Reggae songstress Etana, on Wednesday, relayed how some years ago she was the subject of sexual harassment by an artist who tried to trap her, under the guise that he was inviting her to look at his new home studio.
Her comment which she made on Facebook, has left fans wondering whether more female artists are going to slowly emerge from the shadows, as the issue of sexual predatory behaviour and sexual harassment in Jamaica and the Reggae/Dancehall music space takes center stage.
“Some years ago, I received a call from a team member saying another artist want to link up. I asked why and team member said the artist wants you check out his new studio and possibly work on something new. I called the artist he said, ‘yeah I just built a new studio you should come check it out’,” the August Town singer noted shortly after 9 o’clock yesterday morning.
“He talked about other musical things etc but the main point of the convo was for me to check out the new studio in the house. I told him would. When I got to the house, I followed him to where the studio was and I looked around. I told him it was cool and yeah we will link up,” she continued.
According to Etana, she had travelled with her bodyguards, who were waiting outside in the car, which was apparently unknown to the predator, whom she described as “real trash”.
She said it was on her way out that the artist, who is known for using these types of invitations as his modus operandi, took the opportunity to pounce.
“On the way out right in the little corner, artist buss kiss on my lips. I was shocked but the look I gave him, I guess he knew I was not interested,” she said.
“I walked out and never went back to anywhere near him. After I left the studio/house, I called another artist and told him. But the pattern or similarity I recognize is; “hey I just built a new studio, come check it out” lol!” she stated.
She was consoled by one of her fans who questioned whether her crew members were at fault for allowing her to go inside the man’s house alone.
However, Etana, whose name is Shauna McKenzie, told him it was not unusual for artists to visit their colleagues’ studios and that whether or not her bodyguards were with her, the predator’s end would not have been pretty.
“Been in a few studios and being around other artist is never an issue. There is a different kind of relationship. There was no prior flirtation or funny moves by him, he is a respected individual and that common mutual respect was also expected (Artist to Artist) never thought I needed company,” Etana stated.
“I don’t think I need to say but I’ll say it anyway that surely if anything more would have happened it would not end well,” she added.
“Can you imagine if I had pulled up alone and appeared weak smh,” she replied to another fan.
On Tuesday, Diana King pointed out that most of the men she encountered whilst pursuing her music career in Jamaica, except for a few whose friendship she treasures to this day, have tried to forcibly have sex with her.
In showing solidarity to Tanya Stephens, who says she was raped by an artist, some 30 years ago at age 17, the Billboard-charting artist who has in the past declared that she too, has been a rape victim, had said that as a consequence, she always had to be on her guard, with unorthodox measures in place to stave off the attacks, including using lit cigarettes as a weapon.
Diana also said in many cases she had to forego fees that were due to her for performances, as some of the culprits were holding on to the money as a guise to ambush her.
King’s comments came days after Friday Singapore-based beatboxer General Ling had identified as the person at the centre of the name rape allegations laid against Richie Stephens in 2019.
In October 2016, Cullu Cullu producer Cornelius Daley, told The Star tabloid that female artists were at a huge disadvantage in the music industry due to the fact that the Reggae and Dancehall genres are dominated by men.
Daley also said that some male producers were stymieing the careers of female artists because they are unwilling to give them sex.
“Some producers just want to get under the girl dem skirt, and as dem get under dem skirt, dem drop them because dem get what them want,” Cornelius had said before adding: “A nuh suh we do it, because talent matters to us. The biggest problem for female artistes is that engineer and producer want to have sex with them…”.
In the same article which was titled Sex for a ‘buss’ — Producer Cornelius laments exploitation of female artistes, University of the West Indies Professor Donna Hope, also known as the Dancehall Doctor, had said that many women had told her that “their careers have false-started because they have been unwilling to sleep with men to get ahead”.
“This is something that has plagued the music industry from inception. It has a lot to do with the male domination of the industry and the patriarchal structures that govern society…,” Professor Hope had said.
“What happens with women who come into the music industry, whether Dancehall or Reggae, is that they either have to throw in their lot with men deliberately or they have had to depend on the support of their male family members, if they have a studio or have connections in the industry. If you are not that lucky, you may have to sleep with somebody, or, as many women have found out, your career will go down the drain,” she added.