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Sammi’s all for change

Deirdre Gittens

Sammi’s all for change

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With a new name, perspective and outlook on life, SammiJane thinks it’s definitely a Time For Change, and this is exactly what she will do with the launch of her very first album.
Born in England and known by her birth name Samantha Clarke; SammiJane believes that apart from being a gospel singer, her album is different because other gospel albums have one genre while hers features calypso, soca, reggae, hip hop, and R&B.
As the album name suggests, not only does SammiJane hope to bring about change, but she herself has changed. Her name is no longer two words but joined as one.
“I always liked one name actually, I always used to look at it and think I don’t really like that, so I said whenever I did an album I would make the change.”
In addition to this, as a result of some life changing experiences last year her personal life and outlook has changed and she hopes that with her album it will encourage others to do the same as well.
“I would really like to go and advocate against child abuse and sexual abuse, I just think it’s time we start changing, we can’t wait for the Government or church to change us.”
SammiJane describes her album as a way for her to “speak out in song about how I really feel about what’s happening in society and how as Christians we need to rise up and really do what God said we should do in this world”.
One of the sole purposes of this album is to inspire the youth to change their negative behaviour. This can be heard in the music, the rhythm and the lyrics which speak about things seen every day. Such as murders and the fact that “too many of our children are dying for nothing; no reason and over nonsense”.
“Some of the songs are saying that we have to rise up against these things to make Barbados a society that we want it to be because we hear so often that the young people have no hope and I’m here to say that’s not true, we have a lot.”
Although the concept and details for the album took three months, all 12 tracks, ten of which were written by Sherwin Gardner, were recorded within the three days that he was in the island which she, explained can be “very taxing on the voice”.
Two of the tracks, however, were written by SammiJane herself: How Dare Yuh? and I’ll Never Forget. The former addresses a situation she faced as a young child when she decided to become a Christian and give herself to God.
SammiJane explained that one of the major challenges she faced was money to fund the album. But, after great consideration and a word of advice from a friend, who asked, “Will you always be able to fulfil this dream?” she used her savings to produce the album.
With this album, she not only expects a good response from the public, but the invitation to perform at many local events such as Cohhobblopot, as well as regional events.
As a gospel artiste, many may question why SammiJane would want to perform at events other than crusades, and gospel conventions which may have “rowdy” or secular music. But SammiJane believes that she is a minister for God, and that she is his vehicle.
“I have to go where the people are, and it’s not always, it’s one of the hardest things to do because I know I am a minority but at the same time there’s one person out there who needs to hear the message of Jesus Christ.”
After Crop Over, SammiJane wishes to tour the Caribbean, as well as go into the schools in Barbados and perform because she believes that “the children are the future” and they are “swamped with a lot of negative music which is expressed in the classroom”. She would also like to return to her homeland, England and perform.
The album launch, which will take place tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Divi Southwinds, will feature not only performances from SammiJane herself but also from Ria Symore, Joy Ann Harper, Black Eagle and a few others.