When the young woman from Park Hill, now known as Sita D Lyrical Diva, decided to vocalize her thoughts on dancehall riddims “11 or so years ago” the Vincentian entertainment sector held very little opportunities for emerging talents like hers.
Not only was her chosen form of creative expression a musical genre that “is not indigenous” to the land of her birth but “people weren’t ready to assist and at the time the idea of Vincentian Dancehall Music being promoted on local radio stations was deemed impossible as Deejays didn’t support the movement, hence I grew as a household name by creating my own local tour where I would perform from the Sandy Bay old school to Cherry Hill [North Leeward] so that people would get to know me,” Sita D Lyrical Diva told Asbert News Network.
Today, she is a celebrated dancehall sensation with several accolades to her name. But, for her, being the only legitimate Vincentian dancehall ambassador is not enough. This in turn motivated her to expand beyond writing and performing her own renditions into the realm of executive productions.
“I always wanted to understand the business of music more. I’m always intrigued by music production – what goes into making a hit song. I also wanted to teach our young and upcoming artistes the art of writing music. So I was in the studio with all of the acts, except of course D’Landlord and Problem Child who are overseas, re-writing certain part of their songs, choosing certain melodies, removing certain lyrics from their songs and interchanging words to make them more impactful.
“I wanted to be a part of that so I decided ‘let me procure the associated rights to the music’ so that I can better execute the project in terms of who I want on the riddim,” she said.
D Lyrical Diva said she chose to invest in owning some of the intellectual property rights of the project because that, in turn, empowers her to be better able “to help the younger artistes who are interested in producing [dancehall] music.
“Last year… I decided instead of me having more knowledge than the next up and coming act about music and its production and the business of music itself and watching them fall into pitfalls that other artistes, like myself, would have fallen into, how about I guide them?
“And in order for me to do so, I would have had to have the rights to certain productions. For example, an artiste who goes into a studio and records on any given producer’s riddim; until they pay the financial cost of production, they are not entitled to any of the rights of the music.
“So for me to enable an artiste to own parts of the production, I must first acquire the requisite rights and that’s where that was born from.”
The homegrown production, dubbed the “Style & Flow Riddim” features Sita D Lyrical Diva, Krypted, Smaddy, Problem Child and D’Landlord. It was produced by Spaceboy, another emerging Vincentian music producer and is set to take over the airwaves following its world premiere come June 17.
“I want to launch the project on Hot 97’s Face Off, which is a DJ competition on Thursdays. It would be a mini-concert about half an hour long and would feature Sita De Lyrical Diva, the dancers along with the other artistes on the riddim.
“It would be a multi-genre concert in that I would be doing soca, ragga soca, bashment soca – everything that I’ve ever done and then I would launch the riddim.”
Some cast members joined the project via “a mini audition for DHQ Stush, which is my dancer … and I decided to host a mini-talent search. It was not advertised at all because that wasn’t the main focus of the day but I decided to have a talent search and a dance call collaboratively.
“And from the artistes who showed up for the event I chose those who I thought required less work because of course training an artiste to be an artiste as in a brand and a product is different than working with a singer.
“So I chose those who required, at the time, less help and knowing that in the future I was going to produce the riddim, it was an easy pick,” the newly minted executive producer beamed.
Problem Child’s bedroom anthem, Bad Wuk, is sure to populate playlists even as it entices twerkers of all ages and sizes throughout summer 2021 and beyond. For him, contributing to the Style & Flow project was a no brainer.
He shared, “I wanted to do it because it was dancehall. It wasn’t soca… I could showcase another side of my artistic ability and honestly because I wanted to lend something to the project because it was Sita’s and we good like that.
“I think I have something of a brand, to be humble, and I think my brand could assist the project in some regard as far as some people – if they see a Problem Child they might be interested in it. Some people who probably might not have been would be interested in it – even if its 2 [or] 3 people.
“I like the beat! Probably, if somebody else had asked me to do it I probably might not have done it. Not out of anything negative but time and all that good stuff but I had to make the effort because Sita know we good for years now.”
Kripted’s exhortation to embrace positive goals sits comfortably on his 2 minutes long rendition. He said, “the riddim flows smooth and melodiously, yet still with a style that makes you feel like bouncing as if you’re at an event or some function.
“On this project, I’m featured with a track called, “Hustler’s Ambition” which is written by Sita and myself and is basically about hustling in the right way and not going about trying to make a living out of criminal activities like robbing, stealing and even being lazy. This track is dedicated to everyone especially those who know the struggle and is bettering it respectfully.”
SpaceBoy, the genius behind the musical style and flow of the project confessed to having some five years’ experience “making beats.”
This production, though, is the largest project he’s undertaken to date because as he sees it, “it’s all about growth and becoming greater together. It was a good experience to work with Sita and her team as they are all full of energy and dope creatives.” An experience he is more than willing to repeat.
And Lester Iroha, another creative whose input was instrumental in getting the project distribution ready said, “once Sita approached me it was a done deal as we have been working together for close to 10 years, when we both were trying to make a name for ourselves on the SVG music scene.
“It was interesting to see the different approaches on the riddim. The engineering work done to the tracks on the riddim wasn’t too difficult. There were couple instances where some corrections had to be made on some recordings to ensure a strong product was delivered.”
Iroha, himself an award winning musical producer, praised Sita’s seamless transition from recording artiste to executive production and further said, “Sita has made huge strides in the music arena not only because she’s a very talented lyricist but also because she soaks up advice and constructive criticism like a sponge.
“She’s always open to suggestions to improve a project and pushes herself and others to bring out their best. Definitely looking forward to working with Sita in an Executive Producer role in the near future.”
The Style & Flow riddim, with its social commentary overtones and definite seduction mode – Problem Child’s explicit style – is available for streaming and downloads on all major platforms today. But audiences across the globe are invited to tune into Hot 97 SVG’s social media platform, Sita_Music or any of the other featured acts to join in the Style & Flow celebration which is set to kick off from 5:30 p.m local time next week Thursday.