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THERE are not many female reggae bands around. Girlstown broke Jamaica’s glass ceiling in the 1990s when they recorded and were Marcia Griffiths’ backing band.

Adahzeh, a five-piece unit, is the latest to bridge the gender gap.

Their first song, Caliente Girls, was recently released. The uptempo number is co-produced by Caniggia Palmer and J Twist for D’Empire Management label.

Band leader and keyboardist Karissa Palmer says though being part of an all-female band is a dream come through, she hopes Adahzeh will be recognised for their skill.

“We want to make our music speak for us even while showcasing our talent,” she told the Sunday Observer.

Marcia Griffiths

Marcia Griffiths

The ages of band members — who are from St Ann and St Catherine — range from 17 to 23. Formed last June, its other players are Chevanse Palmer (bass), Tashana Barnett (drums), Tara Williamson (guitar) and lead vocalist Kadian Hamilton.

Karissa Palmer currently attends the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. She is a third-year student and is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. Kadian Hamilton graduated from Charlemont High School in 2011 and is a first-year student at the University of the West Indies; Chevanse Palmer is in fifth form at St Jago; Williamson attends Excelsior Community College while Barnett is in her second year at the University of Technology.

Despite beating the books, Karissa Palmer says the band still finds time to rehearse weekly and get in tune with the music scene.

“We have been learning the business of the music industry, rehearsing, performing and recording,” she said, stressing that they are not in it to knock heads.

“We don’t see music as being a competition. We view the music industry as a family and with our hard work and dedication, we will be a part of that family,” she said.

Musically, the band’s influences are diverse, from The Suga Mamas, Beyonce’s all-female band to Maroon 5, Bob Marley, Protoje and Chronixx.

Like the flood of bands that have emerged in the last five years, such as C Sharp and Uprising Roots, Adahzeh hopes to function as a recording and show unit.

— By Cecelia Campbell-Livingston

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