Wed | Feb 26, 2020

Five Questions With...Melanin Queen, Neeqah

Published:Friday | February 15, 2019 | 12:17 AM

The song Ms Melanin has been burning up the local airwaves for the past few weeks. The track, which features diamond-selling artiste Charly Black, is the brainchild of singer Neeqah, who, on her way to self-love, had to overcome criticism she faced as a dark-skinned girl.

The 22-year-old artiste, whose birth name is Shanica Allen, is big on music with a message. For her, acting as a voice for the voiceless, she wants to use her talent to inspire, and that is exactly what she has been doing with her current single.

Ms Melanin is all about loving the skin you are in, and, according to her, the track has been inspiring women (and men) to the point where many have reached out on social media to say that the song has made them want to stop skin-bleaching. This week’s feature on Five Questions With is truly a Nubian queen.

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?

I’m genuinely myself. Jovial, balanced and artistic.


If you could change anything about Jamaica, what would it be, and why?

I’d change the crime rate. I know it sounds cliché and may be a common answer, but it is the one thing I would change if I could. And, it’s not just the rate. Everything about it (crime) is just crazy.


Which artiste would you have your dream collab with?

Lady Saw – even now that she’s a Christian, because I rather clean music any day. For her to make such a big transition shows how talented and how blessed she is overall.


What are your career goals for the next five years?

Becoming a household name and travelling the world. I am not a big fan of awards, so I don’t have any goals where that is concerned. I don’t think a piece of metal can define my talent.


Who are some of the artistes you admire locally?

Some aren’t local, but they’re still within dancehall. So my list includes Dovey Magnum, Khxos, Dre Island, Kacique, Kranium, Chronic Law, Charly Black and Dee Dre.


Bonus: What is your favourite thing about Jamaica? (This is the one thing you brag about wherever you go.)

Our culture! Especially our accent.