Sadeke Brooks, Gleaner Writer
Jermet 'J Cee' Campbell says, "She (my mother) believed in me more than anybody else. She wanted me to sing even when I wasn't interested. - Contributed
Though recording professionally for only three years, J Cee has already landed a place as one of the top-20 finalists in BBC's Next Big Thing 2007 competition for her song Nah Fi Run.
The artiste, whose real name is Jermet Campbell, was chosen from among thousands of people from 88 countries. The winner of the competition will receive promotion from BBC, as well as a performance at the station's 75th anniversary ceremony.
"My chances in the competition are good 'cause the competition has mostly rock artistes. I am different, so that will give me an edge in the competition," says an excited J Cee.
Becoming more visible
Since being among the finalists, she says her songs have been given more airplay on stations like Rootz FM. This is also due to her increased visibility in the public's eye.
She became visible to the public when she was a back-up singer for gospel artiste DJ Nicholas, whom she has been working with for the last two years. She teaches dance to all ages, but says her develop-ment in music has reduced the time she has to teach the art. She has also released two other songs, No and Jehovah For Real.
While things seem to be going well for J Cee, she has been faced with several struggles. Chief among these is her mother's illness and eventual death. Her mother, Winsome Watkins, was diagnosed with diabetes when J Cee was only six years old, but her illness worsened within three years. Though still young, J Cee had to play her part in her mother's care from as early as 11 years old when she had to deal with her mother's first coma. She says it was hard to deal with, but she was lucky to have had her aunt and uncle who provided physical, emotional and financial support.
Difficulty at the beginning
In all of this, she had the support of friends, family and the church. However, her mother was a great source of strength in life and death.
"She believed in me more than anybody else. She wanted me to sing even when I wasn't interested," says J Cee, who is now married and has a son of her own.
J Cee also had difficulty when she started in the business. Many producers wanted her to record secular music. She also had to find money to pay for expensive studio time.
Now signed to Aramac Entertainment, J Cee does not have to worry about studio time. She just has to focus on winning the competition, writing her songs and working on her album and video, which will be released next year.