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The Wonderful World Of Vanessa Bling

In a crazy world of Nickis and Cardis, there’s only one Vanessa Bling who shines as Jamaica’s hottest Reggae sensation with a culturally delicious blend of savory vocals, dazzling fashions and authentic island vibes that we soaked up during an exclusive tour of her native Kingston.

Born to win, Vanessa (Ms. Bling if ya nasty) exudes raw star power with a splash of humility and class that fueled our gorgeous journey through snaking mountain roads to her hometown of St. Andrews where we explored her perfectly imperfect world.

Rarely do major artists open up like Ms. Bling who took us to the jail that booked her, served us (and everyone else) delicious local eats at her go-to hangout spot and played us her new EP while singing along with her team. At times, it was almost surreal how hands-on and involved she was during the tour but not shocking at all for the caribbean’s next big star.

But everything wasn’t always golden for the international IT-girl who served jail time for conspiring to falsify evidence in connection with the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams allegedly bludgeoned to death by a group of men that included her former mentor Vybz Kartel.

In 2014, Kartel was sentenced to life in prison for murder in the infamous case that almost burned his star protege who fought to clear her name (and finally did) after months of hearings and appeals.

Fast forward to 2018 where a vindicated Vanessa Bling flourishes with the case in her rear view, a 50/50 deal with Rozina Negusei’s En-treeg Records/Outtaspace Entertainment and hit EP (Still Standing) that debuted in the Top 10 on the Reggae charts.

Booked and busy, the artist formerly known as Gaza Slim is ready for stardom and sat down with us for a refreshingly honest interview in a plush upstairs nook inside Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records restaurant in Kingston.

What can we expect from the rest of your 2018?

“My 2018 is looking superb. Basically, I’ve been working on my EP and my single which is about to release. It’s called “Still Standing”–the first single off it is called “10 Bags”

We heard you got cosigned by Cardi B? She gave you a shoutout on social media?

“Yes, the funny thing about it is Cardi B has always been a fan of Vanessa Bling from day 1 before she blew out the scene and always supported my music. The day she got engaged she was posing with her ring to my song–she’s always getting her makeup or hair–something done–listening to my songs and, yea, she’s dope”

What would you say to women about your experience, what you went through [when she served jail time in connection to the Vybz Kartel murder case]?

“All I can say is trust God… whatever you do, you have to put God first because without him we are nothing so no matter what the situation is as long as you put God first and trust him 100%–not 99 but 100-you will conquer the situation”

And that’s how you got through–6 months that you spent in prison–and the only thing that got you through was–

“God… his mercy”

Anything else other than that–people writing you, supporting you–your fans?

“Yes, I got a lot of love from my family, my aunt, my mom–they came to court every day. My mom never missed a day, the church members, the pastors, they prayed for me. I trusted God because I knew he would pull me through and I’m grateful”

Do you call your music Dancehall or is it Reggae or…?

“I’d say a little bit of everything… if you listen to the EP I have a little bit of everything”

What’s your favorite record on the EP? You had a big reaction to “Bad Mon”–did you write that with (super songwriter) Lyric?

“*laughs* yessss, when I met her I was like ‘YES, she’s dope–very very dope’–because I normally write my records myself but the energy was sooo right–she’s dope, DOPE. I think she’s one of the baddest”

You were just in Atlanta. What you do? Did you go to the strip club?

“The funny thing about it is that I’ve never been to strip clubs like those and they were shakin…

*laughs* what kind of strip clubs have you been to??

“…the girls were nekkid and one of the girls tried to give me a lap dance and I was “No-no-no-no-no stay right there, riiight there, no lapdance, I don’t do that stuff”

So, you’re conservative? Whaaat?

“*smiles coyly* Is that what you say? I been to a lot of clubs there, I like it, bottle poppin’ and all those excitements, I like it, it’s cool… when I’m not working I’m home sleeping because I’m really not 100% of a party girl–you’re not gonna see me here, here, here and everywhere, nah, if I’m not booked I really don’t go”

Let’s talk about your fashions… where do get your style from–it’s not too much but it’s still sexy and chic?

“To be honest, I’m coming from a Christian background… when I dress naked, I just feel uncomfortable because I’m not used to it. I’m used to covering up. Before I met my team and got to talk to them, I was like ‘please pleeeease pleaaaaase don’t make me naked, I don’t want to be naked, please'”

Do you see yourself working with different artists?

“I’m always open to work with people as long as the work is good. I just went to the studio the other day with Rotimi–it was fun, we came up with a great song so I’m open to work with anybody as long as the records sound good because I know what I’m capable of so I always try to do my best.

It doesn’t matter if the producer is an unknown producer or whatever as long as when I hear it and [the beat] catches my ears I’m ready to go as long as it’s not garbage because I don’t tolerate garbage”

What do you listen to that we listen to? What [American] songs do you like?

“The funny thing is I LOVE singers… my favorite artists in the world: Vybz Kartel, Beyonce, Chris Brown. I love Chris Brown. Vybz Kartel, my heart. Beyonce, yea…

To be honest, I listen to all types of genres. I listen to everything. A lil EDM, a lil Reggae, Dancehall, Pop, I listen to EVERYTHING, but, for me, singers–I love great singers”

We have this debate in the office all the time about cheap dates–what would you recommend the fellas to do if they’re broke but still want to date?

So, 2019–are we thinking a tour–your EP is about to drop–an album, maybe next year?

“Yes! #1 on Billboard, Grammy, BET, you name it, that’s the route I’m heading for”

What do you look at as the ultimate success in your career?

“For me, just working hard–putting out my best and doing what I love, which is music… yes, and just creating each day as I go to become a better individual”

For more Vanessa Bling, follow her journey to stardom here.


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