@Tadsrecord @Tanya_Stephens) | MARIA JACKSON 27 MAGAZINE" width="277" height="179" aria-hidden="false" />Reggae stalwart Tanya Stephens is one of the two female entertainers named among the ’10 dancehall giants’ to grace this year’s staging of Sting, last performance at the event in 2005.
Stephens, who last performed at the show in 2005, said it is indeed an “honour” to be chosen as a giant.
“It’s a good feeling to be thought of like that by my peers in the industry. I was on Sting before I was established and it makes me feel good that my reputation and my career has come a long way with Sting. When mi just a go pon Sting, Sting was launching me, now mi a go pon it and we a work together,” she told THE STAR.
“Sting is a brand that is well established, regardless of what has been going on with the show for over the years. I remember when I always look forward to see snippets of footage for Sting on VHS or listen on cassettes. It was a dream to be able to get on a big stage like that,” she added.
The Boom Wuk singer sought to clear the air on why she has not been seen on the “big stage” for 18 years.
“Wi guh through nuff growing pains, whole heap a time mi and dem kick off. However, my absence from Sting wasn’t because of that. I’m very selective of the type of space mi go inna and there was a time when Sting became so violent, but they’ve done a lot to erase that image. It also developed a sort of reputation and mi very deliberate about the way mi craft miself suh a nuh anyweh mi go. But there’s no rift between us. People who mi have rift wid, you would never see me back on their stage,” she said.
Despite Stephens’ genuine appreciation and encouragement of the musical talent among young and established acts, she said she rarely collaborates with artistes because it’s her belief that singing solo is the best way to develop one’s individual craft. However, she added that there are several fast-rising young artistes that “dip into some deep emotions that I truly appreciate”.
Stephens is set to release her new single, produced by Troyton Music, and promises her supporters “a very special upcoming project featuring some other industry players that is set to drop early next year”.
As the Christmas season is fast approaching, Stephens said she once “abandoned” the season but recently had to tap back into its festivities because she believes “it’s a time for family, happiness, food, laughter and reconnection”.
Stephens emerged in the late 1990s with the single Yuh Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet. She later gained international recognition for It’s a Pity, followed by the success of several other chart topping singles. She was honoured by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association for her contribution to the reggae industry as a songwriter, in 2019.