LU: Female dancehall acts speak of receiving different treatment in terms of their reception on the local entertainment scene. Is there a difference for conscious female artistes vs male artistes within reggae?
Jah9: It’s the music industry and mass media, not just dancehall. Some people want so desperately to make it that they will do anything to be in that space. If blonde hair or shaved head or locks is in, that’s what it is. Then there are others who are called to it and no matter what they do or how they do it, they just do the work and rise. I can’t judge the person who is conforming; I would be arrogant… whatever is driving them to certain things dem have to work it out with demself.
LU: What’s next for Jah9? Are you currently working on any projects you can share?
Jah9: Nuff more music, albums that I will produce with others, for others and for myself, these are things to come in the near future. There are health, wellness and community development projects, some specifically geared towards women and at-risk youth… ideas are coming together for many levels of social action.
LU: Outside of music, what do you like to do in your down time?
Jah9: I like to steam and meditate, leave myself. I like to go to the mountains, the beach, go to places I don’t know, interact with the people and just be somebody who nobody dunno. I like to eat very much and I love avocado—it goes with everything! I’ve been to fancy restaurants, taken out my calabash with my avocado, cut it up and put it on the side of my plate. Love food.
LU: On a lighter note… leave us with three unexpected facts about you.
Jah9: I don’t even know what the expectations are, but I belch like a old lady. [laughs] I can fix anything. I like to take things apart and put them together… likkle mechanical tings. I will not stop until I figure it out. I’m also a nerd, I read manuals and learn how to do things and suddenly have a new skill. That might not be so unexpected, I recently did my own website.