EN­TER­TAIN­MENT AV­ENUE Safira Mono brings pos­i­tive mes­sage to pris­on­ers at Span­ish Town

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Dave Rod­ney Gleaner Writer Carl Gilchrist Gleaner Writer di­ade­mata@aol.com

... At tonight’s ska fes­ti­val

LATER TONIGHT, one of Ja­maica’s new-gen­er­a­tion voices will take on her great­est chal­lenge to date. Her name is Tan­ice Mor­ri­son and she is a Kingston-born soul­ful reg­gae singer, who is at­tempt­ing to woo a new au­di­ence and win more stripes in her 15-year mu­sic ca­reer, by per­for­mance at the One World Ska and Rock­steady Mu­sic Fes­ti­val tak­ing place tonight at the Ranny Wil­liams En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre.

Mor­ri­son is only in her 20s, an un­likely age to take on a ska and rock­steady fes­ti­val, two decades-old gen­res of Jamaican mu­sic. But her pri­mary weapon is her en­thralling and se­duc­tive voice, one that she hopes will in­fuse a gen­er­ous dose of youth­ful Jamaican adren­a­line into a form of mu­sic that is grad­u­ally slip­ping away from post-Steely and Cle­vie gen­er­a­tions.

The song­bird comes with other cre­den­tials, too, that won’t hurt her mis­sion later tonight. She has re­ceived voice train­ing from both The Mico Uni­ver­sity Col­lege and the Edna Manley Col­lege for the Vis­ual and Per­form­ing Arts. Both her par­ents were mu­si­cians who coaxed her, with­out FRESH ON the heels of sign­ing a dis­tri­bu­tion deal with VPAL for her break­through sin­gle Mon­i­tor, Safira Mono has scored with pris­on­ers at the Span­ish Town prison.

The con­scious reg­gae artiste re­cently per­formed at the prison where she sang Mon­i­tor and other tracks from her up­com­ing al­bum, I’m Just a Woman.

“Every­one was singing along when I did Mon­i­tor, it was a great mo­ment. When I left the stage, they were hun­gry for more,” Mono told En­ter­tain­ment Av­enue.

Mono said the prison au­thor­i­ties were very pleased with the pos­i­tive mes­sage that she brought to the pris­on­ers through her songs.

The per­for­mance at the pe­nal in­sti­tu­tion came as the artiste con­tin­ues cel­e­brat­ing the suc­cess of Mon­i­tor and the sign­ing of a dis­tri­bu­tion deal with VPAL, a sub­sidiary of VP Records, for dis­tribut­ing the song world­wide.

“The dis­tri­bu­tion deal with VPAL was signed in Kingston last month, and Mon­i­tor has now been re­leased in­ter­na­tion­ally,” she said.

Writ­ten by Mono and pro­duced by Bad Slave Pin­na­cle, the song calls upon par­ents to mon­i­tor their chil­dren, while at the same time seeks to up­lift both par­ents and chil­dren.

“The youths re­ally need to be mon­i­tored by not just the par­ents but by ev­ery re­spon­si­ble adult,” she ar­gued.

The video for Mon­i­tor, done by Wayne Ben­jamin, con­tin­ues to rack up view­ings on YouTube.

The artiste says she is happy with the progress she has made in the mu­sic in­dus­try so far.

“I’ve been try­ing for a while re­sis­tance, into the world of mu­sic at the ten­der age of six. Her mother was a Stu­dio One record­ing artiste, her step­fa­ther was a mu­si­cian, and her younger brother plays the bass gui­tar pro­fes­sion­ally.

Mor­ri­son has opened for the ChiLites in New York, she has per­formed in Taiyuan, China, and she has done nu­mer­ous per­for­mances across Ja­maica, in­clud­ing a guest ap­pear­ance with Bunny Wailer on Reg­gae Sum­fest.


Cur­rently, she is qui­etly build­ing her brand and her fan base by per­form­ing con­tin­u­ously to small, in­ti­mate au­di­ences around the is­land. She has three re­leases out now – Didn’t We Al­most Have It, Miss­ing Pieces and Let It Flow – and her jaw-drop­ping vo­cal per­for­mances on all three songs have been at­tract­ing at­ten­tion from lo­cal and over­seas ra­dio.

On this week­end’s fes­ti­val, she will per­form along­side Spar­row Martin and Ska­son­ics. She has known Spar­row Martin, a vet­eran mu­si­cian and di­rec­tor for the Al­pha Boys’ Band for many years, and they have worked to­gether in the past. Dur­ing her ska seg­ment, Mor­ri­son will be do­ing a few trib­utes, in­clud­ing one to Mil­lie Small, as well as an orig­i­nal ska song ti­tled Tonight. Safira Mono with Aurian Wil­son of VPAL, af­ter sign­ing the dis­tri­bu­tion deal.

and had to put up with a lot of fight, es­pe­cially be­cause I’m a fe­male. A lot of peo­ple were say­ing that I’m not mar­ketable, but I feel good that they don’t have the last talk. Now that Mon­i­tor is a hit, a lot of peo­ple are say­ing they can re­late to the song.”

The suc­cess, so far, of Mon­i­tor has spurred Mono to push for the com­ple­tion of her de­but al­bum, I’m Just a Woman, which should be com­plete by year-end. It is sched­uled for a 2017 re­lease.

Ex­plain­ing the rea­son­ing for the ti­tle, Mono said, “I don’t call my­self an en­ter­tainer or artiste, I am just a woman, so that ti­tle is quite ap­pro­pri­ate.”

She added that fans who have been fol­low­ing her ca­reer will love the al­bum, as it will con­tain “a lot of heart and soul”.

“It has real lyrics, based on strug­gles, based on love and re­al­ity. The al­bum is go­ing to be very, very cre­ative and will be kind of dif­fer­ent, but with lots of great songs. It’s an al­bum that I am ded­i­cat­ing to my late mother and to my fa­ther, who I met only re­cently for the first time.”

I’m Just a Woman is be­ing pro­duced by Dre Zion and Quick Mix Records, and will con­tain 10 songs along with bonus tracks.

“I am a young girl with an old soul, with no lim­its to my style of mu­sic,” Tan­ice Mor­ri­son, a for­mer mu­sic ed­u­ca­tor who re­luc­tantly left her teach­ing job to pur­sue mu­sic full­time, told The Gleaner.

Tan­ice Mor­ri­son hopes to in­fuse a gen­er­ous dose of youth­ful Jamaican adren­a­line in her per­for­mance on the Ska and Rock­steady Mu­sic Fes­ti­val tonight.

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