VIDEO: Holding a vibe with Hempress Sativa

Monday, December 09, 2013

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — “Conscious” artistes have long been the foundation of Reggae music, and with international trends leaning towards a relaxation in the use of marijuana there was no better time than now to speak with Rastafarian singer Hempress Sativa.

So ONLINE OBSERVER sat with the Hempress as she introduced us to her music and message.

ONLINE OBSERVER: What does the name Hempress Sativa mean?
Hempress: The name Hempress Sativa represents a state of consciousness, a state of high. I feel like that name represents me to the fullest. I also named myself that because everyone who knows me knows that I’m an advocate of the legalisation and decriminalisation of marijuana. It is a name that represents the fact that I am Rasta, and there is some innuendo to it.

ONLINE OBSERVER: Give us a brief introduction of yourself.

Hempress: I am Hempress Sativa — singer, songwriter, revolutionist, mother, Rastafarian, empress. I got started in the music business from I was a little child. 
In fact, my father is the original selector of the Jah Love Music (sound system), and through his participation, I got involved in music. You know, just listening to his selections for an upcoming dance and just watching his style of how he played the sound system.

ONLINE OBSERVER: How would you describe your musical style and sound?
Hempress: My music is kinda fiery, its spirited, message music really. I aim towards trying to spark interest, and to provoke thoughts into the individual’s mind that would listen to my music. I wouldn’t put it in any genre, because I dabble in a lot of genres; African, reggae, hip-hop, it doesn’t matter. I don’t want to limit myself to just being a reggae artiste, I’m not just that, but I do a lot of reggae.

ONLINE OBSERVER: Who is your management team?
Hempress: Right now I’m working with UTH (Unite The Hearts) music. It is like a family; we are all on the same page, in one accord, moving to one beat.

ONLINE OBSERVER: How do you think the music industry has evolved since you started out?
Hempress: It has advanced a whole lot. It is easier for people now to access music. It’s easier to get your music out there. Technology has increased and now you can upload your music using apps. It allows you to connect more with listeners. As opposed to back in the day when you had to find a studio and just do a one record and that’s it, now you can go into the studio, you can cut, pause and edit your music, creating a better product. I still value the traditional methods, but you have to move with the time. Opportunities are available, and we should make use of them.

ONLINE OBSERVER: How have people reacted to you as an upcoming female Rastafarian artiste?
Hempress: Really it has been very difficult. From what I observe, people tend to draw to music different from what I am doing, the “jump up” music. I do spirited music, which is not necessarily for the individual to jump and prance and dance. It is really for you to just shut up and listen to the message in what I am saying, and see what you can take away from it. And, the main difficulty I have found is that people don’t want to play enough of our music.. …They need to just listen to the music and decide what good music is, and not just play what is ‘hot’ right now.

ONLINE OBSERVER: What projects are you currently working on?
Hempress: Well, I’m working on an album entitled The Unconquerable, and it should be out by about January.  I have a new single out called Kush I Love, for which a video will be out soon, maybe in December, and you can find it on YouTube.

ONLINE OBSERVER: What are your plans for the rest of the year and into 2014?
Hempress: Doing more empowering and uplifting music, maybe some overseas shows, and basically just trying to connect with the people and get the music out there and promote it.

ONLINE OBSERVER: Which artistes have you worked with so far?
Hempress: I have worked with Kabaka Pyramid, Micah Shemiah, Bred from Chalice, and a group from Manhattan called the east Village Pharmacy.

ONLINE OBSERVER: Where do you see you career heading in the next five years?
Hempress: I don’t really sit down and meditate so far. Honestly, I’m just taking it one day at a time. My aim is to make good music, music to inspire, so once I am on that course and keeping up to the principle of Ras Tafari I know I am on the right track.

ONLINE OBSERVER: What advice would you give to young individuals who aspire to be musicians, and hope to become involved in the field?
Hempress: Stay true to yourself. You will always have people weh come and tell you seh you can’t do music like this, or that nuh really sound good, but you have to be true to yourself, you have to be confident in your music and own your craft. I was told that the fact that I sing so much about Ras Tafari, I won’t go anywhere, but I proved them wrong.

ONLINE OBSERVER: How can your fans and prospective fans find Hempress Sativa music?
Hempress: You can find me on Facebook (Hempress Sativa), Sound Cloud, Twitter@Hempresssatva, or you can link me at UTH music JA for anything at all pertaining to music.


— Candiece Knight


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