Meet 10 Caribbean women who are creating musical magic across the Diaspora. These women are all bringing something fresh and unique to the global music industry.
Spice - Jamaica
Born Grace Hamilton in Portmore, St. Catherine, Jamaica, the dancehall artist known as Spice has as performed at various stages shows, both locally and overseas. She is currently signed with Madhouse Records.
As her name implies she is known for her raw lyrics and electrifying performances. The charismatic artist is on the fast-rising deejay track and has taken this male-dominated genre by storm. After her first major performance at Sting in 2000 Spice’s stardom ascended.
She has collaborations with artists like Missy Elliott , Ne-Yo, and R&B Singer Mya.
Spice is solidifying her place in dancehall music's hall of fame and has her eyes set on being the next Dancehall sensation who will dominate the international scene – and from all indications her dream is about to become an admirable reality.
2. Stevy Mahy - France/Guadeloupe
Stevy Mahy was born into a musical family in Paris, France and raised in Guadeloupe. Both her parents are musicians and she has been singing from age nine. Known for her "tri-lingual folk soul" a blend of French, English, and Creole made for a unique acoustic sound.
In 2010 Mahy released her debut album “The Beautiful Side of a Kreyol Folk Trip” with “Beautiful” and “Something About You” becoming hit singles.
In 2012, she released an ode to Haiti called "Haiti Chérie" (her own song, not a remake of the well-known patriotic anthem) inspired by her visit to the country post-earthquake. The song was recorded in part in Port-au-Prince, and features Haitian singer James Germain.
Her sophomore album “Renaissance Woman” was released in April 2014.
3. Destra Garcia - Trinidad and Tobago
Destra Garcia, born in Trinidad, has grown from strength to strength since her 1999 debut and the entertainer is showing no signs of slowing down.
She has shared the stage with international superstars like the Heather Headley, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Ja-Rule, Rihanna, Mary J Blige, Patti La Belle, Natalie Cole, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé.
Destra has now released seven album and has won many awards and accreditation’s some of which include 15 Soca Awards and five COTT awards three of which were best female songwriter from 2004-2007 and best pan song 2006. She remains the most requested female Soca artists of the Caribbean and the world. Her latest acclaim would be “Best Female Soca Performer” at the IRAWMA awards held in Trinidad last year.
4. Danay Suarez - Cuba
Danay Suarez Fernandez is more rapper than R&B singer. Danay fan describes her as "the representative of conscious female Cuban hip-hop with the most exquisite voice and the most intelligent lyrics.
The 24 year was born in Havana's Cerro district, started rapping in her teen years “by accident” while writing about things that matter to her, making up rhymes.
Moving to Miami to further her music career, Suarez is well on her way with dedicated fans from Cuba to the U.S. to France and beyond.
5. Samantha J - Jamaica
Samantha Gonsalves, better known by her stage name Samantha J, is a Jamaican model and singer-songwriter signed to Columbia Records.
In 2013 Samantha has erupted onto the Jamaican music scene with her still unreleased first single "Tight Skirt," which has topped international charts.
She released an international single in 2015 called "League of My Own" featuring Dej Loaf and recently “ Bad like Yuk.”
6. Patrice Roberts - Trinidad and Tobago
She came to national attention in 2005 with the hit collaboration "The Islands" alongside cousin Bunji Garlin.
In 2006, shortly after Patrice shot into the spotlight she became one of the frontline vocalists and the only female member of the internationally recognized Soca Band, which at that time was known as Xtatik (now HD).
To date Roberts has been recognized for some of her hit singles namely, ‘A Little Wine’, ‘Bruk Out’, ‘I am Soca’, ‘Tempa Wine’, ‘Sugar Boy’, ‘Wukkin Up’, ‘Rollin’ and ‘Single to Mingle’. She has collaborated with talents such as Machel Montano, Kerwin Du Bois, Swappi, Tian Winter, Macka Diamond, and Zan among others. Roberts lists some of her influences to be Machel Montano, Kernal Roberts, Eliza-beth Montano, Lady B, Verline Bobb, Dwain Antrobous, Danbers Nero, George Stanisclaus and Shawn “Roots” Mitchell.
7. Twanée – Bermuda
Twanée (pronounced Twa-Nay), has performed in numerous major productions worldwide, opening for a variety of celebrity artists such as Alicia Keys, Keyshia Cole, Jennifer Hudson, Mya, Snoop Dogg, Fantasia Barrino, Faith Evans, Stephanie Mills, Kirk Franklin, Cece Winans, Seal, Isaac Hayes, Mike Phillips, Charlie Wilson, Aaron Neville, reggae artists Freddie McGregor, Glen Washington, Gyptian, Morgan Heritage, Warrior King, I-Wayne, Tony Rebel, and many more.
In 2010 Twanée took a leap of faith and moved to NYC to take her career to the next level. Since then, she has performed the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ at Fenway Park in Boston for a Boston Red Sox game. She did a song with 50 Cent called ‘Shooting Guns’ feat. Kidd Kidd which was released on 50 Cent’s mixtape ‘The Big 10’; she has also received two movie placements in 50 Cent’s film ‘All Things Fall Apart’. In addition, she collaborated with fellow Bermudian recording artist Collie Buddz, on a song called "Bermuda Is So Much More", which is currently broadcasted world-wide on a Bermuda Tourism television commercial.
Twanée recently joined forces with G-Unit's own "Young Buck" with their new collaboration "Rock Ya Body".
8. Claudette Peters - Antigua & Barbuda
Claudette is a soca and soul singer-songwriter, who is best known as Antigua's "Soca Diva" and is the lead vocalist for the Taxik Band.
She first made her mark on the regional and international soca scene with her hit single Something's Got A Hold On Me with Da Bhann in 1994. Since then Claudette has had a hit every year since, including Make Waves, Showtime, Go, Claudette Go, and the Trinidadian penned hit All I Know, which she used to claim her first Antigua Party Monarch Title.
Claudette continues to perform well on the local and regional soca arena, and we’re sure that “The Diva” will reach even higher heights in her endeavors.
9. Danielle Veira - St. Vincent and the Grenadines
In 2005, Danielle made her name in St. Vincent as she opened for international act, Akon. The following she released her first soca track titled Jouvert for Vincy Mas. Since then she continued to release hard-hitting soca tracks in the years that followed.
In 2014, Danielle continues to be at the top of the Vincy soca charts. She released a remix to her song Over That with soca star Mr. Killa which helped her gain recognition throughout the Caribbean and the U.S.
10. Imani – Barbados
Imani was first widely accepted in 2013 when she released “Me”,
2014 proved to be one of major successful year for Imani as she released one of the biggest songs for the Cropover festivities titled “Bacchanal Road”. The track, written by Trinidadian Jason “Shaft” Bishop, got her the title of People’s Soca Monarch and various nominations for the 2015 installment of the Barbados Music Awards.
As she builds on her current success, Imani will be a force to be reckoned with in the Caribbean music industry.