From Nadine Sutherland to Dennis Brown, to King of the Dancehall Beenie Man, Jamaica has produced a number of child stars.
In more recent times, the discovery of dancehall artistes QQ and Wayne J have added to that legacy. However, since then, very few children have gained traction in the music industry.
Tashae Silvera, with her version of Romain Virgo’s Dutty Man, seemed to have reopened the door for children in the industry, and now nine-year-old Tayshanae Rihanna Thompson is knocking.
The diminutive aspiring artiste goes by the stage name Taye Taye and has already shown signs of musical readiness after officially releasing her debut single, Abay. The song is now available on iTunes.
Not only has Taye Taye recorded and released her first song, but she has also been signed to CeCile’s BadCoMpany label and has been receiving endorsements from some of the industry’s finest, including Elephant Man, producer Leftside, and Downsound Records’ very own Joe Bogdanovich.
Speaking with THE WEEKEND STAR in a recent interview, Taye Taye’s mother, Shereeka, said she discovered her daughter’s talent at the age of three, and she’s extremely proud of her stepping out with confidence to do what she’s always loved to do.
“I’m extremely proud of her. Her boldness amazes me every day. She’s raw talent, and the best preparation I have given her to help her on this journey is signing her to BadCoMpany,” she said.
As for Taye Taye, she’s just soaking up the attention from all the established entertainers showering her with praises. Dubbing this a dream come true, the aspiring artiste says she has big plans for her future.
“I enjoy music 100 per cent. I see myself as one of the biggest entertainers in the future,” she said.
CeCile, the woman charged with helping Taye Taye hone her talent, said she was so blown away by her talent that she knew right away she had to invest in her.
“At her first studio session with the group, Taye effortlessly recorded the Abay song. She handled it like a pro, impressing even the recording engineer, who commented that it was much easier to record her than it had been to record some seasoned acts. For me, this is as much an experiment as it is a chance to give a little girl the opportunity to do something she already wanted to do. She is naturally cool and I love seeing her energy and genuine love for music. It is something I really want to nurture,” CeCile said.
On the topic of cultivating talent, CeCile said it has become extremely important, especially in today’s entertainment landscape, to produce ‘kid-friendly’ material. She believes there’s no better way to that than to allow the children themselves to create that content.
“There is a lack of role models/entertainers in this age group. Kids at certain age should not be looking towards a 25-year-old to be entertained musically, and I never thought about that till I had my daughter. We need to use kids to build kids, and I think we need to put more effort in placing kids in the role of being positive role models for other kids, instead of complaining about the adults that aren’t.”