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Sumfest début an expensive affair for Shauna Controlla

Published:Monday | July 1, 2019 | 12:25 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Shauna Controlla
Shauna Controlla

As reggae and dancehall enthusiasts get ready to converge on the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre in Montego Bay to watch the dynamic talents of some of Jamaica’s best entertainers, they will also be witness to some of the most kaleidoscopic fashion to ever come to life on a stage. Shauna Controlla, one of five female entertainers confirmed for Reggae Sumfest 2019, scheduled for July 14-20, told The Gleaner, “It is one thing to prepare for a performance but another to plan for a debut.”

The fast-rising dancehall entertainer, who got a taste of the Sumfest stage in 2015 when she did a cameo, reveals that she has been anticipating performing at the internationally acclaimed stage show, which is known to pull over 15,000 patrons in a night.

“I want my performance to just be about Shauna Controlla presenting Shauna Controlla, not only to the stage but to the world. It is important that I take the stage by storm to demonstrate my talent and to also prove that I can perform and represent for all the females in dancehall,” Shauna Controlla said.

Shauna Controlla’s style on a day-to-day basis predictably matches her personality - vibrant and sporty. However, a Reggae Sumfest-worthy ensemble will typically don glitter and crystals and expose just enough skin to keep all eyes on the entertainer, but she vowed to keep the concept of her outfit undercover for the “big reveal” on the night just so that it enhances the first-timer’s entrance. What has been spent on the possibly designer-made stage show garb also seems to be classified information.

“Oh my God!” she exclaims, “I don’t even want to share what my expenses total, due to how the budget stan’ up strong…I really never knew that it could take much so much out of a person.”

She says it has been an overwhelming couple of months taking a lot mentally, physically and financially; for the latter she continuously gives credit to her management team.

She admits, “It is my first time, so the amount of preparation I’m putting in, is 100 times more significant, and if it was me alone, like before, I don’t know how I would manage. Me have to big up management all the time for the endless commitment to my career and brand.”

But that’s not where all the expenses end says Shauna Controlla, “There is a lot that female entertainers have to budget for; compared to the males that can throw on a pants and shirt and “shot”, after finding the right outfit, then there is the nails, makeup and hair. Some of us also need the whole works, meaning a massage and facial because God-forbid we look pop down on the night.”

She added, “A female entertainer’s budget may also include the beauty expenses and clothing for the dancers, or simply paying for a professional to come up with the right choreography to your music,” explained the Control Button artiste who has also spent time practising a dance routine for what is supposed to be an eye-opening set.

“This is just one of the many reasons the people need to give the woman dem justice in the music industry. A female’s preparation is way tougher and much more expensive,” she said. Shauna Controlla mentioned that one female artiste who never fails to impress her, is the “Queen of Stage”, Spice, who, following the 2017 staging of Reggae Sumfest, captured the attention of the world’s top fashion influencer, Vogue, for re-defining dancehall’s image with her bold style sense.

“She always comes out strong with the fashion and the entire show she put on with her dancers,” she said. “Spice has been a very creative star in the music industry for a long time now and I also know Dovey Magnum will come out strong too. I cannot wait to see what they will bring to the stages for this year’s show, but I also want the three of us to do well on a lineup that is dominated by the men.”