Shenseea riding the rhythm
She always wanted to become an artiste. Little did she know she would rise to prominence so soon and so young. Today, we hear her on the radio, in the streets, at parties, virtually anywhere that music is played. She gets many waists gyrating and makes us want to 'throw double six like Loodi'.
She's Shenseea, the fast-rising and dazzling star in the dancehall industry.
'A Shenseea' is what you would hear at the beginning of some of her songs. It's a name you have come to fondly accept, but her family knows her as Chinsea Lee.
Quite often, we hear some artistes claiming their stage names as alter egos. That's something Shenseea cheekily denounced.
"I am not a person who distinguishes between my first name and my stage name. There is really not much difference because my career is basically my life. I try to portray everything to my supporters, what they see on social media is also who I really am in person." Best believe she is authentic.
Shenseea grew up in the first city, Kingston, and was born to a Christian family.
For her, growing up was not easy. No, it was not because of financial difficulties or abuse. But instead, it was because of her desire to always be in control of everything.
"Growing up, well it was rough. I've always been bossy. I was rude, too, and I did a lot of reckless stuff that I look back on now."
Once her bossy nature fooled her into believing she would someday be a teacher; a strict one in fact who would never be without a whip. But that's not where her heart truly lies. It rides with the upbeat rhythm, we call dancehall.
Discovering her Talent
Like many other artists, Shenseea discovered her talent in church.
"I did a Whitney Huston song at church around five or seven (years old). I did Greatest Love Of All and I was so shy, that I ran out of the church after. I didn't even hear the feedback from the church," Shenseea said.
Gradually, she matured out of her timidness and blossomed into who she is today.
With songs like Loodi, Jiggle Jiggle and Nothing Dem Nuh Have Ova Me, the 21-year-old has definitely etched her name on the walls of dancehall.
During her high school years at Mona High School in Kingston, Shenseea discovered an additional talent. She could not only sing, but she could vocally ride the dancehall rhythms intensely and fearlessly.
"I started singing more in high school, which was also the time I found out I could deejay. Being that I was grown up in a Christian home, my family did not allow me to listen to dancehall music because it was considered raunchy. I was more listening to pop music, hip hop and so. Upon listening to dancehall in the school buses, then mi start sing off a dat and me say, wait, me have the deep voice too can do this," Shenseea said.
Graduating from Mona High Shenseea embarked on her tertiary education at the Excelsior Community College to study tourism. That's when her love for music superseded all expectations.
"My parents wanted me to be a flight attendant and then tru mi love music and me hear say second year you can major in entertainment me say what mi no business about dem," she explained with a smile.
She changed her major to entertainment management. Shortly after, because of difficulties, she was forced to leave college.
She's more than a recording artiste. She is also single parent, a circumstance that proved to be challenging at the onset of her career when her mother disapproved of her vision. However, it gradually improved.
"I have a supportive team, so sometimes when I am in the studi,o they would come and babysit him. But now, my mommy and everybody catch on to the vision and they're helping me a lot now," she told Flair.
"I am an artiste in two ways. I can sing, I can draw, and I can paint, too," she said. She also intends to test other aspects of the entertainment industry. Hey, heads up, she may star in a movie some day and look out for her on the international stage.
Many persons will find it surprising that she is an 'over thinker' who dwells on the negatives in situations. That's the only thing that she wishes to change about her.
When asked what Jamaica would find surprising about her, she told Flair "Mi fraid a frog. Oh God, I hate frog! I love pepper. Me eye affi a run, me ears affi a run, and mi nose affi a run when mi a eat. That's how I love my food.
But she wants you to always remember that "Shenseea is really a progressive, ambitious, always outspoken, kind, loving, loud, creative and a woman of pulchritude (beauty)," Shenseea told Flair.