Adding Sparks to Dancehall

RADIO disc jock Tricia “ZJ Sparks” Spence is one of four females nominated for a 2017 Hapilos Digital Music Awards.

The ceremony, scheduled to be held on August 22 at Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, is set to award the top female producer for the period of April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2017.

Spence’s record label, Twelve 9 Records, is the production company behind Spice’s hit single Indicator and Yuh Body by Busy Signal.

The other nominees in the category are Paypaz Chasaz Muzic (Tamara Brown), Short Boss Muzik (Tanesha “Shorty” Johnson), and Stashment Productions (Stasha Smith).

Spence was happy with the nod.

“I am quite elated to be nominated. I don’t look at gender as it relates to producing. I am just a producer, so to be recognised for my work is a really good feeling,” she told Splash.

Recorded on Spence’s Skelewu Riddim and released late last year, Spice’s Indicator is one of the most played songs in the dancehall. The song also has an accompanying dance which is a favorite among female partygoers.

“The song is done to an Afrobeat, a genre that persons need to look out for. Spice heard the rhythm and called me from Brussells and told me that as soon as she return home she has a song for it. She recorded it and the song is a hit,” she said.

Skelewu Riddim is just one of the few productions from Twelve 9 Records that is getting the approval from dancehall fans.

One of her latest projects, called Reggae Pickney Riddim, hits home with songs like Konshens’ Eye on the Money, Jemere Morgan’s Reggae Party, I Octane’s Girl Yuh Fine, and Bugle’s Natty Dread.

Whether igniting a new passion or exciting an audience, “Sparks” makes it happen. In addition to being a fast-rising producer and radio disc jock, Spence is also known for her role as Neeka in Royal Palm Estate.

Armed with a master’s degree in international business management, Spence was a a lecturer at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. But soon realising that the “teaching thing” was not for her, she moved on to a “more satisfying” career in media.

Her entry into music producing came a few years ago with The Truth Riddim.

“That project didn’t really go anywhere, but I am not a quitter so I continued,” she said.

She is also promoting The Plea Riddim, which features the likes of G Whizz, Vershon and Darrio.

But does her role as a radio disc jock gives her the edge over other producers? Spence doesn’t think so.

“I play fair. I don’t give preference to my productions or any artiste in particular. I just press play. Also, I will never tell another disc jock to make sure they play my thing because none of them can approach me that way,” she added.


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