Words by Jesse Serwer, Photo by Martei Korley—
We first got put on to Tifa as one third of TNT (aka the “Badda Badda Gals”) with Natalie Storm and Timberlee a few years back but she’s really come in to her own as a solo artist in the last year or two. After catching her show twice last week in Kingston, we’re feeling like she’s pretty much the new queen of dancehall, or at least the people’s champion—she’s got that real, loyal grassroots following that few female deejays short of Lady Saw have ever built up in JA.
Tifa was the only pure dancehall artist to appear in Jamaica’s Independence Grand Gala (alongside music veterans like Tony Rebel, Leroy Sibbles and gospel singer Lubert Levy) at Jamaica’s National Stadium last week and, right after the Gala, she tore down the Jubilee Village on the park grounds outside the stadium. Tuesday night, she had a release party for the video at Tracks and Records (Usain Bolt’s spot in Half Way Tree, Kingston), and we hear she had the place ram, too. All of that said, “Hold On” isn’t our favorite Tifa song (that would be “Spell It Out”), but it’s got just the right vibes and perhaps her surest bet yet for a crossover tune inna farin. Oh yeah, and check the girl digging for nostril gold, at 2:36. Is that supposed to be in there?