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 By Richard Johnson—

 Meet Sevana: Protoje’s protégé—-

TWENTY-THREE-year-old recording artist Sevana is having the time of her life.

The singer, who hails from Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland has two collaborations – Love Gone Cold and Sudden Flight – which are featured on the album Ancient Future by high-riding Protoje.

The album has been steady on international reggae charts since its release in March.

Sevana, whose influences include neo-soul acts Amy Winehouse, India.Arie, Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill, was not your typical ‘singing girl’ growing up in Westmoreland. She never made the school choir or sang in church, but that all changed one morning at the breakfast table.

“I was singing Celine Dion’s A New Day when my mother stopped me and said, ‘you can really sing’. That was my first validation and it was a real confidence booster, just to hear it come from my family was great,” she reflected. “I then tried out for the school choir at Mannings (High School), but just never thought I fit in. I then took a shot at a talent competition at school but didn’t fully understand the courage it took to get up on stage and perform in front of an audience. So, when I got up there I was so terrified that I ran off stage and burst into tears.”

That was not the end of her performing career. In 2010, along with two friends, she entered the popular televised talent show, Digicel Rising Stars. As SLR, they wowed judges at the auditions and made it to the live broadcast among the top 10 performers.

That experience cemented Sevana’s drive and determination to give music a shot.

“I did a lot of soul searching when I moved to Kingston and went through what I call bits of depression, as I really wanted to be sure that music was really what I wanted to do. It would come to me and and I went for it,” she said.

Four weeks @ No.1

Four weeks @ No.1

A chance performance on a 2013 staging of the pop-up stage show, Live From Kingston, was one of her first solo gigs. Her cover of Winehouse tracks reached the ears of Protoje, who sought her out.

He had her listen to a beat he was working on with producer Wynta James. Out of that came the single Too Shy.

Having liked what he heard, Sevana was drafted into recording the tracks which have been included on Ancient Future. The video for Too Shy is ready for release.

As she heads into the studio to record some of her original work, Sevena is looking to a bright future, while remaining humbled by the road she has trod thus far.

“I would love for the music to take me as far as possible. But that big break would have to be in a way that suits me. If it happens in a way that I am not comfortable with I will not be happy… my happiness is very important to me.”

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