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Dancehall queen Lady G to perform in Bermuda

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Dancehall queen Lady G is to perform in Bermuda on June 1 (Photograph supplied)

In 1996 Lady G was hailed as the highlight of a concert at Pontoons that drew more than 1,000 reggae lovers.

She is promising that her return to Bermuda will be even better.

It is part of the positive spin the Jamaican dancehall and reggae DJ puts on everything. Born Janice Fyffe in St Catherine’s parish, she struggled to find a stage name. When a promoter suggested Lady G she ran with it, happy that the letter could represent good, gorgeous, genius or any number of virtues.

She believes the attitude is one of the things that helped her pioneer dancehall; as a female reggae artist, she is an industry legend.

“Honestly, I think it's because of my positive music and the message that I'm sending out,” she said. “People love that. And I’m true; I love what I do. I love my public. People can feel that. People can feel that genuine feeling coming from you.”

Nuff Respect was her first hit, then came Legal Rights and Round Table Talk. Many followed until Black Woman, a single Lady G released last August.

She will perform them all here next month at Catch A Fire, a concert honouring her and Sister Nancy as “the original queens of the dancehall”.

A Q&A with Sister Nancy

Patrick Bean talks with Ophlin Russell, the Jamaican DJ and singer better known as Sister Nancy, about her upcoming performance in Bermuda.

Q: What are your thoughts on being invited to Bermuda to both perform and be honoured for your contribution to reggae music?

A: It’s a pleasure for me. I came to Bermuda once before and I’m feeling good about returning again and I’m looking forward to performing with Lady G and Little John. It’s always nice for me to go to different places and really nice for me to come to Bermuda because I know people want to see me there.

Q: You are regarded by many as the queen of reggae dancehall music. Do you consider yourself in such a way and how were you able to achieve royal success?

A: All of the women, we are all queens. I can speak for myself and some of the sisters who see themselves as queens; we are queens in whatever we do. In every aspect, whether as a singer, DJ or something else, a woman is a queen. I was born like that. I’ve always been a queen.

Q: What can music lovers expect from your performance?

A:Catch A Fire is all about roots and culture. Because I never change, dilute, mix or blend my performance and my music … it’s 100 per cent culture. So Bermuda should know to expect niceness, a variety of different lyrics. We a go rock dem, truly rock dem, because when me perform it’s a hell of a thing. It’s a dangerous thing when I perform and Bermuda can expect nothing different. You can expect the best from Sister Nancy.

Lady G remembers having a wonderful time performing at Spanish Point.

“I know it was a good show,” she said. “The crowd was great.”

At the moment she is in Miramar, Florida, where Marcia Griffiths is celebrating 60 years in music with a show. Lady G, Ky-Mani Marley, Freddie McGregor, Cutty Ranks, Tanya Stephens and others will take the stage.

“There’ll be a lot of artists celebrating her and then after that I’ll be going to Jamaica for Sashi. They’re putting on a big festival; a three-day festival. The Friday’s going to be a sound clash, which I’ll be participating in and then there'll be a fashion show on the Thursday and I think on the Saturday there will be international artists like Busta Rhymes and all these people.”

Sister Nancy (Photograph supplied)

The dancehall pioneer laid the groundwork for female reggae artists who, historically, took a back seat to their male counterparts.

“Sometimes the way how you carry yourself as a female, you will get that respect back from the male. You have to be strong minded. You have to be serious about what you're doing. You can’t joke around because it is a male-dominated field so you have to be really strong.”

Lady G remains hopeful that younger entertainers appreciate that her work made their journey a little easier.

“Some of them show appreciation … you’re not gonna have everybody on the same page. The ones that are respectful, you know, we’re there with them to give them good advice and all that stuff.”

Sister Nancy and Lady G will perform at a concert in Bermuda on June 1 (Photograph supplied)

As a mother especially, she felt it important to pass that information on.

“I have kids that are in the music business. I have a daughter, she will be there [in Bermuda] with me. Because of what I stand for – and I listen to her music – I can listen to her music and not be ashamed, just like how my parents could listen to me and not feel ashamed. Kids live what they learn, so as a parent, you have to be that person that your kids look up to. You have to be a role model for your kids.”

Whether people have heard her songs on repeat or don’t know them at all, audiences are always pulled in by her live performances.

“Every time we bring something new because I’m coming from the school where that's what we do. We always try to bring something new to our audience,” she said.

“I just want people to come out with an open mind, hopeful to enjoy themselves and to be well entertained with some positive music.”

Catch A Fire, featuring Lady G and Sister Nancy, takes place at Queen Elizabeth Park on June 1. Tickets are available at www.ptix.bm

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Published May 10, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated May 11, 2024 at 8:07 am)

Dancehall queen Lady G to perform in Bermuda

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