Born Anna-Sharé Blake in Jamaica’s parish of Westmoreland, Sevana coined her nameafter Savannah-La-Mar, the picturesque coastal town where she grew up. Her musical awakening began at eight years old over a hearty Sunday morning breakfast, when shebroke out in an impromptu rendition of Celine Dion’s “A New Day” for her family. She hascome a long way since this epiphany at such an early age to now fulfilling her passions to the fullest.
The 28-year-old singer, who is also an actress and model, is a quintessential triple threat of talent. Her burgeoning abilities are now backed by reggae star Protoje’s management and label company In.Digg.Nation Collective. Sevana recently signed with Six Course/RCARecords as part of In.Digg.Nation’s partnership to release her major label debut. Hailing from Jamaica gives any artist a certain legitimacy, but it also brings certain expectations—ones which Sevana lives up to and exceeds. While reflecting the island’s musical sensibilities in some ways, her vocals are strongly influenced by modern R&B, evoking such soul queens as Beyoncé, Jazmine Sullivan and Adele. Although Sevana got her musical break in 2008 with the girl group SLR, placing third place on Digicel Rising Stars (Jamaica’s equivalent of American Idol), it was not until years later that her career came into focus. In 2014, she impacted the chorus of “Sudden Flight” from Protoje’s album Ancient Future. She made regular live appearances alongsideProtoje and his band Indiggnation. Instantly comfortable, confident and engaging in live performances, she flourished on stage. In July 2015, she joined the Ancient Future Tour across Europe where she got her first taste of life on the road.
Her debute is certainly a breath of fresh air. Sevana releases Be Somebody, her new EP, via this year’s landmark record label partnership between In.Digg.Nation Collective and RCA Records, facilitated through Six Course Records. The singer-songwriter also reveals the video for “Mango,” the flirtatious tune showcasing Sevana flowing in her sultry Jamaican accent over a minimal J.L.L.-produced backdrop of airy synths and tickling guitar notes. Yoram Savion and Sevana direct the colorful visual, fresh off his creative contribution to Sevana’s previous video, “If You Only Knew.”
“I wrote mango to pay tribute to one of my favorite fruits, the Julie mango; celebrating the excitement you feel when someone gives you a likkle buzz. It’s meant to be light-hearted and lift your spirits much like eating a Jamaican mango does,” Sevana shares about her latest reveal.
Be Somebody, is the next chapter in Sevana’s song book. This latest release consists of all-new tracks that peel off Sevana’s layers in a metamorphosis of self, reflecting on personal growth, love and relationships.
“For the EP, I wanted to add songs that covered various thoughts. When I’m spilling over with feelings I write; when I’m happy I sing; when I’m frustrated I dance to it. It’s the first time I’ve worked with producers who were so open to my direction as far as sounds and instrumentation. I did every harmony and ad-lib arrangement myself. My music finally feels like me,” the singer professes.
The EP’s title track sets an aspirational tone of Sevana becoming an individual and reaching one’s full potential despite overwhelming feelings of doubt amidst the pressures of the world. “Let me be greater than this,” Sevana wails with intensity. On “Phone A Friend,” Sevana belts out a distress call expressing discontent in tough situations, while J Vibe’s synth chords mimic the sound of a touch-tone phone. One of the album’s crown jewels is “Set Me On Fire,” produced by Protoje, J.L.L. and Paris La Mont Dennis II. It is a tale of revenge in a relationship where she turns her tragedy into triumph. Sevana’s benediction of how far her love and loyalty would travel on the EP’s first single “If You Only Knew” is even more contagious sung in her falsetto. Kelsey Gonzalez, producer and guitarist for The Free Nationals band is at the helm of this track.