Being a female artist in the reggae genre can sometimes be difficult, admits Jamaican songwriter and singer Alaine Laughton.
However, that has not stopped the 37-year-old Chaka Chaka Love songstress from constantly following her dream, all the time looking up to her role model Marcia Griffiths, also a Jamaican singer.
“It has been a journey in patience, perseverance, a whole heap of prayer, consistency and trying something new every day. And so it is more of a challenge to be better because you have to really scream louder as a woman to be recognized, especially when you are not a dancehall hardcore artist,” she told journalists, following her soulful performance at the Digicel Reggae
On The Hill performance on Sunday.
Alaine, who will be a judge for the third season in the Jamaica Digicel Rising Stars series, is no stranger to the African market. And she pointed out that, given the reception there, she had no plans of staying away either.
Pointing to the large turnout of patrons whenever she performed at a show in that continent, Alaine said she was ever thankful for the embrace.
“I have been constantly going back there and collaborating with artistes over there,” she said.
Not giving details, the songstress said she had “just” done a collaboration with “one of the biggest artistes in Africa” –– something, she said, she was “really excited about”.
“So there are different markets and we are exploring all of them. But it is just great to be doing what I want to do. I know what it is to not do what you want to do,” she said.
As for her 2015 album Ten Of Hearts, Alaine said: “I hadn’t for a while done an album, so I say, ‘Let me do some writing’. I got on my keyboard, did some writing, collaborated with incredible musicians [and] producers.
“You just have to keep trying, that is the story. And Billboard voted it one of the top ten reggae albums of 2015. So I give thanks for that. My story is just always giving thanks for blessings, no matter how big or small,” she said, stating it was hard to keep up with the fast pace at which reggae music was being “churned out” in Jamaica.
“It was ten years in the industry when I started writing the album; so I thought Ten Of Hearts,” Alaine explained.
The vivacious singer stated that she wore what she wanted, adding she would not ease up on constantly changing her appearance. In fact, she pledged to continue to “enjoy being a woman” while experimenting with fashion.
“I do what feels comfortable,” she said.
What is next for Alaine? “A whole heap of things”, including more performances in Africa, as well as in California, United States, while keeping busy with writing and focusing on expansion, she said.