“Yuh mek mistakes, but mi cyaa mek none/ Yuh waah be a gyallis, but yuh cyaa tek bun/ Yuh diss me, and yuh cyaa tek diss…/ So yuh prefer mek a Meadowrest trip.”
Singer Shavun chronicles the voice of women enduring domestic violence in her recent cover of Maroon 5’s Memories, an ode to women who have been murdered by their partners and a toast to the women who have survived domestic abuse.
The song, which premiered on her social media pages this week, resonates with the perennial issue of domestic violence which continues to plague Jamaica, less than three weeks into the new year.
Burst into tears
Twenty-six-year-old Nevia Sinclair is the latest victim of such a crime, having been murdered in her sleep allegedly by her estranged boyfriend in St Elizabeth on Sunday.
Shavun, also 26, recalled bursting into tears upon seeing the reports of Sinclair’s death, which ultimately inspired the personalised song.
“I had written a cover for Memories before, but it wasn’t so specific to domestic violence. I had planned to release it, but when I saw what was going on and watched the news, I broke down in tears and my husband said you should do something since you’re feeling this way about it,” Shavun told BUZZ.
“I decided to write the song so people can be made aware and kinda put what these persons might have been feeling in words, cause they are not alive now to tell the tale, but I’m sure that this is a close reflection of what they would have been experiencing leading up to what happened to them. She’s my age; it could have happened to anyone of us really. It’s just that we’re fortunate enough not to be in the position that they were in.”
Sinclair’s murder came hours after a murder-suicide in Greater Portmore, St Catherine, where Jamaica Defence Force Corporal Doran McKenzie murdered his spouse, Suianne Easy, before ending his own life. The case is a chilling reminder of correctional officer Patrick Gowans, who used a firearm to murder his estranged wife, Rouleene, before turning the gun on himself in 2019. The previous year was no less gruesome, with police data revealing that domestic disputes bore a huge percentage of the 1,287 murders recorded in 2018.
Followers have been commending Shavun for being a voice for the voiceless, and she aspires to stimulate social changes through her music.
“My goal is to make life-changing music that leaves people feeling empowered, so my upcoming releases will be geared towards uplifting people and infiltrating the positivity in the dancehall, Jamaica and internationally,” she said. “I’ll be releasing Memories as a single soon, and I believe a lot of opportunities will come out of this because people like to work with positive people, so I’m anticipating more moves for this year. I’m happy that this was a very timely message and one that could allow people to see what I have to offer and say.”
Love and light
Given name Shavonne Bailey Leckie, the St Catherine native has a longstanding history in recording and performing, releasing solo projects, being a background vocalist and working with the Aksent band.
Though she is a Christian, she has spent the past few years rebranding and is not preoccupied with labels.
“I don’t want my music to appeal to just one type of person, so even though I am a Christian, I think there are so many people in the world that need this positivity that I have and this love and light,” she said. “It’s not even about a label, it’s about doing what I think the world needs right now.”