From New York’s musty bashments to Kingston’s vigorous sessions, men have dominated dancehall for decades, despite the efforts of a bounty of gifted female deejays. But that doesn’t curb the unbridled enthusiasm of Stacious, a sultry, curvaceous deejay whose recent single with Mavado, “Come Into My Room,” is drawing out fans of both sexes. If anything, Stacious finds the gender inequity kind of funny. “The public is just quicker to embrace a new male artist than to give a female the time of day,” she says. “I welcome the challenge, I laugh at it, because I know that’s just how the game is.” With a big hit and long grind behind it, it’s not surprising she seems so easy being dancehall’s next queen.
When Stacious recently commandeered the stage at a video release party for Alliance deejay Flexxx, she was officially presented as the “First Lady of the Gully Squad,” Mavado’s otherwise all-male crew, a simultaneously potent yet pressure-filled position when considering the expectations. She assumed the position with authority, playfully soaking in the spotlight while spitting rapidfire rawness that affirmed her careful study of mentor Bounty Killer. On stage and on record, Stacious can be so deliciously explicit at times that you wonder if her ascent to stardom won’t be stunted by an aggressive flirtation with a licentious borderline. Even so, she seems in control of her image and decisions. Her recent coronation isn’t a one-hit reward: she’s edged her way persistently through the ranks since breaking out under producer Computer Paul in 2004, and Mavado has long recognized the vitality of her “gangstress” style. With a steady string of hit singles including the authoritative “Goodas Clap”—on which Stacious claims her most feminine attribute can subdue the unruliest dude—her reputation as a force to be reckoned with is reaching a boiling point.
Even under all this pressure, though, Stacious keeps her calm. Over the phone she is quick to squash any rumors of beef, keeping a steady tone as she responds in the way that only those comfortably in power can. “I can’t sit around and spend my precious time at war when I know a year from now, nobody is going to buy that song,” she says. “I have to put my effort into songs that uplift me as a woman, songs I know can sell and that people can relate to and love.”
On a recent stop during her Canadian tour with Mavado to promote “Come Into My Room,” Stacious shared the spotlight equally with the Gully God, combining her full-bodied swagger and breathy entreaties to wine her way around the stage, keeping the audience’s eyes dilated with arousal. “I’ve got people listening now, so it’s just for me to prove that I’m a good artist,” she says. “I can stand on my own two feet. Just because Mavado has done a song with me, that’s not the only thing you’ll be hearing from me. I have a lot more to prove.”
Stream: Mavado f. Stacious, "Come Into My Room"