With striking looks, a voluptuous frame and a personality that's both sexy and serious, dancehall singer Ce'Cile has a good chance of being reggae's new starlet. She's already the center of gossip, à la Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, in the Jamaican press—rumors of who she's dating and if she's pregnant are all over the tabloids—but those are domestic issues. Ce'Cile wants to be an international star. She's poised, planning an assault on American audiences this summer, and she says she's glad the rumor mill is keeping her name in the streets.
The Jamaican tabloids seem to be all over you about your personal life and your sex life. How do you deal with that?
I love it when they talk about me. There are some parts of my image that are a façade, and because you're a human, people want to tear you to pieces. But nothing hurts me about it. It doesn't matter when they spread the rumors. It helps. My idol is Madonna. So that's what I look up to. I'm an artist.
Ce'Cile performs Friday, August 10, at minc.
How did you get involved in dancehall music?
It's funny, 'cause I'm a girl from Mandeville — it's more of a posh place and not that reggae-friendly. And my grandfather was the mayor of Mandeville, so dancehall wasn't my only option. But I love it. The best way to get into dancehall has always been hanging out at a studio until someone notices you, but my parents wouldn't allow me to do that. So instead of hanging out, I tricked my parents into letting me get a job managing a studio. It was strategic. I got to know all the big producers. They realized I could sing, and then I did a song with Sean Paul, then Richie Spice, Anthony B, Capleton...doing vocals in studios and stage shows.
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So you're playing shows here in the U.S. and then playing all over Europe and Japan. Looks like you've got big aspirations for stardom as a solo artist.
When you look at the reggae artists that are popular in the U.S., they're not as popular in the real parts of Jamaica. I won't name names, but your version of a reggae star and ours are different. I plan to bring those two worlds together.
What's the most important thing that you've learned as a female artist in the dancehall industry?
I learned that you should embrace your femininity. It's great. I really like giving men trouble in my songs. That's my take on being a woman in this field, but it works.