From the Jamaica Oberver:
Timeka Marshall Fighting for a place in the biz
Andre Marriott-blakeTuesday, March 04, 2008
"Beautiful, sassy and talented are but a few words which describe 19-year-old Guyanese singer, Timeka Marshall (TM). With a career augmented from a winning entrance to a local telecommunications company's jingle competition back in 2006, this talented beauty seems destined for greatness.
It was that talent competition which acted as the springboard for recording her first R&B single We Should Separate, which was released and quickly followed by the music video. Produced by Muzikmedia and shot on location in Jamaica, both the track and the video gained popularity on the Caribbean music scene and held their own in heavy rotation on radio and television stations across the region. However, there was much more to Timeka's talents than what meets the eye.
After performing We Should Separate on the Guyanese entertainment circuit to appreciative audiences, Timeka was keen to cultivate her songwriting talents and attended the Barbados Music seminar and Showcase in February 2007. There she blew regional and international music executives away with her obvious talent and enticing sensuality. With just one performance of the gritty dancehall track Nothing At All, Timeka was immediately signed to a developmental deal which would see her working with some of Jamaica's top producers. TEENage, the only place where Every TEEN Matters, could not miss the opportunity to talk to this talented beauty geared for international stardom. Timeka on early life
TEENage: At what age did you start singing?
TM: (smiles) I actually started singing from I was five years old, but I was really shy so hardly anyone knew about my talent. I use to sing in the bathroom though and in the privacy of my room. I, however, started to sing professionally just a year ago.
TEENage: Where were you born and where did you grow up?
TM: I was born in Linden Guyana where I grew up until I was 10 years old, after which I moved to the capital, Georgetown in search of better schooling and way of life.
Timeka on her big break
TEENage: Did you ever think that your entrance into the jingle competition would have spring-boarded your career to the level that it is today?
TM: NO. In fact, I didn't even enter myself, a teacher from my high school showed me the entrance form and we did it together. We worked on a jingle and I really did not expect much; then I made the top 10, followed by top five and at that point I said to myself "hey maybe I can win this thing"(laughs) and it just so happened that I won. I never imagined the success that would come with it.
Timeka on her career
TEENage: What projects are you currently working on?
TM: Since I've been here I've been working with producers like Stephen McGregor, Jeremy Hording, Leftside, and others, and I've been doing some promotions too. I will be performing at the Smile Jamaica - Africa Unite concert on Saturday (last Saturday) and I'm looking forward to doing some more shows.
TEENage: Who/what inspires you to pursue your dreams?
TM: Hhmm. Growing up I always listened to Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston and I always wanted to be like them. It was a dream of mine. My manager, Kerwin Bollers is also a driving force in my success.
TEENage: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
TM: Five years from now I see myself signed to a major record label. (Laughs) Touring, travelling, and most importantly inspiring people across the world to follow their hearts and never give up on their dreams (Smiles).
TEENage: What has been the most rewarding experience of stardom thus far?
TM: I wouldn't say I've reached stardom just yet, I hope I reach there soon though (laughs). I am most grateful for the link with Headline Entertainment, for it has caused me to work with these fabulous producers.
TEENage: How would you describe your music?
TM: Versatile (smiles). Growing up I listened to everything, ranging from soca to reggae to oldies to hip hop, and I try to incorporate it all in my music. I would say though, for the most part, my music is a fusion of pop and dancehall; a unique mix of Caribbean vibes with international appeal.
TEENage: What are some of the difficulties you face trying to break out into the music industry?
TM: (sighs) Being young and inexperienced in the industry has its setbacks. Being a female in the industry is also sometimes difficult as males are taken more seriously. For me, however, so far there haven't been too many negatives.
TEENage: What local/international artistes do you wish to collaborate with?
TM: On the local scene, I would love to collaborate with artistes like Busy Signal, Sean Paul, and Lady Saw. Internationally, I would love to collaborate with 'fantabulous' artistes like Michael Jackson - I just think he is an excellent performer.
TEENage: You recently visited schools in Guyana where you spoke about the HIV/AIDS epidemic. How rewarding did you find this experience?
TM: It was great, I was actually promoting Frito-Lay snacks at various schools, while doing so I thought it was necessary to inform and educate the students about HIV/AIDS and also the importance of staying away from drugs. It was a great experience.
TEENage: How do you balance your personal life with your music career?
TM: It hasn't been such a problem so far as my personal life is my music; my friends are involved in everything I do. I have been pretty good at entwining the two so far.
TEENage: Is this your first time in Jamaica? If yes, how has the experience been?
TM: No, I have been here five times. Jamaica is like my second home. I love Jamaica, I'm glad I will be here for a few months. The nightlife is excellent (laughs), I love the Bembe, the Passa Passa and I'm a big Quad Fan. I'm hoping to move here soon.
TEENage: When you hear a song from Timeka, how are people supposed to feel? How do you want people to remember Timeka?
TM: I want to be remembered as someone with a strong voice with something important to say, I am definitely like everyone else, sassy, sexy and independent and not to be messed with ( laughs).
With such a conviction, there is no doubt that we can expect great things from this talented Caribbean beauty. It's barely been a year since winning that jingle competition, yet Timeka Marshall has accomplished more in that short time than she could have imagined. And I have a gut feeling that the best is yet to come."