Dancehall artist Shenseea is breaking boundaries to show the world that she is a force to be reckoned with. With multi-million streaming tracks and an extensive list of collaborations with well-known Rap, R&B, and Reggae artists, she is no doubt, on her way to superstardom.
Where Does Shenseea’s Story Begin?
It all started at Mandeville Hospital in the parish of Manchester, Jamaica in 1996 where Chinsea Lee affectionately named Shenseea, was born. For as long as she can remember, the songwriter and vocalist wanted to be a star. She grew up singing in her church choir and even performed Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All” at the age of 8. “That was my first audience,” she told Billboard magazine, "but I didn't stay to hear the feedback because I was so shy.”
Early on, Shenseea found inspiration from watching MTV Jamz and MTV Hits and had a deep admiration for artists like Whitney Houston, Beenie Man, Buju Banton, and Bounty Killer. She would go on to make music in her teens including a collaboration with Reggae artist Jahmiel.
While the 24-year old aspired to be an international star like Rihanna, she felt it was very important to understand the music business “inside out.” She attended Exed Community College where she majored in Entertainment Management. However, financial hardship forced the 19-year old single mother to abandon her studies. Despite this setback, Shenseea was determined to provide her son with a better life and make a name for herself.
How Has Shenseea Become So Popular?
Shenseea pivoted from student to promotional work for Romeich Entertainment. She promoted brands like Smirnoff, Red Stripe, Hennessey, and Magnum at special events in Jamaica, which afforded her opportunities to perform and build her fan base. She also posted freestyles and covers of Young M.A’s “OOOUUU” and Tink’s “Treat Me Like Somebody” on social media. The Kingston native of Afro-Caribbean and Korean descent would go on to write her first single, "Jiggle Jiggle" in 2016.
By 2017, the dancehall starlet’s career had progressed from brand promotion to becoming one of Reggae’s most exciting new voices. Her remix of Vybz Kartel's “Loodi” and collaboration with Sean Paul on their single "Rolling," helped build the young dancehall artist’s popularity in Jamaica. “Loodi also led to her winning "Young Hot and Hype Artist" at the Youth View Awards, Break Out Celebrity of 2016, and Collaboration of The Year.
Although Shenseea’s music is traditionally dancehall, it’s sometimes infused with hip-hop and a bit of pop, which made her 2018 collaboration with Christina Aguilera on her Liberation album a natural fit. Shenseea went on to drop other singles like “Body Good” and “I Can,” however, it was her 2019 major-label debut “Blessed,” that helped skyrocket her organic rise from national sensation to an international star. The song featuring Grammy-nominated rapper Tyga also peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Reggae Digital Song Sales chart.
In 2020, this multifaceted singer locked down collaborations with Swae Lee, Young Thug, Masego, and many more. However, her 2020 collaboration with Tarrus Riley titled “Lighter” is arguably her biggest hit to date, having achieved the #1 chart position on the Reggae iTunes music chart. It was also the most played song in the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Antigua, and Barbados, and the music video has garnered over 59 million views and counting on YouTube.
Shenseea Is Ready to Take Over
Shenseea’s energized and relateable music has helped this rising dancehall artist garner over 4.7M loyal Instagram followers. Her success so far is a testament that hard work and tenacity pay off.
To say that Shenseea has been doing big things would be an understatement. Since signing with music label Interscope Records, Shenseea celebrated some major wins and has shown no signs of slowing down. Her debut single with the label soared on the Billboard charts, she became the first Jamaican dancehall artist to ever perform at the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami, and she also graced the stage for Hot97’s Summer Jam 2021, where she was noted to be the perfect addition of dancehall and Caribbean flavor to the hip-hop concert.
As 2021 wraps up, it's safe to say this has been Shenseea’s best year yet. Perhaps the biggest of her career accomplishments to date is being featured on Kanye West’s tenth studio album Donda. Not only did she make two appearances on the lengthy 27-track album, but she also garnered praise from Kanye West himself who believes that the two tracks titled “Pure Souls” and “Ok Ok pt 2” is only the beginning of an illustrious and promising crossover career for the rising artist.
Shenseea’s meteoric rise in the music industry is one success story that is full of inspiration and triumph. So, what’s next for this dancehall princess? Well, with the announcement that her debut album is done, the young mother and international dancehall star is hoping to show what she has to offer. She will introduce her millions of fans across the world to what she likes to call, “a mix of Shenseea”.