Ms. Grace “Spice” Hamilton

By :- Janette Brin

Industry

Ms. Grace “Spice” Hamilton

Written by Sherina Russell-Garcia

 

Loyal global fans of the Princess of the Dancehall and Jamaica’s number one female deejay will be shocked to learn that she is really a shy person inside.

As a youngster, she used to attend church regularly and sing in the choir.

 “Spice told Caribbean POSH that: “I am an extremely shy person. When I look back on things I do on the dancehall stage I close my eyes, because whenever I get on the stage I go far and beyond for my fans.”

Her recent dramatic  entrance with “police escort” and a serious look-a-like of fellow genius deejay and music collaborator Adijah “Vybz Kartel” Palmer dressed in bright orange prison garb for the video launch of new single “Conjugal Visit” at the Triple Century Sports Bar in Kingston continues to be the talk of the town.

The Kartel “double” is also featured in the video.

Born Grace Hamilton more than thirty years ago in St. Catherine, the highly-fashionable top entertainer recognized from early that the stage’s spotlight shone brighter whenever she graced it with her sheer talent and creativity.

Her love for acting as a high school student was nurtured and showcased when she was chosen to enter and cop top medals in the country’s Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Drama Festivals.

That was just the beginning.

“I am a past student of St. Catherine High and I would deejay and entertain the kids at school. Then when I was leaving high school a friend of mine made me meet Dean “Heavy D” Fraser one of the main promoters of Sting and he gave me an opportunity to perform on the show in 2000.

I got an encore about four or five times and then I realized that this performing thing was for me, because the people loved me so much. So that is what let me into the dancehall, and once you make it on that kind of major show, it automatically leads you into a career as a dancehall artiste” Spice said.

Reflecting on her steady rise to the top, she has no regrets.

Similar to Sting’s encouragement to join the dancehall fraternity, Spice credits Vybz Kartel’s  push to collaborate with him first and make history with the sexy monster hit “Ramping Shop” in 2008, currently banned in Jamaica for its’ explicit lyrical sexual content.

 “Conjugal Visit” produced by TJ Records under the VP Records brand is a strong, ready-to-serve provocatively scintillating second dose follow-up single to Ramping Shop for  fans the world over. Plus the accompanying steamy video produced by Cash Flow Productions is simply over-the-top.

The video has received over 2 million views from early November on the World Star Hip Hop website.

 Sharing “Ramping Shop’s origins, Spice said: “Vybz and I went to Guyana for a show and he said to me that we should do a collaboration because we have the same fan base-that the men rate you and the women love you. I didn’t know that Ramping Shop would have been such a massive hit.”

“We did a song to follow-up in 2009 but it wasn’t called “Conjugal Visit, but did not get a chance to release it because of all the controversy surrounding Ramping Shop. With Vybz Kartel being incarcerated we decided to call it “Conjugal Visit”.

“It (the single) written by myself and Vybz Kartel is doing very well.  People have been calling me from all over the world for the song, plus they love the video” she said.

 “Some people when they see the video think that it is really Vybz Kartel and ask how come he has so much power, while others cannot decide if it is him in the video or not” she added.

Herself a big fan of his, she admires “his creativity, and he writes effortlessly with his pen and paper. I appreciate his natural talent, because a lot of artistes do not have his talent.”

The highly sexually-expressive atmosphere within the Jamaican dancehall, she said: “is a culture that we are grown on for women to be sexily dressed. Sex sells, and growing up looking at the dancehall we used to see women in batty riders.”

 Igniting the dancehall like the Queen of Dancehall Lady Saw, Spice early in her career reveled in the fact that she brought the same A-game to the dynamic and powerful genre.

“A couple of years ago I used to take it (the comparison) to Lady Saw as a compliment because I used to see her as the wickedest female in the dancehall. That same comparison has led both of us not to be friends, and has ruined the friendliness between us because people keep comparing us, and she does not like the comparison” Spice revealed.

With her latest EP due to drop soon with major hit “ So Me Like It” with 10 million views on VEVO, she hopes to work in the future with three top tier international female entertainers.

“I have so many artistes that I would love to collaborate with, like Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. However I will always support my Caribbean girls: Nicki Minaj from Trinidad and Rihanna from Barbados. Some people actually compare me to Minaj. Rihanna, I have been listening to her, and I like the way that she is consistent” Spice said.

The effervescent diva says: “I am creating my own space and most of the things I do and say are different. I am my own individual act.  I feel great about working hard, and have done a lot of creative thinking that has made me stand out on stage and in videos.”

Always possessing a business head from her school days the entrepreneur with her new clothing store Spicy Couture confessed that accounting was her favourite.

“If I was not an entertainer I would have been a chartered accountant. I run and manage my store myself. I like fashion designing.”

The busy mother of two always ensures that her children are nurtured, cherished and cared for.

“Balancing motherhood as an artiste is one of the most difficult things to do. When I am here in Jamaica, I spend most of the time with them allowing them to fill me in with what is happening at school, and  I try not to book events on their birthdays or special school events” she said.

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