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Saine Ripley Prefers Backing Vocals Over Solo Stardom

February 18th, 2024

Saine ‘Red’ Ripley, one of reggae and dancehall’s most sought-after female backup vocalists for the past decade, is understandably not a household name to music outsiders, though she continues to garner encouragement from her peers to step forward from her supporting ensemble and into the spotlight.

Ripley told DancehallMag she prefers backup vocals and has no ambitions to cross over to being a solo act. She has added backup vocals for many popular artists, such as, Sizzla, Spragga Benz, Dexta Daps, Aidonia, Valiant and Khago and so many more and has toured Europe with Anthony B in 2015 yet she prefers to remain incognito.

The Old Harbour, St. Catherine native began singing in church but has long transitioned to dancehall and reggae.

“I sang in church of the Seventh Day Adventist, and they pulled it out and that’s where I decided I wanted to do it professionally,” she said.

Reggae artiste Sizzla with backup vocalists from left Katryma Chaplin, Camara Stewart, and Saine Rapley at the World Creole Music Festival in Dominica 2022

She said she was introduced to dancehall artist Aidonia at the start of her professional journey and he nurtured her talent as she was a protégé in his camp.

“I met him when I was in high school( The Queen’s School) and his producer took me into the studio so I became the in house vocalist for them at that time,” she said. She later relocated to Clarendon and finished her secondary education at May Pen High School.

She later added vocals to his 2012 song Want See Me Fall on the Good Memories Rhythm and his summer anthem U Know Di Vibe two years ago.

Notwithstanding her years of experience and many memorable recording sessions with artists Khago and Spragga Benz, among others, she said she is satisfied with playing a supporting role, especially since she dabbled with a solo career.

“I’ve tried solo, wrote, recorded and released a few songs, released an album in 2014 called Naked and did a few shows here and abroad. But it’s not for everyone.  I love music so much I ventured into every aspect of it. However, over the years I’ve realized that being a backing vocalist is what I love most. Plus going solo without proper management just come wid too much bagga bagga,” she shared.

In a twist of fate, she said laying back up vocals for a Spragga Benz song, No Regrets, gave her the opportunity to be actually included on the song as a featured artist and not just as a backup.

“Funny story why I rate Spragga so much, his producer called me to do background vocals on a song and when I did the vocals he loved it so much he decided to release it as a collab. That a something weh never ever haoppen to me before inna mi life, Sparagga a the boss that,” she said.

“Background vocals are more comfortable for me but it’s not necessarily more burdensome as it relates to workload,” she said.

“As much as I’m called a “background singer” what I do is extremely important and.the colour we add to a track or to a live show is more than necessary. When I add vocals to a track it gives it an additional layer of life and when I’m supporting an act on stage, I bring more creativity and beauty to the presentation,” she added.

This content was originally sourced and posted at DancehallMag »
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