When she released her sophomore EP Be Somebody earlier this month, reggae songstress Sevana dubbed it her ‘best work yet’. On the same day she dropped the compilation, Sevana also released the visuals for her track, Mango, a love song in which she juxtaposes her love for her partner with that of the luscious tropical fruit. Now, some three weeks after the track’s release, Mango has hit the coveted million views mark on YouTube, making it the first single from the artiste to reach that mark in such a short space of time. In fact, the singer’s only other song to hit that mark is Bit Too Shy, which was released all the way back in 2015.
In an interview with The Gleaner, Sevana admits to being surprised that Mango got to the million views mark so quickly. She said she has never been one to put expectations on her music. The singer shared she only hoped the song would resonate with listeners. “I didn’t have any expectations for my work, enuh. I kinda just do music to the best of my ability. For me, it’s about honouring my sound, and whatever reaction I get for that will always be enough for me,” she said. “But with that said, this is definitely something that is really gratifying. This is my second video to ever hit a million views and it happened in three weeks. That’s crazy. I learnt that it’s the only song apart of the In.Digg collective that got to a million so quickly, and so it definitely feels good. I feel more visible. I feel like more people are connecting with my work.”
Speaking of connections, Sevana believes Mango has connected the way it has because of the special place Jamaicans hold in their hearts for the fruit itself. She expressed that with the majority of Jamaicans sharing an undeniable love for the fruit, there was no going around what that love could possibly do. “It was a big declaration. Most Jamaicans love mango, and so when mi say ‘mi love yuh like mango’, mi know it would connect. Most a we really love mango,” she said, laughing. When asked about the song’s potential to now cross over into the international market, Sevana said although the latter is not impossible, her only wish right now is for the song to continue doing its best. “I just hope it does the best that it can do, and if that means it gets more international then that’s great,” she said. “Whatever that (the best) looks like is OK with me.”
The singer who played an integral role in the look and feel of the official music video for the Mango track says more important than crossover success is the hope that people will appreciate her for the holistic artiste she is. Sevana, who was responsible for her styling, make-up and artistic direction for the video, says she always took a serious interest in aspects of the music outside of writing and recording. “When you’re writing the music you have images in your mind of what you want it to look and sound like. I feel like as an artiste, one should always try to connect the music with the other parts of one’s creative enterprise, and for me that has always come naturally,” she said. “I have always taken an interest in creating treatment for my work, whether it’s styling myself or doing my make-up. I really just want to make sure that this project is all me because I think that’s where the strength of a true artiste lies – in how much you can express all of who you are honestly.”
Sevana also shared she has always desired to present who she is in her natural form to the public. The artiste said having been brought up with very few positive images of strong, beautiful, natural black women being portrayed in the public domain, she vowed to change that narrative once she got the chance. “I am being sincere. I am representing myself in an honest way. What you see is who I am,” she said. “I have grown into a space where I am confident in my skin and in my hair and in my body, and I just want to celebrate that because it is very important for younger girls like myself to be who you are and show up as you are and not fit any ridiculous standard of beauty that’s out there.”