Interview with ...
Nadine Sutherland


The divine Nadine Sutherland occupies an important place in dance hall for many years. 20 years ago, she was already singing background vocals on Peter Tosh's last album. Considered by many specialists the most talented female singer in Jamaica, she collaborated with Penthouse label on several occasions during the 90s and the 2000s.

(January 2007 - penthouserecords.free.fr)


You were a child when you started your musical career. Tell us more about your early years.
My early years was with Tuff Gong Records, I won Tastee Talent Contest, and was a protťgť of Bob Marley. My first song "Starvation" was number 2 on the charts. Unfortunately, it was caught up ina polictical furor, so it prevented it from being number one (laugh).

You seem to be equally comfortable singing in a low range and in a high range. Did you take singing lessons ?
I did do singing lessons, and I still practice with CDs. I believe in practice.

You said in various interviews that Marcia Griffiths, who also recorded a lot for Penthouse, is truly an example for you to follow. How did she inspire you ?
I grew up from a child listening to Marcia. I used to sing "Melody Life" at school concerts. She paved the way for all young female singers, and she still is the Queen.

Who are your favorite female singers among the current generation ?
Iím Whitney Houston's biggest fan ! Iím feeling me some Mary, as in Blige recently. I love her evolution, as a person. In Jamaica, I like Tessanne and Etana.

You sing on many different styles (dancehall, lovers or roots). Is your versatility a personal choice or is it aimed at reaching a larger audience ?
Iím a Jamaican. My history and socialisation where music is concerned is vast. I feel very limited when I am boxed in. Iím doing what comes naturally.

You are often considered as the best female singer of the current generation in Jamaica. Yet you don't get the international recognition you deserve. How do you explain it ?
I have no idea... Remember though I am not dead yet (laugh).

You scored many hit singles internationally in solo ("Baby Face" for Xterminator, "Rainbow" for Digital B in 1995...) and in combination ("Action" with Terror Fabulous in 1993, "Anything For You" with Snow in 1995...). Nevertheless, you only have 2 albums out ("Until" produced by Willie Lindo in the mid 80s and "Nadine" produced by Xterminator in 1997). Why ?
The recording Industry has a lot of polictics... I have done albums that has been shelved, itís painful for an artist. Anyway, I have more control over my destiny, there will be more albums out. I think the fans love me more than the people in the Industry.

At the beginning of the 90s, you recorded songs for Donovan Germain's Penthouse label. How did you get connected ?
I really don't remember. I've known him for years.

You recorded for many labels. What is Donovan Germain's singularity comparing to other producers ?
Donovan takes time with his productions. It has to be a certain level and standard. I respect that.

Among all your singles for Penthouse, which one is your favorite ?
One that isn't released yet, called "Loosing myself".

Your international hit single "Action" in combination with Terror Fabulous in 1993 was produced by Dave Kelly for his label Mad House. Dave Kelly worked with Donovan Germain at the time when you recorded your first singles for Penthouse. Can you talk about their collaboration ?
I enjoyed it immensely. Dave is super talented, so is Terror. It was mad fun.

In your song "I Pray To Jah" produced by Germain in 2004 on Time Will Tell riddim, you mention your faith in Jah. How important is religion in your life ? Are you rasta ?
Iím non religious. Iím spiritual. Jah is now a word used by a lot of Jamaicans. The rasta influence is strong in my life. My father is a rastaman, Iím a lover of the universe. I do not like the confines of religious tenet. I believe in a one being.

Germain signed a deal with VP a few years ago in order to release one of your album. Do you know why it has not been released yet ?
Polictics...

Apart from music, you have a lot of other activities. You are a fitness instructor, you work for television, you are involved in educational programs. Why this continual need to discover new horizons ?
Iím a work in progress, who continues to seek more of myself and to grow. I love learning about myself and conquering new things.

To conclude, what are your plans ? I've heard your new album produced by Eight76 Records is due to be out soon.
Itís due out soon, and I am very excited. Itís a new day in my life.


DISCOGRAPHY ON PENTHOUSE RECORDS :

- Dancehall Nice Again (2003 ; Love Me Always riddim)
- Front Page (1999 ; Reload riddim)
- I Found Me (2005 ; Pure Sorrow riddim)
- I Pray To Jah (2004 ; Time Will Tell riddim)
- I Want To Go Home (1992 ; General riddim)
- So Into You (Peanie Peanie riddim)
- What Am I Gonna Do (with Buju Banton ; 2003)
- Wicked Dickie (with Buju Banton ; 1992 ; Dickie riddim)
- Wicked & Wild (1992 ; Dickie riddim)

listen to these singles :