D'Angel lifts voice against atrocities

By Sade Gardner
Observer writer

Monday, September 10, 2018

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“Inhumane and heartless” is how D'Angel is describing recent crimes against the nation's women and children.

“When I see these gruesome crimes I think 'what's next'?,” she told the Jamaica Observer. “I'm a God-fearing person so I believe in the scriptures, mi know the Bible a fulfil, there is no love in society, people nuh have nuh heart. How would you feel if someone did that to your family member? I have a son so mi naah go turn a blind eye because it never reach my door step. I know I'm a voice for the voiceless so it matters when public figures speak up,” she continued.

On August 28, 33-year-old Allisha Francis and her 10-year-old son, Teco Jackson, were attacked and chopped several times and pronounced dead at hospital. Also that day, a female corpse with a slashed throat was discovered in a cooler by police in Mandeville; the body is yet to be identified. A suspect in the murder, Linton Stephenson, was found dead in his home on Thursday.

The week before, the partially burnt body of 14-year-old Arnett Gardens resident Yetanya Francis was found after she went missing the night prior, reportedly to purchase food.

D'Angel said a holistic effort is needed to end these acts.

“We have to work together as a country; the government, the police...we need the police to be more vigilant too,” she said. “More undercover policing is needed in Jamaica, put them in the buses and in the taxis. Teenagers and kids have to listen to their parents too. It nuh matter what, they don't deserve to be killed, but it is important to listen to your parents. Walk in groups, be careful of the taxis you go in.”

D'Angel, given name Michelle Downer, does not speak from an uninformed space. She recalled her own days of being in dangerous situations.

“I was once abused in a relationship, it never defined me or scarred me. It's how you come out of it hat makes a difference. It could have turned out differently, I didn't have to be here but I survived.”

This experience inspired the singjay to start the We Can Survive campaign last year, fuelled by the accompanying song produced by Sons of Spoon Records. The movement has since slowed down due to lack of funding and the artiste's busy career, but she intends to change that.

“I was targeting schools through forums and we wanted to have guest speakers to really speak to the ones affected. I'm going to pick it up again especially with all that is happening now.”

D'Angel recently returned from New York where she held a release party for the song I'm Blessed, produced by Queenie of QMIA productions.

“Everything has been amazing, Music has always been my journey and I will never stop. These songs show females in the industry that you don't have to sing lewd songs to get recognised, I opened the doors for that when I first came out with Living Uptown. I'm just staying focused and I will continue to do real music because nothing else will sit well with me.”

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