to, enuh' and when it does not yuh hear 'How it nuh work fi me? Ah because me a female'."
The Star of the Month says an association for female artistes could help meet the challenges, but it is statements like these that turn her off from the idea of being part of any group. She said "everybody knows it is difficult, but if we cannot change it we cannot sit and sing on it every day. I am about women empowerment and it's worth the try, but I don't think I could be a member of one (organisation of that nature)."
"A lot them don't even know seh woman mek fi wuk hard, enuh," she said, giving the example of the responsibility females have naturally. "From bringing a child into the world to multitasking, it is what we are made for and it's time some of the artistes accept it, that pushing hard is not a challenge, but a calling.