Ms. Thing: New Sensation

It’s been some time since Americans have given major radio support to a female Dancehall or Reggae star. Ms. Thing began her Jamaican invasion by ripping the hook for Beenie Man’s massive hit, “Dude”. Now she offers up her solo debut, Miss Jamaica, to the world. The record sports production from legendary Reggae producer Dave Kelly, with guest shots from Vybz Kartel and of course, Beenie Man.

Less than a week after giving birth to a new son, the teenage star told Alternatives how she has been dealing with the family and career changes in her young life. See how hard this songstress will push herself in the pursuit to stay in your stereo. Alternatives: Hey Ms. Thing. Congratulations on your new child.

Ms. Thing: Thank you!

AHHA: This is your first album. You didn’t tread lightly with the Miss Jamaica title. Do you think that some of your more experienced peers might take offense?

Ms. Thing: No, [laughing]. Well actually, I don’t know, and I don’t really care about them because they can name me whatever they want to name me. If they said anything about it, I wouldn’t care. But so far, it looks like they’re lovin’ it!

AHHA: That’s what’s up. Do you think that ‘Dude’ and the response to the catchy hook made your album possible? Or were you already working before that?

Ms. Thing: No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t until after I started doing songs with Beenie that they decided to push an album on the market.

AHHA: You had some top-notch producers come in on this. For a new talent like yourself, what artistically do you think attracted them to your project?

Ms. Thing: Yeah, yeah. Well, I’ve been workin’ with Dave [Kelly] for the past year now. I was workin’ with him since before he even started sayin’ he was going to work on the album. He knew the energy that I have. He knew I was a great entertainer. Yes, that’s why. A lot of the other producers who are on it too, they had [already] worked with me before the album.

AHHA: How were you working with them without an album out?

Ms. Thing: Well ya know in Jamaica, people put out riddims [often]. I was recording a lot of [those] before the album. People loved the songs that I put out. So when the producers in Jamaica put out their riddims, they’d call me to get on the [track .]

AHHA: After such a massive showing with Beenie, how do you take your smaller response of your own work, particularly here in the States? And how is it different in Jamaica?

Ms. Thing: The currency in the U.S. is [worth] more than the Jamaican [dollar], so [the US sales are very important to me]. Reggae is taking over, so it’s a good time for the album in America to help get Reggae noticed more.

AHHA: And your pleased with the current response?

Ms. Thing: Yeah. I was the one who decided for it to be released over there.

AHHA: How do you plan on juggling a new career and a brand new baby?

Ms. Thing: Well, right now, we won’t know til’ the right time comes for me to go back on the road and do some work. I’m going to try to balance it. It’s going to be difficult - but I’m going to try to work with it. There’s all kinds of people out there waiting to hear another thing from Miss Thing. I don’t know how, but I will try to balance it.

AHHA: Beenie was a big launching point for you. You have him on your record with, ‘Ms. Thing & The Doctor’, do you foresee continuing your working relationship?

Ms. Thing: Of course! [laughing] Sure. Yeah. I haven’t forgot where I’ve been comin’ from. So I’ve always record, always do shows with him.

AHHA: My favorite track on the record is the last, ‘Sweet Soca Music’. I like the Dub style on there. Because you’re using a very recognizable American and European Pop sample there, was that intended to be your big song for the clubs for crossover?

Ms. Thing: I mean, there’s already the single out now [‘Hot’]. But I like that track, so does [my audience].

AHHA: Do you have a video in the works for ‘Hot’?

Ms. Thing: Well actually, I’ve done a video - but the directing work was real suspect. We just didn’t like it, so I had to scrap that one thing. But I’m going to work on [doing] one more.

AHHA: Same song?

Ms. Thing: Well actually, it’s a song with me and a big new artist, Vybz Kartel, and it’s called ‘It Haffi Good’.

AHHA: You’ve really got your hands full right now, but is there anything big in the works for the near future?

Ms. Thing: No, not really. My main thing is just the album out now, and my new baby [laughing]. I’m supposed to be having a tour in Europe in March, April, around that time.

AHHA: Just in Europe, or in the States too?

Ms. Thing: Just Europe at this time. Hopefully the States [soon after].

AHHA: Well, we’ll let you relax some with your baby. Congratulations one more time.

Ms. Thing: Thank you very much.