Spice is one of the most successful female artists out Jamaica’s rich vibrant music culture.
June is the chosen time that the US designates to celebrate the significant contributions made by black musicians in the country and, by extension, the world. The month dubbed Black Music Appreciation Month was given its current name in 2009 by then President Barack Obama. In his redesignation of the name of the month, he declared that black music has helped people “to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.”
The Queen of Dancehall, who is a recent US transplant, as she now resides in Atlanta, shared her feelings about the significance of the month. Spice was speaking during an interview with Revolt TV. She said that many black artists have helped a lot of people’s lives by giving their all and delivering tracks that have changed the lives of their fans. She also said that she believes that “there would be no music without Black people.”
She added: “I don’t see music itself without Black artists. Society has made it so fickle to compare anything, but it’s just the truth. Black people are so influential to music, I’m not afraid to say that.”
The “Frenz” singer also shared that one of the often overlooked categories of music for June is Dancehall. She added that the genre does not get enough respect on the whole but that it’s one form of music that has positively changed the way people view black music.
“Dancehall has changed the whole aspect of music altogether. I don’t think people realize dancehall has birthed so many other genres including hip hop. It was a DJ from Jamaica, DJ Kool Herc, who went to New York and that’s how hip hop was born,” she said.
The Love and Hip Hop Atlanta star, who is gearing up for the show’s tenth season, said she believed that Reggae gets respect but not dancehall. She opined that this may be because of the large influence that Bob Marley’s music had on the world.
“Dancehall is more like the underdog and it doesn’t get the respect it deserves even though it has influenced so many other genres. Even if you listen to Drake, you can hear a little bit of dancehall mixed in. Even in the fashion world, dancehall has a whole fashion culture that international people use and give credit to other cultures,” she added.
The “Go Down Deh” singer added that one of the ways that dancehall can get the respect it truly deserves is if the artists in the genre come together and work together. Veteran artist, Sean Paul, has also been a very vocal advocate for Dancehall artists coming together to take the genre forward. She used her upcoming album, TEN as an example of trying to create harmony by having her fellow veteran artists featured on it.
“Together we are a force to be reckoned with. Me working with these legends opened people’s eyes to show them that dancehall is about unity and we can come together to unite to become a bigger force to be reckoned with. I think that’s the best start to come together to show our music and our talent to the world,” she added.
Even though there has been some tension between her and Shenseea’s management in recent times, the veteran artists said that she was proud to see how many female artists have emerged and are dominant in the Dancehall world. She found this to be quite an accomplishment considering when she started her dancehall career, she was one of the few females in the genre that had any popularity.
Spice also shared her excitement at the upcoming release of her highly anticipated album, TEN. “I’m feeling great about it and I’m just happy for my fans, and I’m elated because when the album comes on, they’re going to have so many good tracks,” she said.