Rhea Layne is blazing her own trail. During the day she is in the courtroom. At night her wardrobe is a lot less staid as the 24-year-old singer/songwriter is in the studio belting out some new music.
First it was the release of the single Speakah produced by Adaeze, which features Jamaican artiste Anna Mariah. The song and the accompanying three-minute video were unapologetically West Indian. So it’s not hard to see why it resonated with thousands online. It’s aesthetically pleasing.
Next up were Puff Of Colour and Best Friend, which she said was a gift to her from the Noize Boyz. Both songs have also been well received.
“I declared that 2018 was the year for me to make my name; for people to see I am here and that I am passionate. I’m serving quality and delivering excellence. [Next year] is the year where I show I can do this consistently and by 2020 everybody should know Rhea Layne as a household name,” Layne declared.
Layne has writing credits on many songs, and this year she was instrumental in helping artiste Faith.
Rhea comes from a family of musicians – she thanked father Raymond Layne for introducing her to the now defunct Bacchanal Time Calypso Tent very early on.
It’s also no secret that she’s the younger sister of Shontelle Layne, whom she admires, and the niece of entertainer Kim Derrick.
She credits producer KB Sharp for her helping her make key connections, just after she started recording professionally a few years ago.
And during her time performing at the all-female showcase Honey Jam, Barbadians watched as she blossomed into a dynamic performer.
This, she said, is testament to her background with Dancin’ Africa, taking rehearsals seriously and looking to Beyoncé’s work ethic for inspiration.
Like many other artistes, the extremely opinionated former Harrison College student has a nine to five.
“I also have a passion for helping others, and I felt that this would have been a way for me to do that. There are a lot of people that need help, and that would otherwise suffer in a courtroom because they don’t know how to go about certain things,” she said.
Though this career can be taxing, the attorney has not allowed her work to stifle her creativity.
She spoke to EASY at Church Village Green in The City, moments after leaving the law firm where she works.
In fact, she said she wrote Best Friend two years ago while completing her studies at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad.
“You just have to take it one day at a time and do what you have to do. A lot of artistes in Barbados have day jobs because you can’t survive off of the music yet,” she said.
Though her music career is not currently where she wants it to be, Rhea said patience has been one of the most vital lessons she’s learnt.
“Sometimes you feel like you’re doing everything you’re supposed to do but nothing is happening. But it may be better that way because the slower you climb . . . by the time you reach the top, you would know virtually everything you need to know.
“As opposed to getting lucky with that one big song and then you have to learn everything on the go. In that time you would learn to do other things and better your skills. You will network and form relationships that will benefit you.
“So I think exercising patience and trusting the process is important,” she said. (TG)