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Bad Gyal Jade defying the odds

Published:Saturday | August 17, 2019 | 12:00 AMSade Gardner/Gleaner Writer
Bad Gyal Jade
Bad Gyal Jade

Even a year after placing second in the now defunct Magnum Kings and Queens competition, Bad Gyal Jade refuses to fade into the background and be labelled another has-been.

She prides herself as the young dancehall queen, adding that there is no other talent who comes close to her musical capabilities. Well, except for Spice.

“Right‌ ‌no‌w, ‌mi‌ ‌a‌ ‌di‌ ‌baddest‌ ‌female‌ ‌artiste,‌ ‌different‌ ‌from‌ ‌Spice‌ ‌cause‌ ‌mi‌ ‌love‌ ‌her‌ ‌and‌ ‌she‌ ‌a‌ ‌mi‌ ‌artiste,‌ ‌but‌ ‌mi‌ ‌badda‌ ‌dan‌ ‌nuff‌ ‌a‌ ‌dem. Mi‌ ‌badda‌ ‌dan‌ ‌nuff‌ ‌a‌ ‌di‌ ‌male‌ ‌artistes‌ too, but mi just nuh get the strength,” she told The Gleaner. “Magnum deh bout fi 11 years and mi nuh see ‌no‌ ‌female‌ ‌artiste‌ ‌weh‌ ‌win‌ ‌Magnum, weh a do it like me and me come second.”

After her feat in the competition, Jade said she reached out to Reggae Sumfest organisers to perform at the festival, but didn’t get a response. Determined, she tried again this year, only to be struck by deja vu. Making some strides, she performed at Beenie Man’s Summa Sizzle festival last Saturday, but expressed disappointment at being placed as an opening act.

“It‌ ‌was a‌ ‌good‌ ‌look,‌ ‌th‌e ‌only‌ ‌problem‌ ‌I‌ ‌had‌ ‌was‌ ‌for‌ ‌an‌ ‌artiste‌ ‌of‌ ‌my‌ ‌calibre‌ ‌dem‌ put ‌me‌ ‌on‌ ‌stage‌ ‌really‌ ‌early,” she said. “Yuh‌ ‌cyaan‌ ‌give‌ ‌Bad‌ ‌Gyal‌ ‌Jade‌ ‌fi‌ ‌open,‌ ‌me‌ ‌coulda count the people pon one hand weh inna Summa Sizzle when me perform. That’s‌ ‌just‌ ‌plain‌ ‌and‌ ‌straight‌ ‌underrated.”

The artiste remains committed to her longstanding affair with music, even though she also sports the mommy hat to two sons.

“It’s‌ ‌not‌ ‌hard‌ balancing both caps because music‌ ‌a‌ ‌mi‌ ‌nine-‌to-‌five‌ ‌and ‌sometimes‌ ‌me and mi‌ ‌sons‌ ‌deh‌ ‌a‌ ‌studio,‌ while ‌sometimes‌ ‌dem‌ ‌gone‌ ‌to‌ ‌grandma so‌ ‌mi‌ ‌hav‌e it‌ ‌covered‌,” she stated.

‌She said her children are her number one cheerleaders, even though her catalogue and stage show performances are often raunchy and hardcore.

But she strikes the balance by dabbling in various genres and themes, like her recent reggae single, Holding On.

“I have a lot of songs and I’m pretty versatile so I know how to cater to any audience,” she said. “If‌ ‌I’m‌ ‌booked‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌culture‌ ‌show,‌ ‌believe‌ ‌me,‌ ‌mi‌ ‌can‌ ‌mash‌ ‌up‌ ‌dat‌ ‌and‌ ‌dominate‌ ‌it‌ ‌because‌ ‌mi‌ ‌have‌ positive‌ ‌songs like Celebrate Life. People‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌run‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌positive ‌music ‌unless‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌top‌ artistes‌ ‌who‌ ‌sing‌ ‌­culture‌ ‌songs‌, but I stay in my zone. It doesn’t matter the ­occasion, I have the songs for it, even gospel music.”