Meet Zhavea; the chanteuse you simply can't get enough of Image

by Biko Kennedy

Zhavea have been captivating tastemakers everywhere with every single she releases but the more you hear of her is the more you'll yearn to hear of her; which is a great thing! JamaicansMusic caught up with the Pop princess, gaining a deeper appreciation for her art and her inevitable future.

JAmusic: Music lovers globally will always be looking for that new, impeccable sound that can be looked upon as leaders of the new wave of vocalists. How would you define a musical genius that can eventually become a vocal leader?
Z: I consider someone whose music and sound to be timeless a musical genius. When you have people from different generation and different walk of life, young and old loving your music, or your sound and vocal ability influences other artist, you are most definitely a musical genius. An artist who is or will one day be a legend. 

JAmusic: Some of the most genius artistes have thrived when taking chances and innovating. How important/present is that on the Reggae soundscape today; from what you've seen and that might have help in composing your singles?

Z: In order to have longevity in the industry it is important to say current. Changing with the times but at the same time staying true to who you are as an artist. People will always love and appreciate old school reggae, so it is very difficult to try and change the traditional reggae when so well established and timeless. I don’t think people who are true reggae lovers will embrace reggae if it was changed up too much. Most of my music is dancehall; which is a more current genera, so is easier to take chances with dancehall, by finding different ways to keep it current.

JAmusic: How do you think a single such as Spotlight will impact your growing fan base as well as attract new listeners?

Z: Everyone loves a party song. Spotlight is a feel good song you can listen to in your car or rock to at the club.  Spotlight has a bit of an old school dancehall vibe, which I am hoping will attract new listeners into getting a feel for dancehall music.  

JAmusic: What's the biggest risk you've taken artistically; one that went over surprisingly well and one that might've gone over people's heads?

Z: I am still really new in the business so I am not sure if I have yet taken a great risk. However, last year I decided to go back to my roots by adding a touch of Caribbean sound to my music. I had started out singing R&B/ pop but it just was not me. I needed music I could feel and relate too. Being that I was fairly new in the business and did not yet have a strong following I was judge by a few people. People who I went to school with or people who just did not understand me as an artist. Sometimes it can take a minute to find a sound that works for you (music for your soul). The move however, turned out to be a good one. Although growing up I listened to R&B and pop artist, I grew up in a West Indian household listening to reggae and dancehall.  So fusing dancehall with pop made sense, and was music I could feel and relate to. I believe people noticed the difference. I had positive feedback from the new music and had started gaining some strong followers.

JAmusic: Who's the artiste that keeps you on your toes? Pushes you to go harder?

Z: I look up to a lot of artist.  Climbing to the top is a struggle, however, staying there is an even bigger challenge. I know the hard work and dedication every artist put in daily in order to get from point A to B. This is my life, working hard on my music every day.  Then there are people who would like nothing more than to see you fail, so when I see artist who started out like me at the top, and staying there, it makes me feel good and pushes me to work even harder. 

JAmusic: When you got into the music business where did you think you'd be today or where did you see yourself fitting in at the moment? 

Z: I was not sure exactly where I would be today. My success knew was based on how hard I worked and the people I have around me. I am very fortunate to have very supportive people in my corner and blessed to be able to work with great people.  I see myself not necessarily fitting in, but being me and growing into the artist I hoped I would be one day. 

JAmusic: What's the purpose on your musical journey? What's the message you're trying to give?

Z: Music is food for the soul. It don’t matter what day you are having or what you are going through, when you turn on a song you love it feeds the soul by gives you a temporary break from your troubles. I hope I am able to bring joy into the life of others with my music. I also hope I can one day become a role model for young people as well as inspire other artist who would like to have a career in music. 

JAmusic: What's one song that you hold close to you because of a particular line or better yet what's the most philosophical quote you've heard in a song that you hold close to your heart?

Z: I would say “if at first you don’t succeed try again” by Aaliyah. 

JAmusic: We live in an era where the average person's attention span is limited to what they want to see or hear. What are you doing differently that will hold their attention?

Z: In this era of the Internet people’s need to be entertain has heightened. They demand more out of you. I hope by having music that do not all sound alike, having entertaining videos, being not just a singer but a dancer as well, and my own sense of fashion will keep their attention. 

JAmusic: With success comes a lot of negative feedback, how do you react or deal with negativity?

Z: I don’t see any feedback as being negative. I just see it as someone’s opinion, which everyone has a right to.  There is also some truth in everything. You can only realize what you need to improve on if it is pointed out to you, whether it is done in a positive or negative way.  

JAmusic: What kind of future plans have you set for yourself as an artiste (to accomplish and maintain)?

Z: I hope to continue to grow as an artist. My future plans are to continue to do what I love; to be successful at entertaining others, by making music people will love and appreciate, and can one day be an artist others will look up to.

JAmusic: What insight can you give on the power of music and its ability to communicate certain messages verbally and non-verbally? And what do you think your music represent?

Z: Music is a powerful trendsetter.  A word that may be used in a song can take on a life of its own, becoming a part of the vocabulary of others.  Some music also creates peer pressure. The lyrics in some songs can influence the positive or negative thinking of young people; the things they believe, do or say. The way they treat others, even the way young people dress. A style may be in one day and then out the next, because the lyrics in a popular song may say it is not cool to wear certain clothes. I believe my music represent something positive. It’s clean, feel good music about having a good time.

Image A music aficionado redefining possibilities while pushing the limits of success...
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