It is often said that music is therapy and that artistes use it as an outlet to address issues they wouldn’t dare speak about under other circumstances.
The statement rings true for entertainer Shuga, whose latest track, Phenomenal Woman, has allowed her to tackle some of her darkest demons and bring some closure to a painful experience that has haunted her for years.
Formerly known as Brown Shuga, the entertainer, who walked away with the Digicel Rising Stars title back in 2009, was poised to take the entertainment industry by storm with her powerful vocals and her effervescent personality.
She had some level of success during the early stages of her career, but the spark dwindled somewhat, and she intermittently disappeared from the music scene.
In an interview with THE WEEKEND STAR, Shuga revealed that she has always known the direction in which she wanted to take her career and that she had what it took to make a lasting impact.
But she revealed that she had been battling with some personal issues that just wouldn’t allow her to be great.
“I’ve been battling with some things for years, and I had a selected amount of friends that I shared my story with. I was afraid to have conversations about stuff that I’ve been through because it took me back to that place and made me feel less of myself. Me never feel strong; anybody would come to me and say something and it would break me down,” she said, holding back tears. “I took some time away from Jamaica, and I decided that I couldn’t be like this forever. I decided I couldn’t be the girl that let the past affect my future so negatively. I decided to use my story to motivate myself and then, hopefully, motivate others.”
That way of thinking gave birth to the song Phenomenal Woman, which is a tribute track of sorts to women across the world who have had to overcome obstacles.
“Phenomenal Woman is the reality of so many women around the world. It is a story about a woman who has been through so many obstacles and overcame and rose to the occasion. It’s about the woman who saw every obstacle as a stepping stone, and she used her experience to motivate and uplift others. It’s about women who have been through rape, manipulation, abuse,” she explained.
Shuga said the song is very personal to her, and she is “still going through stuff”.
“But I find that music has a beat for every mood and a melody for every emotion. This is my talent that was given to me by the creator, and I feel that I have to use this medium to help others,” she said. “There are so many other women out there going through similar things but who don’t have the voice/outlet. I just want to use my story to help them realise that they are not alone, and dem affi just gwaan hold it and keep strong.”
The song has not been officially released, but Shuga performed it for the first time on BBC 1Xtra and received overwhelming support.
Shuga has plans to release the song in time for Mother’s Day. She also has plans to release a video shortly after that and says the visuals will be just as emotional and moving as the audio.
Aside from Phenomenal Woman, Shuga’s fans can also look out for a collab between her and Bugle called Replay.