Songwriter Hines wins top competition

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  • Big winner: JayLynn Hines, winner of Intense Mas’ Quest for the Best soca song competition (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Big winner: JayLynn Hines, winner of Intense Mas’ Quest for the Best soca song competition (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)


JayLynn Hines’s family was flabbergasted when she won Intense Mas’s song competition.

Although she’d written tunes before, she couldn’t sing a note.

It didn’t matter. The 23-year-old had YouTube on her side.

“I found a video that suggested using a plastic bottle cap to improve your singing,” said Ms Hines, who recorded the soca tune with Cahlii Smith of Dem Biez.

“You hold a bottle cap between your teeth while you are singing, talking or doing anything. It tells you it helps to keep your mouth open on certain vowels, which allows the music to come out better.

“Cahlii thought it was crazy.”

However, it was all the help she needed. Thirty local and international judges decided her song, Feeling For Ya, was the best out of 15 entries.

“When my younger sister Taylor heard my recording of my song she said, ‘I know you can’t sing so I don’t believe this is you’,” Ms Hines laughed.

As a result of the win she received a $5,000 promotional package which includes radio airplay, professional photo shoots and music video production.

“I was in the car with my mother, the first time I heard my song playing,” Ms Hines said. “I almost made her crash the car. It was exciting because it is not something I would have thought I would have done. To hear it and realise that is you, is a whole different energy.”

She entered the competition wanting a change of pace after completing her studies at the University of Toronto this year.

“I thought it would be different and fun,” said Ms Hines, who had written songs for Bermudian artist 1443.

Her win requires her to sing her song during the Bermuda Heroes Weekend carnival in June. She plans to take voice lessons to properly prepare herself for the event.

“I have done public speaking, but to get up on stage and sing something when you haven’t been an artist this whole time is totally different,” she said.

“I now have a lot of respect for any artist that is performing. I always have a habit of getting myself in these situations where I have to sink or swim, and I try to swim. It is another path to grow as a person.”

She developed an interest in audio and sound engineering through her father, Jonathan Trott, who started Spanish Town Entertainment.

“He sold the business when I was quite little so I wasn’t ever really involved in it, but I was always around it.”

A year ago she founded a video production company, Spanish Town Entertainment II in Toronto.

“Things took off from there and I did a lot of work for promoters in Toronto,” she said.

“Then I got to do some other work outside of the city. Then I decided to try to take advantage of the Bermuda market and see what I could do down here. In the last year I was flying back and forth a lot to do small filming things here and there and some corporate stuff and parties.

“Then I decided to make a move back here, because I partnered with Cahlii Smith to launch S T Graphix, a Bermuda branch of what I was doing in Toronto. My company provides video, filming and motion graphics services.”

They have already used some of their promotional money prize to make dub plates for local DJs.

“All of Vibe 103 have their dub plates,” she said.

“DJ Rusty G, as leader of Intense Mas, has been supportive and helping us to prioritise certain things, and helping me to stay on track. A big thank you to the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs for sponsoring something like this. It is amazing they were able to provide this for local artists. This was the second year for the competition, and I think it is going to continuously grow.”

Feeling For Ya is now available on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud and all major streaming sites. The pair will shoot a music video for the song in two weeks.

For more information visit: @jmhbda and @stgraphixbda on Instagram orspanishtownentertainment.com. Visit royalgazette.com to watch JayLynn Hines singing Feeling For Ya

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Published Mar 26, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Mar 25, 2018 at 8:09 pm)

Songwriter Hines wins top competition

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