From the outside looking in, 2020 ought to have been the biggest year in Sasique’s career.
Her Move contribution on Rekit Ralf Music’s popular Pink Riddim kept her name in the media due to the project’s heavy promotion.
Plot twist? Sasique almost walked away from music last year – a story which unfolds with obeah, bizarre coincidences, and a visit to a pastor.
Sasique, whose given name is Markella Allen, has been preparing herself for a music career since she was eight.
Her passion led her to compete in the now shelved Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall show in 2012, which gave her some visibility. She followed up with releases like Ghetto People Summer but her spotlight eventually faded.
“People used to gravitate to me and then all of a sudden it just go right down,” she told BUZZ. “At one point people used to seh to me, ‘Sasique, how yuh have so much bad song and dem nah go nuh weh?’… They used to say to me, ‘Sasique, yuh sure nobody nah work pon yuh?’ cause yuh know how Jamaicans stay.”
She dismissed the thought based on her Christian beliefs until a series of misfortunes occured.
Sasique recalled her songs consistently being intercepted at parties by police, her PR team having little luck with landing press coverage, and people showing no interest in participating in her video competitions.
Feeding the obeah narrative was a nasty argument with her sister in 2013 which ended with a promise from the sibling to stifle the growth of Sasique’s career.
With the mounting closed doors and unwanted advances from producers, she decided to launch her own record label, Rude Gyal Music, and released the all-female medley on Love Whine Riddim in 2017. The project yielded Shauna Controlla’s hit Dreamland and had other contributions from artists like Pamputtae, Sheba and Sim Sim. But the venture wasn’t without its dark clouds. Sasique was fired from her nine-to-five job as soon as the rhythm premiered.
“When I realised 2020 was getting really bad, I said mi cya go over into 2021 with this, mi haffi get help,” she said. “I went to church and spoke with the pastor and she prayed for me and gave me olive oil and seh mi must pray cause at one point mi give up on God. God says Him help those that help themselves… I help myself, I go out there. I do so much work with my career, mi run wid it till mi tired. Mi have good songs so there’s no way nobody shouldn’t a look.”
The pastor encouraged her to get baptised, but Sasique has opted to fast until she is called by God.
“Mi nuh believe inna di obeah ting and mi nuh believe nuh obeah man must get my money. Mi just feel like my blessing must come from God cause when your blessing come from God yuh reign better and yuh reign longer.”
She said fasting, praying and a supportive circle have helped her to stick around in music.
“I really love music. It come in like music have a magnet to me. I’ve made attempts a lot of times to throw in the towel but each time I throw in the towel mi come up with a bad song so it just keeps on going and going.”
Her latest release Lend Him It is creating a local buzz, but Sasique is eyeing the international market.
“I’ve always wanted to be that first Jamaican (female) artist to go international like how yuh have a Rihanna, yuh have a Nicki Minaj,” she said optimistically. “We all know that Lady Saw did go international but it wasn’t like that of a Rihanna or a Nicki Minaj, so I wanted to be that first female and it nuh happen because of whatever setback but I still want to work to reach to that platform.”