Fri | Dec 3, 2021

Five Questions With Starr Dawkins

Published:Friday | November 19, 2021 | 12:07 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Starr Dawkins
Starr Dawkins
Starr Dawkins
Starr Dawkins
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Social media personality-turned-entrepreneur Starr Dawkins has taken the fun and innovative approach she uses to turn a concept into a profitable business to the studios. By adding the titles of recording artiste and songwriter to her name recently, as well as voiceover actor for The Shade Room’s dating series Love Locked, she is not only showing off her star qualities, but manifesting that she will make an undeniable impact on the global music industry.

Raised between Waterford in Portmore, St Catherine, and Florida in the United States, Starr Dawkins was exposed to different genres, from reggae, dancehall to rap, hip-hop, electronic dance, pop and Latin American music. Although the latest single she released will only be the third to the Starr Dawkins song catalogue, she believes she has an idea that can make the indigenous genres of the country of her birth forerunners in the music industry.

Produced by the Grammy Award-winning Izy Beats, the song, titled Sponsor, is an upbeat, controversial yet lyrical leg-puller, where the artiste references several of her peers in the entertainment industry. Starr starts off by deejaying, “Him a call but me nah answer, dem ah call but me nah answer, ah who ah call, me nah answer.” While on her promotional run in the United Kingdom, Starr Dawkins spoke with us via telephone for Five Questions With. She shares her business strategy, which, simply put, “is fun,” she said, and explains just how far she is planning to take music.

In 2017, when you started out with the Sweet Cookie Wash, did you expect that the concept of feminine hygiene care business would expand into what it is today?

I never wanted to be a businesswoman, but I always wanted to be rich. I would be manifesting prayer to God and thinking positively that I am going to be rich. During the first year, I saw how well it went. I said, well, this is what is going to make me rich. After that, it was just about me having fun. I have watched it flourish.

As the saying goes, ‘all work and no play,’ but you’ ve said in several interviews that you have been having fun not working hard. Isn’t it the hard work that has made your business a success?

When I was putting in that hard work, going the extra mile to do certain things, I was not that successful. I will not sit here and say that that work is what made the brand a success. It’s when I leaned back and had fun that certain ideas came. For example, going to a Nicki Minaj or Shenseea concert and taking them a package with products, I wasn’t doing it as work; I was doing it as fun. In my head, that wasn’t marketing, but it was like, what can I do for fun?

What were your intentions when you recorded and released your latest single, and why the title ‘Sponsor’?

It was kind of, do it for the culture, though a lot of people think it’s for clout, or that I’m trying to slander someone’s name. Some people may slander as a marketing strategy, but I don’t market like that. What I try to do is focus on entertainment and fun. So as long as my audiences are engaged and entertained, or have something to talk about and keep their life interesting, then I did my job as an entertainer. As for the title, I thought everybody was looking for a sponsor; every minute, there’s a different GoFundMe for something else. Originally, it was supposed to be titled Nah Answer. Romeich probably doesn’t know this, but he had wrote ‘sponsor’ in the comment section when I did a preview of it five days before, and my best friend had pointed out that people liked it. She couldn’t stop repeating the word ‘sponsor’, and she thought I might have a hit. It happened really fast.

The song is extremely suggestive and scandalous. What’s the craziest review that you have read or heard so far about it?

A very interesting interpretation was that Dexta Daps took me from my ex-boyfriend. I think it was [a blog] that quickly grabbed at that. It was pretty funny, and it would be a crazy story if that was true, because both of them have that ladies’ man image in the public eye. It would be like a battle of the ladies’ men (laughs). For the record, the only thing I want going on with Dexta Daps is a song.

Ok. So that means we can expect more dancehall from Starr Dawkins. But, how far do you want to take the music, and are you leaning towards other genres?

My goal for dancehall is to take over the reggaeton community internationally. Reggaeton and the Latin culture [have] built so much money off our culture, and no one is capitalising. Everyone wants a ‘buss’ in America or to get the hip-hop ears. But hip-hop money is not enough, the Latin money is what we should be going for; and since they already love the culture, it is important to merge the two. So, once I get more features and collabs on that end of the world, I can open more doors for other dancehall artistes and show that we can make money and buss in other areas. We tend to think Jamaicans don’t stick together. That’s why we don’t ‘buss’. But it is a numbers game, and the Caribbean is very little, but our influence is very big.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com