BY RICHARD JOHNSON—
In 2007, the finals of the Digicel Rising Stars competition was down to two hopefuls — Jodian Pantry and Romain Virgo — and Virgo would go on to win.
That was 10 years ago.
Today Virgo has a successful career as a recording and performing artist.
Pantry admits, after years of procrastination and waiting for it all to come together musically, she is finally at the place to launch the career she truly wants.
“I am pleased with what both the JCDC (Jamaica Cultural Development Commission) and Rising Stars gave me. They made me a household name in Jamaica by putting me on their respective competitions… for that, I will forever be grateful. What I am not so pleased about, is how long it took me to discover what I wanted to do in terms of creating a sound and musical identity for myself. I really procrastinated for too long, waiting to be handed a career. I listened more to people and less to myself. Everything has changed and, right now, I am preparing myself for something that is going to shock Jamaicans. It’s a really big surprise, and that’s about all I can say at this time,” she told Jamaica Observer.
“It is going to be a life-changing experience… I will leave it right there. Needless to say, it’s now action time; no more talking,” Pantry continued.
In 2001 she placed second in the JCDC gospel competition.
As part of this ‘take charge’ phase of her life, the soon-to-be 28 year old is bringing together four of her fellow female musical artists in a show of solidarity tocounter what she describes as a tough music industry, which is even harder on the fairer sex.
“The event is set for April 21 and is dubbed Wine, Love and Live Music. It is set for the Fyahside Jerk Center in Tollgate, Clarendon. It is part of my birthday celebration but will also see five beautiful female performing artists, with five different energies and five different sounds performing on one stage for one night.”
For this event, Pantry has called on Rising Stars alum, Nickeshia Barnes, Cameal Davis, and Jodikay James, as well as Ikaya to join her on stage.
“This is a movement to pull females in the entertainment industry to work together. When you look at it, there are so many super-talented artists out there, but this is a tough industry, especially for females so they are often under-booked and and overlooked. I hope to initiate an paradigm shift. It is often said that women don’t get along… they compete against each other rather that work together. I will admit that I have met that in the industry, but that is not me. I have great female friends in the the music business and I believe I can change the thinking.”
Pantry it is important to stage the event in her home parish of Clarendon.
“Clarendon has seen an upsurge in crime and I just want to do something for the communities, so I recently registered the Jodian Pantry Foundation, which will work with these troubled communities in Clarendon. There are so many things which need to be done and I believe I must play my part,” she added.