Raine Seville holding her own in a male-dominated industry
Local dancehall songbird Raine Seville speaks frankly about dancehall and the positioning of females in the male-dominated industry.
When tallying up her singles, the artiste easily names more than ten collaborations with some of dancehall's leading men, including Sizzla, Mavado, Vybz Kartel, and Konshens, but twice that number in solo tracks.
"It's a challenge being one of the few females in comparison to the great number of men in the business. Oftentimes, females have a harder battle to fight to gain the respect and recognition we are truly deserving of," said Raine Seville in a recent interview with The Gleaner.
The one thing she is confident in sharing is that the tracks "did what they were supposed to do".
"Whenever I do link up to perform with the respective artistes, the reception is good. For example, Chat Mi, featuring Lisa Hyper, the feedback, especially from the females, is amazing because every woman has at least one person in mind who they feel chat dem. It's all about the messages in the songs," she said.
The Mentally Insane singjay says that as a female, many times her work and efforts are overlooked and that her successes are owed to the fan base she has accumulated over the years.
"The problem with the local industry is that it tries to put dancehall in a box. However, I remain grateful because people love my work, I hear my songs on the radio, see my videos on TV, and still receive paid gigs."
Raine Seville says that the Pepsi endorsement in 2015 was one of the best achievements in her career. The artiste participated in the Pepsi Refresh Tour with other members of the dancehall fraternity, which eventually opened doors to new management in Atlanta. Island Jams produced her 2016 single, Touch.
Now 31, Raine Seville has clocked almost a decade in the music industry.
"I have done this for nine years, and with the constant changes observed in the field [of music] and changes with technology, it has been my duty to learn more about the business aspect, especially as it relates to royalties and contracts," said Raine Seville.
Aside from acquiring a degree in marketing and event planning at the University of Technology, the singjay participated in vocal training sessions part-time at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and also did one-on-one sessions with vocal trainer Georgia Schlipher.
"It made me understand my vocal potential, breath control, and other great techniques that a second-soprano vocalist must know to master performing," she said.
Positive thinking is a constant theme for Raine Seville. Her daughter turns eight in October, but she is still trying to give her an organic upbringing between homes; she has had to co-parent with fellow performing artiste Bugle.
In spite of her fair share of heartbreaks and minor setbacks, the singjay continues to pursue a career in music, expressing that, "when you basically love something like I love music, you make it work when the work has to get done."
"As a mother, I am learning every day, but I am more sensitive to things like patience, tolerance, and responsibility, while my drive has definitely increased having to balance both career and motherhood, which are both very demanding and important to me," she said.
Raine Seville recently released a new single, Think Positive. "It is to encourage my main target audience to stay in school regardless of what they might face out there."
"I have a large following with 'schoolers'. When I go to the schools, I want to have a catalogue of songs with a positive message. I do not want to be seen only as this jump-up-and-down or raunchy artiste."