music / Dancehall

Meet Shenseea, the real-life dancehall hero who goes hard for her family

A new mini-doc from FADER and Alpha Industries explores how her mother, son and Kingston community motivate the rising star to succeed without ever compromising.

December 12, 2017

"I'm a really rough child. I grew up like that. I didn't grow up like a princess," says Shenseea, speaking from her home in Kingston. "And I don't mind at all, because I love the person who I am today. It's more real."

Since earning herself a prime position on the playlists of Jamaica's dancehalls with last year's Loodi, Shenseea's unfiltered confidence quickly set her apart from the crowd — she’s since jumped on tracks with artists ranging from Yxng Bane to Sean Paul. Now, in a new episode of Foundation, a mini-doc series from FADER and Alpha Industries, we see that behind Shenseea's down-to-earth realness lies a distinct determination to succeed, born from the example set by her mother and her community. It's a example she now sets for her own son.


“My mom wasn’t around me the majority of the time growing up. She did a lot of living jobs. But she set some standards in me that I will never forget," says Shenseea, expressing a theme that remains consistent as the film cuts between leafy Kingston streets, studio sessions, and an oceanside family dinner. "Being the fact that I'm self employed, I always have to go really really hard because I'm always thinking of my son."


"I have to get out there and provide, because if I don't do it, ain't nobody else going to do it."

Watch the full documentary above, and watch FADER and Alpha Industries' documentary with G Perico here.

Director: Rob Semmer
Producers: Frances Capell, Carleene Samuels
Executive Producers: Rob Stone, Jon Cohen, Andy Cohn, Anthony Holland
Director of Photography: Scott Perry
Assistant Camera: Rand Francis
Sound Recordist: Sheldon Turbull
Production Assistant: Jade Brown
Driver: Albert Francis
Production Manager: Madison LaClair
Editor: Andrew Sales
Titles: Madison Bullard
Color: Andrew Sales
Sound Mix: Jake Viator at Stones Throw Studios

Meet Shenseea, the real-life dancehall hero who goes hard for her family