Well, enter Canada-based singer, Shalli, with her video for the patriotic single, Down In Jamaica, and instantly praises are being heaped on her. Shalli and her team traversed the island and shot glorious footage of Jamaica at its very best. Of course, there is the sea, sun and sand aspect of the visit, but there is so much more.
The happy faces of the children tell a story; the boys playing football, the cane man expertly peeling the cane; , rafting, the ‘dutchie’ with the ackee and saltfish being cooked – in fact, a great mixture of the sights, sounds and taste of the island chronicling the the Jamaican experience, all in one video.
And, of course, the fact that Shalli herself looks the part of a real island girl enhances the authenticity of the video.
With Brand Jamaica on the lips of everyone globally, Shalli clearly has a winning combination with the carefully crafted lyrics, which show her familiarity with and love for the island and the colourful, inspiring, music video. She noted that Down In Jamaica has special significance to her and it is a song that she poured her heart and soul into. “I wanted to do a powerful tribute song to Jamaica and the fantastic people and this is it,” she said simply. The theme of the Youtube comments is that this video beckons one to “Come to Jamaica”.
Actually, Down In Jamiaca evokes nostalgia and instantly makes the Jamaican living overseas want to go back home, while at the same time, it speaks eloquently to the prospective visitor who is desirous of spending quality time at the perfect Caribbean get-away. There have beenlots of encouragement forShalli to send the video to the Jamaica Tourist Board and let them use it as part of their marketing strategy to encourage visitors to the island. According to one blogger, “I hope that someone in the tourist industry will pick this song and video.
My perspective is that the cinematography, lyric, musical arrangement and performance are good. The sound is very clean and the performing artist is a beautiful princess.” Shalli has been singing for audiences in her church choir since the age of five; by age 12, she was writing poetry and at 14 she was crafting lyrics to original songs. In her later teen years, she would perform some of these original songs with a musical group she helped to create.
The budding songstress has continued to hone her image and powerful on-stage presence and has performed alongside many of reggae’s leading acts. She has performed at festivals, clubs and lounges in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia to ever increasing acclaim. Her childhood exposure to multiple musical styles has borne fruit as she realizes that in spite of the language barrier between her and the audience, her music is a language of its own that has allowed her to bridge the gap between herself and many different cultures. This ability to cross cultural lines is a key feature of Shalli’s music that can be found in her songs today.