Lady G, nothing short of iconic
An effortless storyteller with an ability to turn any situation into a valuable lesson, Lady G has an instinctive gift of creating message music, and she has made quite the impression in the dancehall arena since her first foray in the 1980s. The dancehall heavyweight has emerged as one of Jamaica’s most positive, candid lyrical voices with songs that frequently explore creating a strong identity, taking control in a relationship, and finding solutions and self.
“I think before anything else, I am true to what I do and I love what I do. The messages I send always create a positive energy within the people who love my music,” Lady G said about being a consistently sought-after female artiste. “Jamaica is the grassroots of dancehall and reggae music, so on the topic of finding success in the international music space, being a born-and-bred Jamaican helped. The world looks up to us, and respects our levels of creativity. I take great pleasure when on a show, for example, in Europe, and they announce, ‘out of Kingston or Spanish Town, Jamaica’, even now while living in America.”
Lady G made a name recording and performing Round Table Talk and Legal Rights with Papa San, bolstered by hits such as Nuff Respect and Man a Bad Man, which was used in the action film Third World Cop. Her career shaped up to be nothing short of iconic. She will be awarded the Iconic (Female) Artiste in the Music Industry by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) next week. Here she speaks on the meaning of the award, performing, other skills and how love endures.
What does it mean for you and the reggae/dancehall industry to receive the JaRIA Honour Award for Iconic Artiste in the Music Industry?
The honour award means a great deal to me and the acknowledgement of my work; it not only makes me feel happy but also a sense of purpose in the business. It goes to show that JaRIA and other industry stakeholders recognise females for the contribution to the industry and that we are playing our part. I will be there to collect the award, and it is gratifying to know that Chevelle Franklyn, who is a good friend and another great female talent, is also receiving one as well. It pushes me to continue working hard and do the best to put out more positive music.
Who would you say helped you to connect the dots throughout your career?
So many individuals, I don’t really want to single out any name but, most certainly out of the many, Papa San. He always looks out for me as a female in the male-dominated field, and in the dancehall. People always speculated we were together, but it was only a musical relationship – a family bond over time because he treated me as his sister. Like any brother, Papa San was never far to protect me. And my real brother Vincent Wright, who is more popularly known as Pancho; he definitely has been by my side from the starting blocks of this race to success.
You were known as a sharp-shooter in the clash space. Share one of your most memorable lyrical clashes on a live show.
The most memorable was at Cinema 2, the live stage show was Sting, I think in 1988. I was among popular female acts like Lady P, Lady Patra and Sister Charmaine. But that night when I was preparing myself to go to Sting, I was going through a lot. I was upset and never feel like going on the stage. Me seh Lady P came well prepared, do her research and patronise what she always saw me doing, so that’s what she came to the clash with. I was taking it casual like I got this but I had was to buckle up, get inside myself and get busy.
Over the years, how did you manage to separate the lives of Lady G and Janice Fyffe?
Well, as hard as it is to believe, it was easy. Personal life is personal so I don’t share with public. My music is public, which is all I need to share with the people. Sometimes when an artiste reveals to their fans what is happening in their personal life, it affects the music. I try my best not to. Not that I am living a dirty life, but I mean I like when I am home with my family, I am home with them and when I am out with fans, I am out with fans. I’m not perfect … everybody has challenges, whether it is emotional or love problems, But we must remember when we go out on a stage it is to make the fans feel happy, rejuvenate them with the lyrics, not with problems to think and talk about.
What is one dish that you can cook that will have persons licking their fingers?
Steam fish! No question about it. I have more than one creative way of cooking the dish, like a mini soup, to have with the fish, or with the vegetables like little okra and so and so. I always get compliment from my partner when I cook steam fish because I work with my natural spices and herbs – always season to the bone, make you want to lick your finger to the bone.
Bonus: Tell us three wishes you have for the world.
I would not go three wishes, the one I have will cure everything else. I wish the world, all the people could find love because love conquers everything and without love, we have nothing. People not loving each other is the reason for so much killing, violence and evildoing.