Talented trendsetter

Don’t let Adaeze’s pretty face fool you.

That face is similar to the calm before the storm. Get ready for her because she is getting set to cause some trouble. She is one of Barbados’ up and coming hip hop/spoken word artists.

“i like doing it, that is where i feel at home, feel like i have purpose, i feel like i have something to say and that i can say it differently. nothing else inspires me the same way so why not music?”

When the Barbados TODAY team arrived at her Ealing Park, Christ Church home this morning she was busy packing for her travels tomorrow. Twenty–three years ago, Camille Evelyn came into this world to an Antiguan mother and Barbadian father.

Little did they know that after moving to Antigua for a term, then back to Barbados, attending Harrison College later at 16 years old earning a scholarship to represent the school for two years in Norway to study at the United World College then at 18 moving to Florida to study English for four years that she would give that all up after one year to pursue her dream in the arts.

Like any other parents, they were not pleased about their daughter’s decision but the musical talent insisted this was something she had to do.

“It was one of those ‘I have to do this for me’ type decisions, my parents weren’t happy because obviously I have a good brain [and] they think that I wasted the education, because I left the education without finishing. I can see where they are coming from but I really, really had that urge that I had to go.

“It was something that I delayed on for really long. I wanted to leave before that but I wanted to make my parents happy so I tried doing it. But when I finally decided to go, it was a very strong urge and since leaving a lot has happened and I don’t regret it.

“I like doing it, that is where I feel at home, feel like I have purpose, I feel like I have something to say and that I can say it differently. Nothing else inspires me the same way so why not music?” the petite lass asked.

While attending college in Florida she was just walking on the campus one day when someone handed her a flyer for a poetry workshop by a Def Jam poet hosted by an on–campus group called Poet’s Inc. Knowing much about or being interested in spoken word at the time, she decided “What the heck, it couldn’t hurt!” so she attended.

Adaeze performing at the Ball of Life.

“I just went and that was it,” she said as a broad smile unfolded on her face. “I found out what it was, I liked it, I performed and then the poet people invited me to an event. Then after that, every time there was an event people would call me to perform. I started to perform around Orlando and began to get a name for myself in poetry.”

Last January she left school for good and finally decided to explore music on a full–time basis. In Florida she produced an EP for an artist and produced another for one in Orlando. She won Best Poet of the Year for the 352 region, was nominated for Lyricist of the Year and Best Female Poet of the Year in Orlando.

Upon returning to Barbados about four months ago she was introduced to Mahalia’s Corner, one of the few avenue which young talent could be showcased. She liked it so much that she was even featured on the line–up where she performed poetry as well as a few fused hip hop and spoken word pieces.

Adaeze also performed at Iron Mic, Miss Big & Beautiful Pageant and opened for American Grammy award winner Chrisette Michele at the Ball of Life held here on the island. There she remixed one of Michele’s songs Let Freedom Reign, as well as amazing the crowd she received a standing ovation from the singer herself, who had a fractured ankle at time, and her parents.

“It was a good experience, I had a lot of fun … her parents were like she really enjoy – it was kind of surprising. While I know that people appreciate the stuff it took me by surprise when people actually know the lyrics to what you are singing.

“When I was doing the spoken word in Florida and travelling I realised how much it was affecting people. At first I took it for granted because I didn’t really know that I was good at it but then you see people coming up to you and saying x,y,z. So I just felt like it was something I needed to push.”

Though she doesn’t have any recorded tracks, the public is loving her live performances of People Like Punching Bag, Might As Well Fall In, I Said It, This Is The One (better known as Yes Yes You Heard Heard Me Twice Twice). The artist has many plans for the future, her immediate is to get on the international stage as a Hip hop artist because there are none representing for Barbados and to relay some of the knowledge she gained in her travels to young artists here to help with their development.

“I just really want to open up more doors for Barbadian artists because I feel like they’re exploited, I think because they are appreciated around Crop–Over time and then other than that there is really nothing for them to do. They aren’t enough performance opportunities and if it is something you are trying to live by there is definitely not enough for an artist to do. Hopefully by being my best it would open up more doors for people,” she said.

kimberleycummins@barbadostoday. bb

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