Five questions with Samantha J
Samantha J is continuing to take the music world by storm. Last year, the Jamaica-born recording artiste was signed by Sony Music in Europe (prior to which she was a client of Columbia Records, an auxiliary arm of Sony Music Entertainment) and is presently working to complete her debut album. In 2017, she embarked on a European tour, highlighted by her double-platinum feature on the hit single Light It Up by Norwegian duo Marcus & Martinus. The song hit the pop charts in Europe, which opened the doors for more opportunities to collaborate with other international artistes, which the Rockets pop-dancehall singer is taking full advantage of. However, her breakout single Tight Skirt still remains one of Samantha J's proudest accomplishments, having gained for her the edgy, yet colourful island-girl recognition locally, as well as in the United States and the United Kingdom. She gives The Gleaner a fresh look at her discography and plans for the rest of the year.
You are officially 'legal' since October 2017. Does it feel different, and how did you spend your 21st birthday?
"I was in Norway for my 21st and spent most of it shooting the music video for Rockets - a lot of it in the night while in studio during the daytime with Norwegian producers/writers. There was actually a little get together where my entire team and Blacka di Danca surprised me with a dinner party. The only thing different or new is that I was able to drink alcohol that night. My first drink was a fireball shot."
Which year would you say has been your busiest since launching a career in music?
"The busiest year was following the release of Tight Skirt because I was doing CXCs, focused on school, but also had to be prepared for the constant travelling to perform, and then the North American tour of the East Coast occurred. I was also modelling, so there was a lot happening all at once. While 2017 was almost as busy, it was more of a year where I made some big stepping stones, like going to Europe for the first time and touring with fellow Jamaican recording artiste Sean Paul in Canada."
What is one understated social, environmental or global issue that you are passionate about?
"The fight against animal cruelty around the world. I don't think people know just how much buying a single burger can harm many animals. Or even a patty (all ah dem sup'n deh). Not that I don't miss having a cheese patty. Animals were always around me - dogs, birds, rabbits, even hamsters - so I was always for animals."
What changes have you made to your lifestyle to show you care about the issue, and how has it benefited you?
"Well, I have been vegan for almost two and half years, so no meat or animal products. It is my belief people need to learn more about what goes into our bodies. The food many persons consume contains by-products of so many things. Being on tour, I used to feel sick, and my body couldn't keep up with me, from my sensitive skin constantly breaking out to not having enough energy. However, as soon as I began a diet of veggies and fruits, my body felt instantly rejuvenated, and it has also complemented my skin."
Do you have a boyfriend, and what is it like trying to keep your private life, well, private?
"Yes, I do. It can be hard to be in a relationship, but with my current boyfriend, any free time I have is used spending it with him and trying to go out on fun dates to create that balance. I may not share it with the public, but he will feel attention from me."