Ifrica focused on new album
WITH a new album scheduled for release this summer, singjay Quen Ifrica says her focus is on promoting what she considers her strongest work to date. There is no concern that possible protests by gay rights groups may be a distraction and ultimately hurt her career.
"The album going shot wey 'cause everybody want to hear what I have to say. I can't change who I am, music choose mi to be the person I am in this moment," a confident Ifrica told the Jamaica Observer on Monday.
Queen Ifrica's music has taken a back seat in recent months. Her promotion of heterosexuality and traditional marriage, during her performance at the Grand Gala at the National Stadium in Kingston last August, irked some gays who saw it as a jab at them.
Since then, the 39-year-old Rastafarian artiste has been hounded by gay activists in North America.
Two weeks ago, she withdrew from a show in New York after gays threatened to protest the venue, the Amazura Concert Hall in Queens. Last August also, similar
action influenced Ifrica to pull out of the Rastafest show in Toronto.
The yet-titled album is a joint project between her Organic Art company and VP Records, the independent company that distributed Montego Bay, Ifrica's previous album. Ryan Bailey, her manager, believes the attacks by gay groups are unjustified.
"I understand there's an agenda to mute a particular voice. There's no song in her catalogue that incites violence against anyone and we're prepared to go full speed ahead with a positive message," said Bailey.
Gay rights organisations in Europe and North America have clashed with Jamaican dancehall artistes for over 20 years, claiming much of their music encourages violence toward homosexuals.
Strident action by groups like Outrage! and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have forced promoters to cancel shows on both continents by artistes including Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Capleton and Sizzla.
Queen Ifrica scoffed at accusations she hates homosexuals. She agrees with Bailey that the verbal attacks against her are unwarranted and prejudicial.
"I'm just heterosexual and have always had a stance. Being heterosexual, being a woman and being a mother should give me enough right to embrace that about myself without offending anybody," she said.
Released in 2009, Montego Bay was hailed as one of that year's strongest dancehall/reggae productions. It included several hit songs such as Below the Waist, Daddy and Keep it to Yourself.
The upcoming album has songs by various producers including Donovan Germain of Penthouse Records. Its lead single, The Beauty of Love, will be released this month.