“My intention is to represent me and my sound; not to replicate anyone who’s already out there, hopefully, this will be seen soon enough.” – Sevana
Anna-Sharé Blake found inspiration from her hometown of Savannah-La-Mar, Jamaica, thus coining the name Sevana which would eventually be on the tongues of many in the music industry. Sevana later added the name Siren to her stage name, because she believed that her presence alone had the capability to “wake up a town”. She is a recording artist, singer, songwriter, actor, and model. and with all these titles she has managed to perform with a level of professionalism, creativity, and uniqueness as she carries out each skill.
Hailing from the lush green land parish of Westmoreland, Jamaica, she is the second of three siblings born to a very loving and supportive family.
“Funnily, music moved from ‘I’m really good at this’ to ‘this is what I was born to do’. Nothing in life has ever given me the joy I have when I’m writing, listening or dancing to music. I just know that this is why I’m here, and I take it seriously.”- Sevana.
Her rendition of Celine Dion’s “A New Day” played a key role in her realization that she wanted to be a singer. At the tender age of eight, the support of her family would make or break a dream like that, but with the validation she got, her confidence was boosted in the right direction. Her melodies were unlike anyone ever heard before, and she dreamt of being a star, similar to any youngster growing up listening to the likes of musical legends like Bob Marley, Prince, Ray Charles, Anita Baker, among others.
“My indie influences are anywhere from Daughter to Kimbra! My Reggae influences are definitely Bob Marley and Beres Hammond. I listen to quite a bit of rap and rock and ambient music–whatever I put my ears to influence my sound, no matter how small.” – Sevana.
Sevana never gave up on that dream. She entered the Digicel Rising Star competition for new talents in 2008 as a member of SLR, an all-girl group with two of her friends, and placed third that year. In 2013, she performed at the pop-up staging of Live From Kingston, which was one of her first solo gigs. The songbird belted a cover of one of Winehouse’s tracks which fortunately caught ears of producer and singer Protoje and he recruited her. The rest was history.
“Innovation comes from dreaming of a new way to do something and actually doing it, and that’s as present as it needs to be in reggae today. In my compositions, I imagine/dream the melody, instruments and overall sound, then bring it to life. I try, at least.”- Sevana
Sevana went on to record her first track at age seventeen, and she was able to conjure up a singing style which would carry her throughout the early stages of her career. Her debut single, “Chant It”, which was described as a bluesy track, a fragile ode to “Love’s Awakening” which was produced by Phillip “Winta” James. Her effortless vocals are complemented by a reggae vibe of detailed guitar and drum beats. The music video on Youtube has garnered over 130,000 views and counting.
“My musical journey is my life’s journey – they’re the same; the purpose of my life is to live. I wouldn’t want to settle with any lifestyle other than a musical one. Whatever lessons I’ve learned and will learn is the message I’m trying to give.” – Sevana.
Sevana is known for her ability to captivate a crowd with her pure aura and ear-caressing voice, and the songbird’s performance at Reggae Sumfest 2014 debuted her not only locally, but also gave her international exposure. Her ensuing single entitled “Bit Too Shy” was another reggae track designed to unveil her talent even more, as her range, coupled with the meaningful yet playful lyrics, evoked memories of one’s first crush and all the feelings added. The visuals from that video played over 210,000 times on her Youtube channel. “Bit Too Shy” was produced by Protoje of Indiggnation Collective and Phillip James of Overstand Entertainment – two persons to whom Sevana owes much of her gratitude for the pearls of wisdom imparted.
Sevana has been featured on various tracks of albums and playlists, while she has been building her brand and career. In 2015, she joined Protoje on his Ancient Future Tour across Europe, as well as, two of Trinidad and Tobago’s largest music shows. Through this process, she gained the invaluable experience of touring as a performer which only ignited her passion as a musician.
“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.” – Sevana
In 2016, the vocalist extraordinaire released 23-minute, six-track EP in 2016 which was self-titled and revealed her childhood experiences, and other extracts from her life growing up. The long anticipated EP has left listeners spellbound and in awe of her finesse and grace as she brilliantly transitions from song to song; she gives this EP her all.
“The musical throwback has us travel to Sevana’s younger years and her reminiscing about a past love, who seems to have made quite an impression by stealing mangos from the neighbor and flying kites but probably less when he fell off the guinep tree and broke his arm.” – Bigga Muffin Review.
While she was making a name for herself in music, she was also acting; her debut role was as Renee Patience in the web mini-series Losing Patience which aired in July 2017.
She promoted her EP by virtue of her social media accounts and also in Europe during the 2016 Festival season with her band. Some songs on the EP are “Carry You”, “Easy To Breathe”, “Love The Way”, “Rawle”, as well as originals “Bit Too Shy” and “Chant It”.
“It is the ever thrilling simplicity of acoustic guitar, finger snaps and percussion that perfectly matches the staggering vocals and intimate lyrics of “Carry You”. The uplifting, R’n’B flavored pop track is the opener with a fascinating blend that is filigree, sensual, yet powerful in words, style, and presentation. With “Bit Too Shy” and the catchy hymn “Chant It” two previously with videos released singles made the tracklist, the latter being surely one of the strongest pieces on the record overall. Their pop feel adds delightful variety to the whole project and balances the Reggae side of the EP, that is represented by gems like “Love The Way”. Old-school-style vintage vibes also build the foundation of the classic Reggae highlight Rawle that shines with soulful backing chorales and bright horns on a driving steppers rhythm.” – Bigga Muffin Review.
The music video to her song “Justice” was released in March of 2018, and it speaks to human carelessness and how it impacts mother Earth.
The earth will serve us justice
Will outlive you and me
With every storm you know there’s justice
The sea washes the street
Why do you curse the place that serves you
What makes you think that we’re supreme
No amount of money will protect you
From all the energy we steal
Excerpt from “Justice” by Sevana
Her most popular song that has been attracting plays at parties across Jamaica in the latter part of 2018, was her single “Sometime Love” released a couple of months after “Justice” and she coins it as a feel-good summer bop.
And I hope that I’m not sounding crazy
You see where I am, real love can save me
I’m so cold down here, swim me to the surface
If your love is wrong, then please don’t save me
Love me, love me bravely
I’ve been underwater
Love me, love me baby
I can’t do without you
I don’t want no sometime love (oh na-na-na-na)
Excerpt from “Sometime Love” By Sevana
Whether you’ve heard one or all of her songs, it is without a doubt that she has a breathtaking talent that will definitely take her far beyond her years. What she has planned in the future might not be known to the public, but the media buzz and anticipation to experience her music and watch her maximize her potential is something to look forward to.
“From the first time I heard this song on the radio, I thought it was Beyoncé, but when I found it was our own Jamaican Sevana, I was so surprised and amazed. This song is really amazing [ I will] keep doing the promo behind this song, this track has crossover potential” – Kurt Hyatt reviews Sometime Love.
By Alexandra Daley