Eyes on the star
Teen Ieashia working to be that famous singer
For 16-year-old Ieashia Browne, singing comes naturally. From the time she was eight she realized she could sing; Ieashia knew that she wanted to become a famous international star.
“. . . It has always been my ultimate goal to become and international singer. From the time I heard myself singing, I knew I wanted to show the world my talent and be famous,” she said.
And her “big moment” came seven years later at the age of 15, when she was part of the Honey Jam showcase for 2013. She sang Rihanna’s popular tune Man Down. Being able to sing the song would have been good enough for Ieashia, but the defining moment came when she had the opportunity to perform it with its writer Shontelle Layne, who was in the audience. Ieashia summed it up as “a dream come true”.
“I consider every time I sing to be a big moment. But Honey Jam would be the biggest for me. I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to go in because . . . . I know I love to sing, but it was a bit scary. When I got in, it was a great experience . . . . I don’t even know how to explain performing with Shontelle –– I was so shocked and happy and excited,” she said, reminiscing on the moment.
Ieashia told Bajan Vibes that, other than Shontelle, she looked up to the likes of Christiana Aguilera and Rihanna, whom she would one day like to do a song with.
“I look up to many singers; but I look up to Christina Aguilera the most. Her voice is so powerful! And I would like to one day achieve what she has in terms of singing,” she said.
Ieashia, an Upper Fifth student at Springer Memorial Secondary School, is also a part of Honey Jam 2014; and she is glad for the opportunity to showcase her talent once again.
“Balancing school and the music is hard sometimes. There are times I would have to attend an event and sometimes they would be on school days; so I would miss some. But when I can, I do them. I am looking forward to Honey Jam this year . . . . I still have to find time to practise,” the down to earth singer said.
She will be singing Hurt by Christina Aguilera in the showcase.
Another shining moment for the teen was winning Best Talent in the inaugural Barbados Talented Teens competition, in which she gave a stellar performance of the hit Titanium. Her act could match that of any experienced singer out there –– even the ones she looks up to.
But while Ieashia’s talent is undeniable and an international career seems almost inevitable, her mother Deron Browne, insists the charming young talent is taking her time in getting to the mark she so earnestly desires.
“Ieashia has really grown. And is on the path to fulfilling her dreams. She is taking the necessary steps to what she wants to achieve; she is not rushing, and she is taking her time to make sure of that.
“Failing is not an option for her. She wants to succeed so much, and she works really hard! She even marks herself really hard. And that could be a little bit frustrating, because you know she is doing so well, but she will tell herself it’s not good, because she wants to perfect everything,” her mum said.
And Ieashia agrees that failure is not an option, and, therefore, lives by the mantra “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”
Speaking to Bajan Vibes after school, still dressed in her uniform, and displaying her innocence, Ieashia acknowledged the entertainment industry was a hard one, with all its negativity, but even at her young age she would not be daunted by it.
“I do believe that I have a great talent, and the negativity from people also pushes me to become a great person that I can prove them wrong,” she added.
For now, she is keeping her eyes on her goal; and those in her camp are making the necessary preparations and giving Ieashia the supports she needs to ensure her dream comes true.
“We support her 100 per cent. We never miss any kind of activities that showcase Ieashia’s work. She does the studio, she takes part in any activities at school. Once someone recommends her, we are there. She does vocal training with Kelly Cadogan who is excellent at what she does . . . ,” her mother said.
“At present, Darren [Grant] is trying to work with her in recording some music and putting it out there on CD . . . . Hoping that we can get it out so that Barbadians will know who Ieashia is and get to know the name for when she makes it big. She will get there one step at a time.”
But, like all successful people, Ieashia has a backup plan. Should her dream of becoming a singer not come true, she told Bajan Vibes, she would like to be a forensic pathologist.
“I find that career to be very interesting,” she said with a laugh, adding: “I don’t know what life will throw at me, but I am ready for the journey.”