Pre-teen Shontae Alleyne-Clarke is slowly emerging as one of Barbados’ gems of song, as she gets ready to attend the school that produced Rihanna.
The future is bright for this young vocalist who stunned the audience at Richard Stoute Teen Talent last weekend with her rendition of Jennifer Hudson’s version of And I am Telling You which secured her the victory in the 4th preliminary of the talent show.
The young vocalist aspires to become an international singer and humanitarian when she grows up just like her inspiration, the home-grown Grammy Award winner Rihanna.
Bajan Vibes sat down with the songstress and her mother Shontelle Alleyne to learn the story of this young female vocal powerhouse.
Her mother described the eleven-year-old as a “beautiful, intelligent, hard-working girl who loves to sing.
“She is a blessing and a gift from God who I have had the pleasure to cherish and love on this earth. If I had to use three words to describe her I would say that she is talented, intelligent and obedient,” she said.
Alleyne said that she realized her daughter’s passion for singing at the tender age of eight, and decided to enter her in the Richard Stoute Teen Talent competition.
“She tried out for the choir at George Lamming Primary School and she was turned down. The way in which she cried at home about wanting to sing made me ask a couple questions and that is when I was directed to Richard Stoute. I saw a passion for singing in her that took me back to my childhood when I was shut down and I did not want that for my daughter and that is why I embraced her and continued her to embrace her passion,” she said. She even transferred her daughter from George Lamming Primary to Grantley Prescod Memorial Primary School in order for her daughter to have the best musical training.
“I know that they have a wonderful music programme. When Shontae tried out for the choir at her new school she was automatically accepted and it was a joyful moment for her. I recall her saying, ‘Mummy, would you believe that I only had to sing three words?’ Shontae always had the voice but initially it was not that powerful as she continued singing her voice has grown tremendously,” she said.
Alleyne noted that this year despite sitting the Common Entrance examination where Shontae secured a place at Combermere School she was determined to enter the Richard Stoute Teen Talent again for the third time as she came second in the 6-12 competition.
“The decision to enter the competition was solely made by Shontae. As a mother, I consented, as I do not make any decisions about her singing or performing without sitting and talking to her about how she feels and if she is interested. This year was Common Entrance and we took a break from attending the workshops so she could concentrate on her studies. When the exam was over I thought she would have relaxed a little with the singing but Shontae had other plans. When she told me that she wanted to enter the competition for the third time it was with a sense of determination so I consented because I saw the determination in her face,” she said.
The young vocalist who is a bit shy told Bajan Vibes that she is inspired by Barbadian superstar Rihanna and wants to be an international singer just like her when she grows up.
“I am inspired by Rihanna because she is from Barbados and she takes her singing career seriously and I want to go as far as she has or even further. It is my desire to become an international singer and humanitarian,” Alleyne-Clarke said.
She also hinted that she might try for the Junior Monarch calypso competition next Crop Over season.
“ I never thought about entering the Junior Monarch competition but next year I would have my answer,” she said. (LG)