Twenty-one-year-old Ashawnya Bellamy might be the youngest performer on the Phenomenal Friday stage but she isn’t afraid to battle it out with the 16 semi-finalists for the Party Monarch competition.
They say the third time is a charm, and in Ashawnya’s third year as a soca artiste, she has begun to make a name for herself. She will be contending this Friday at Kensington Oval with her power soca single ‘Mess’. Reliving the moment on June 28 when the semi-finalists were announced, Bellamy told Bajan Vibes she was still shocked by the results.
“I believed this song was a good song, but at the same time, it caught me by surprise. I was shocked because a lot of the industry is heading towards bashment soca and sweet soca rather than power soca,” she said.
“I was jumping up and screaming because I wasn’t expecting success so fast,” she added.
Her power soca entry ‘Mess’ was written by Darron Grant and Ian Greaves and produced by Underground Music (Darron Grant). Ashawnya revealed that when she first heard the demo, she knew there was just something about the track that spoke to her.
“I can hear potential in a song . . . . There [was] something about this song I [liked] and when I sang it, I loved it even more,” she said.
She has also released ‘We Ain’t Born to Stand Still’ and ‘Andale’ (her first attempt at a sweet soca melody) for Crop Over 2018. Nevertheless, since her 2015 debut of ‘Can’t Get Enough’, she has a strong love for the energetic power soca genre.
“I just had this feeling of wanting a party song. I want to have that high energy on stage,” Ashawnya said.
Her foray into the soca genre is a far cry from her Christian upbringing. At age seven, Ashawnya first sang ‘Alabaster Box’ by CeCe Winans in front of a full congregation to a standing ovation. She was introduced to other genres such as R&B, soul, reggae, and dancehall when she completed upper fifth at the Parkinson Memorial Secondary. This fueled her drive to become a “versatile artiste”.
“I want to dip my feet in different genres especially because soca is not my strong point. My voice dictates more in [the] gospel [genre],” she pointed out, adding that Friday’s semifinals at the Kensington Oval will be her first live on-stage performance.
“I am not scared . . . . I am confident. I want to have energy and I just want to have fun. I am not thinking about the big dogs or that they are seasoned in this industry. I just want to go – I am Ashawyna and I am here,” she told Bajan Vibes. (KK)