Singer Onesty does it her way

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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IN six weeks, Belgian singer Onesty is scheduled to hit the road as the opening act for Black Uhuru in Europe and North America. Her latest song, Way To Life, is a nod to one of that group's biggest hits.

Produced by Jermaine Forde, Way To Life is driven by the beat of Plastic Smile, the 1979 song that helped make the Waterhouse trio of Duckie Simpson, Michael Rose and Puma Jones a major force in the 1980s.

Onesty recorded Way To Life with Bugle.

“The rhythm is a relic of the famous Plastic Smile and for me was the perfect choice for the combination with Bugle. I went to the studio with my manager Marcia Simpson, who also first introduced me to him on a previous visit. I personally insisted on doing a song with Bugle, who is one of my favourite artistes,” she told the Jamaica Observer. “I hope this song will definitely take my career to a next level, I strongly believe in the message and the positive vibe of this combination.”

Way To Life is recorded for Forde and Simpson's Ajang label, which has handled most of Onesty's songs since the Belgium native began recording over 10 years ago. She moved to Jamaica in 2015 and has released a handful of songs such as Not Good Enough and Roll The Dice, both produced by Forde.

The 32-year-old singer, who opened for Black Uhuru on their 2016 North American tour, is not frustrated that the big hit has not come.

“I think it's important as an artiste, as a person in general, to stay positive and focus on the things that are going good. I am sure I will get that break and, in the meantime, I am humble and building my own road,” she reasoned. “There is an album coming up and I am heading to Europe and the US to perform alongside the great Black Uhuru. That means I am getting the right education.”

Onesty was born Tina Castello in Antwerp to a Spanish father and Belgian mother. She was in her teens when she first heard Jamaican dancehall and roots-reggae through the underground scene in her country.

A graphics designer by training, she launched her We Are The Heroes Foundation in January. She conducts a free programme on Sundays at Golden Spring to introduce art to children.

“We want to make art education available for every child in Jamaica. For me personally, I have decided I want to help build my community and show my daughter how it is done, and how we can all do something to make our own place a better place,” she said.

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