Actress Brady O’Connor lands collab with Spragga Benz, No-Maddz’s Elvie Pukupoo
Gina May Mair is known on the local music circuit as Brady O’Connor, but most people may remember her for her role as Mrs McDonald in Storm Saulter’s hit movie, Better Mus’ Come. Still, while she admits that acting is less scary, it is music that has her heart. Having landed a recent collaboration with internationally-acclaimed dancehall artiste Spragga Benz and No-Maddz’s Elvie Pukupoo, O’Connor says she is ready to make her mark in music, but not for fame or commercial success; instead, her pursuits are to bring out the “inner workings of her soul”.
“Acting for me is a lot less scary. You are telling a story as someone else in someone else’s skin. Music, however, is a very vulnerable place for me. It’s the inner workings of my soul, expressed as poetry and married to melody,” O’Connor tells The Gleaner.
She adds, “There have been so many people on this journey to thank, but I have to credit my friend Heru Ofori for playing a pivotal role in making this leap (from acting to music). I always thought that music and releasing music was for the people who sought the stardom and commercial success. He said it’s because you don’t have that as your driving objective that the world needs to hear your voice and so I started playing jams and open mics on the Miami music scene.”
Because she is using music as a tool to express her best self, O’Connor admits that she hasn’t thought about just how far she wants to take her music career. Instead, her biggest hope is that her music will connect with those who genuinely love her energy and what she brings to the table. “My life is so enriched by the process of collaboration with my team, fellow creatives I call my kindred, dreamers and schemers, that how far I go is not something I spend a lot of time thinking about. As long as I honour my process, I trust that the divine plan will see the music through to connect with those who genuinely feel it,” she said.
“Maybe it sounds naive, but I wouldn’t sacrifice the authenticity of the expression or the message for numbers but that’s where it’s at for me — real and true. That’s not to say that a lot of work doesn’t go into it and that we don’t tap into those around us who have experience and can guide our decisions to best honour our investment.”
Her latest track Bun Badmind, which features Spragga Benz and Elvie Pukupoo, was released on Friday. O’Connor says it was an honour to get to work with the two. “Honestly it was an amazing process. We did it with complete ease and it was simply natural. Spragga was extremely receptive and supportive. For someone who has achieved so much and can run a stage for two hours on his catalogue alone, he is gracious and generous. I am a big No-Maddz fan, ever since returning to Jamaica 20 years ago I followed their career at every turn so working with someone who is also a fellow thespian is a dream come true.
“My hope is that the song will connect and uplift people especially in everything that has been happening in the world in the last year. We need things to unify us as humankind, to help us realise that we are more alike than different and that Together We Must Rise — that’s another song that I am collaborating again with Natural High on so stay tuned,” she continued.
O’Connor says the pandemic has presented unique challenges and opportunities. “I’ve come into the business as it transitions into a space where so much is accessible via technology and there is still a lot to be learned about how best to navigate that space, but has the potential to be empowering for the artiste. This pandemic has provided precious time to create and write and I am looking forward to sharing the music that has come out of that time in the very near future. I am also planning visuals to accompany other songs from the EP, Slip of Her Lips,” she said.