Dancehall Veteran Now Singing Gospel Music
Reggae artist Lady Saw has new name, a new sound and a new outlook on life.
The veteran dancehall performer announced late last year that she’d no longer be performing the raunchy songs that made her a household name in the reggae world, and instead would devote her life to the Lord.
“First of all, I didn’t enjoy it,” the singer told BOSSIP. “Every night after a show, most of the time I was on my knees asking God for forgiveness. As you know, I was very x-rated as an artist…I wasn’t happy about it, but I would laugh out there and put on a show.”
Now using her real name, Marion Hall, the singer is set to release a new album, “When God Speaks” and she said she is glad to be rid of her Lady Saw persona.
“I called this album ‘When God Speaks,’ because God has been speaking to me,” Hall said. “I’ve never felt this joy, this peace. He is my comforter and my shield.”
The album also tackles the physical and sexual abuse she endured growing up. A song on the new album, called “I Had Jesus,” is about a rape she suffered as a young girl.
Hall said she was always religious and grew up singing in a Seventh Day Adventist church in her home parish of St. Mary in Jamaica. She said she initially sang “clean songs” but switched to more explicit topics after watching her male peers.
Her spiritual journey began during a low point three years ago, when she discovered her partner of 18 years was having a baby with another woman. Gossip sites were in a frenzy over the infidelity, and she said rival female reggae artists also began publicly gunning for her spot as the Queen of Dancehall music. Hall said she began to talk to God and felt like she was getting answers back.
Hall said she was still performing as Lady Saw until last December, when she attended the funeral of another reggae artist. She said she heard God speaking to her again, and she was so overwhelmed that she ran out of the funeral.
“I thought, ‘how am I going to support my family?’ and I heard a voice say ‘church.’” Hall said. “I said ‘Lord, let me be Marion.’ I was so tired of Lady Saw.”
Hall said she wants to use some of the proceeds from “When God Speaks” to open a home for battered women and she is planning a gospel tour of her native Jamaica.
“For me to be standing here today, it’s God,” Hall said. “I’m here to tell my story to help other people and give them strength.”