‘It’s been a Journey’ — Samantha J talks motherhood, music and her evolution
Dancehall sweetheart Samantha J appears ready to get back into the music industry ring, and she’s throwing punches. With new-found drive and energy, and dare we mention it, a fit bod, the recording artiste who gave birth to her son, Trillion, in 2020, and who is currently located in Los Angeles, is stepping forward to stake her claim as a leading talent from out of Jamaica.
“The word I think that defines all that’s happened is maturity. I’ve matured throughout the years. Not just physically, but also my voice sounds more grown. I must say that after pregnancy, I saw a need to get my body back on track, and yes, I am a few pounds heavier and not trying to lose it either. I mean I am a grown woman and the sexiness is peeping through a lot more versus back then,” Samantha J told The Sunday Gleaner.
Her diet is primarily plant-based, but her metabolism has increased, which she explains, along with staying active, working out to videos online, helps with the maintenance of her body. Trillion is one of the things that keeps her active she said. During the long-form conversation, Samantha J explains that motherhood is a constant lesson. The singer, songwriter, and model revealed that she has a little anxiety about having someone other than her or his father supervise him when things do get busy, but she is reminded of the dream she started to pursue at 16 years old, when she recorded her rendition of Red Rat’s classic track Tight Up Skirt and it became her breakthrough.
“I can’t believe it’s almost 10 years since I did Tight Skirt. It’s been a journey, and it’s been a tough few years for me creatively. I was not able to write songs like I was before the pandemic and all that had happened in between. After delivering my baby boy, I really put all my heart and attention into my family. It was not until this year I actually felt the inspiration to write,” she said. “My son is heaven-sent. He is such a sweetheart and loves music like his mama, [so] oftentimes, he stays up with me in the studio, through the night. Sometimes I can’t get him to leave me and go to sleep until about 2 a.m. He likes being there with me, and he’s such an inspiration and motivation. It’s more than anxiety. I actually have a fear to leave him with people. I’m so protective of him.”
New life is of course something to celebrate says Samantha J, who returned after a two-year hiatus first with the trending track Big Fat Benz, “and I have so much in store”.
Last Friday, Samantha J released her newest single, Push Ya Luck, a song that is obviously inspired by her experiences and lessons learnt from them. As such, in many ways, the single is an affirmation for the entertainer that her creativity is not lost. “If only I could fully elaborate the depths of this production. The CEO of Anka Music Group provided the rhythm a few years ago, and though she loved it from first listen, it was not until playing it during a recent “me-time shower session that words came flowing,” she said, adding that in order to not forget them, “I grabbed my phone, risking it getting wet, and recorded a few voice notes.”
Her fierce attitude combined with playfulness comes through in the music video, where she is seen working out and also dancing, guided by choreographer Richy ‘Squirrel’ Jackson, who is Lady Gaga’s go-to-guy for choreography and who has worked with many international superstars. Anka Music Group commissioned Damian Fyffe, a Jamaican director who resides in Florida, to fly to California and shoot the video in the Compton area.
“Damian really brought the vision to life. He added some great touches to the ideas that we gave him and I am so proud of how the video came together.”
Still considered a young artiste in the business because of her early start, Samantha J wants the reggae-dancehall and wider music industry to recognise “the realness” in all she does. “Now more than ever before, when you hear my music, you are hearing me. I have the creative control to show the true artiste that I am. Whether it’s through the lyrics, video concepts, and delivery or my live performances, I’m here to share the art and talent that God has blessed me with from I was just a little girl,” said the artiste, who roughly after a year after her breakout hit, signed a record deal with US label Columbia Records.
“I am no longer signed. That deal has been ended, and I just can’t wait to get what I have all out there. A lot of times in life people have seen me as an opportunity for themselves. And that is very relatable. For me, it was both in this industry and in my regular daily life. I’ve been signed to major labels and experienced that part of the industry as well,” Samantha J shared.
She further explains that there have been times that professionals in the industry have pushed their luck with her but that resolutions have been made, some of which she is “forbidden to speak on them” and is just focused on moving forward to giving more focus on her talent and craft. Her team has already wrapped and finished up the song that will follow, which she describes as a “heart-rending expression people are bound to love”.
“To handle all that is thrown in my direction, I put my trust in God because He alone can change my destiny. Be patient, and let time heal everything. With Push Ya Luck, it is just a manifestation of me. It is really inspired by my determination and my love for music. I’m the type of person that if you try to control me or say I can’t do something, it motivates me. That flips on a switch in my brain to prove you wrong and to do better in everything. This single really is here to state that I’m here, I’m back and not going anywhere,” Samantha J affirmed.