Jordane Delahaye, Gleaner Writer
Sandy Smith is hoping that an extensive musical background, a creative upbringing and years of priceless experience in the music industry, will lend themselves to a successful solo career.
Smith's unbridled passion for music is no recent development as, according to her, music has always been a part of her life. The enthu-siastic young musician spoke endearingly about her talented family and the impact they had on her life and career path.
The creative blood of international jazz and ska musician Bobby Gaynair flows through Smith's veins. The musical mastermind is her grandfather and she is the niece of Carlton Smith from the group, The Tamlins - Peter Tosh's background vocalists. Dancehall superstar, Clifford Smith, or Mr Vegas, as he is more popularly known, is an uncle as well.
Even with all these "connections" in the industry, Smith said she has had to work that much harder to prove her worth.
The vivacious young artiste said she has never been one to accept handouts, but would prefer to put in the necessary hard work as she says it makes the reward that much more gratifying.
Early musical genesis
Smith's journey in the music industry started at the tender age of nine. Along with her siblings, Cleveland and Alecia, she started a singing group called CAS, the initials of their first names.
CAS entered the Tastee Talent Competition, finishing fourth.
In 2003, Smith then went on to enter the JCDC Gospel Festival as a solo act, finishing second this time around.
From there, Smith decided to enrol at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
A great opportunity to tour with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires and Jimmy Cliff presented itself and Smith made the tough decision to discontinue her studies so as to get some hands-on experience performing with the music giants.
After years of touring, Smith decided that the Digicel Risings Stars competition would be a great platform to kick off her solo career and so she decided to audition in 2009.
Smith finished fifth but took valuable career and life lessons with her.
Now, some three years later, Smith is finally getting her big break.
The rising reggae musician is the first artiste to sign to the Italian label, Shengen Records.
She co-wrote her debut single, No Joking Thing with Italian reggae sensation and the mastermind behind Shengen records, Alborosie - with whom she also toured.
Smith says she hopes the single will transcend all barriers and inspire listeners.
According to the up-and-comer, No Joking Thing has been garnering a lot of great feedback, and fans have expressed their excitement for the music video to come.
The video has already been shot and is expected to be released early this month.
Much like hurricane Sandy, Smith revealed that her journey has definitely not been a smooth one but she is ready to take the world by storm with her smooth vocals and spirit.
Unlike her tempest namesake, however, this Jamaican songbird plans to be a beacon of positivity.