Interview with ...
Sherieta Lewis


Jamaica has always given birth to new talented artists. The Up & coming singer Sherieta Lewis is one of them.
Chorus-singer, lead vocalist, lyrics writer, musician, Sherieta Lewis is a complete artist. After years of touring and backing some of reggae's big acts like Tarrus Riley or Diana King, she is ready to pursue her solo career.

(March 2011 - penthouserecords.free.fr)

You began your musical career 5 years ago. What brought you to music ?
I have been doing music all my life. At 3 years old, I was singing in church with various choirs and groups, and also duets with my older sister, Kerri-Ann. I also played several instruments, including the piano and congo drums.

What was the 1st single you recorded ?
My first single is a song called “I Wish” produced by Shawn Kong for Island Star Records in 2007.

You have a certain soulful smooth vocal style. Were you influenced by other jamaican and american singers ?
I would say I was inspired by other singers, not necessarily influenced by them.

Who are they ?
Lauryn Hill, Chevelle Franklin, Diana King, Beres Hammond, Damian Marley, Buju Banton, to name a few.

You told me that you sang at church during your youth like many jamaican singers. Is it, according to you, the reason which explains that the jamaican singers are among the most talented in the world ?
No, not necessarily. Of course, the church is one of the places where musical influences are strong and has indeed set the pace for many artists’careers ; possibly, it was the place where many artists discovered their talents. However, I would not give credit to the church for the acquisition of talent.

You write also songs for other artists like Etana, Luciano or Jah Cure. Where do you find inspiration ?
Sometimes inspiration comes from the artist, their style, etc... Most times, it comes from my imagination or observations.

How did you get connected with Donovan Germain ?
Duane Stephenson had recorded a song on a Penthouse riddim and had asked me to record accompanying background vocals. He took me to Penthouse Studios and introduced me to Donovan Germain, who afterwards, stayed in the studio to hear me record the background vocals. He was impressed with my work and the rest is history.

Do you remember when it was ?
I don't remember exactly when it was, but it was possibly late 2009 or early 2010.

Tell us about your first single for Penthouse "Reggae Is Life" recorded the last year on the Big Stage riddim.
"Reggae Is Life" is actually the first released single, not the first recorded. It is simply a tribute to the foundation builders of Reggae Music, and the artists who continue to represent the genre well.

And your second single "Come Find Me" ?
I wrote "Come Find Me" for women (and men) who have had trouble finding “the one”. In order to “change the game”, the song states that “the one” should come and find me ; I won’t be looking anymore.

Your brand new single "My Best Friend" recorded on the O.M.G riddim is just released.
"Best Friend" was the first single I recorded at Penthouse. It's a love song about someone realising that his or her best friend is actually the true love he or she has been searching for.

You recorded for other producers like Dean Fraser, Mikey Bennett or Christopher Birch. What is Donovan Germain's singularity comparing to other producers ?
Each producer has his own style and taste. It would be difficult to compare them.

You did background vocals for 2 of the biggest albums released in 2010 the Romain Virgo's debut album (4 songs) and Sanchez's “Now And Forever” (6 songs). Can you describe your contribution on these albums and the collaboration with these artists ?
Donovan just called me to do the accompanying vocals for the songs on these albums. There was no collaboration with the artists per say.

Could you describe us the way you did your background vocals in Penthouse studio. Do you decide yourself how to do them or Donovan Germain guide you ?
I decide how to do them. On rare occasions, Donovan will make suggestions or changes.

During the golden years of Penthouse records (90s), which songs left you most memories?
I didn't know anything about Penthouse or reggae music at that time, seeing that I was a church girl and pastor's daughter. I heard a number of songs along the way (for example on the road or in the bus) that I am now finding out are Penthouse productions.

You did background vocals for Tarrus Riley all over the world. What did these journeys and these meetings bring you ?
I encountered various cultures and people. Most importantly, I learnt how much the world truly loves Reggae music.

The majority of the female artists in Jamaica are not very exposed. They often do only background vocals. How do you explain that women do not have as much credibility as men in the reggae music industry ?
I don’t believe that the general view is that women do not have as much credibility as men. Numerous female artistes have and continue to dominated the airwaves, shows and even tours. Women in the industry who are background vocalists do so out of choice most times, not because of a lack of exposure.

To conclude, what are your plans ? I've heard your first album will be released soon.
I am currently recording a number of singles to be released within the next few months. I am also writing for my album, which will be released in September 2011.


DISCOGRAPHY ON PENTHOUSE RECORDS :

- Come Find Me (2010)
- My Best Friend (2011 - O.M.G riddim)
- Reggae Is Life (2010 - Big Stage riddim)

listen to these singles :