by La Shawna Griffith
What happens when a self-proclaimed vibes architect and a singer/songwriter come together to produce music? Something amazing is created!
Rhea Layne, the sister of Grammy nominated singer Shontelle Layne, and Adaeze, who was a finalist in the Digicel and Machel Montano Music Academy, came together with Jamaican artiste Anna Mariah to produce the song Speakah. Barbados TODAY’s La Shawna Griffith sat with Rhea and Adaeze to speak about the track that has become a viral sensation.
Rhea told Bajan Vibes that the response thus far for the song has been more than she imagined. The video has amassed almost 7,000 views since it was released on April 20.
“It was more than anything I would have ever imagined. Adaeze would tell you that she knew that this was going to happen, but it is really so different for me. It was like – what if, what if, what if – but you can’t really do that with your music otherwise you would not enjoy it,” Layne said.
Adaeze who produced and directed the video for the song said that what made it special for her was that she intentionally decided to be minimal in the production; unlike in her music where she experiments with various sounds in the production process.
“Normally, if you listen to Dae 1 [her first self-produced album], the production has a lot of things … But with this one, I said let’s just go minimal and intentional and let everything have a place and a purpose. I think that is what made the track special,” she said, adding that she knew the song would be a hit when it was released.
“It is a conundrum, cause I knew it was going to happen, but at the same time I did not know how I would feel when it happened. So I knew that and Shontelle [Grammy nominated singer Shontelle Layne knew that] but when it came to those feelings, I never felt those feelings before. [It was like] everybody suddenly wanted to work and I am not accustomed to those feelings,” she said.
According to Layne, working with Anna Mariah was one of the highlights of making the song Speakah. Layne says Anna was a pleasure to work with, as well as her brother Sparo Blaxx, who assisted with the writing of the Jamaican verse.
“Collaborating with Anna is … like joining strong forces and watching beauty come out of it. She is such a beautiful spirit, she is always positive. She does not study the bad things and if something bad comes about, she gets around it and I just want to surround myself with that kind of positive energy,” Layne said.
Adaeze also highlighted the warm welcome that she and Rhea felt in Jamaica as everyone there believed that the song would go places.
“This trip when we did this video… was like my third trip; it was very nice and I felt like I was at home. [It] felt like I was supposed to be [there] and I felt enveloped in that energy. I knew Anna and some of her team as I met them before in Trinidad and in Canada… In a weird way, it felt like a second home. I was really happy to bring her in. This project is probably as feminist as they come. This is really about the women and about the Caribbean and pushing both of those things,” she said. (LG)