One of Jamaica’s most popular competition talent shows, the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall has returned to the television airwaves in Jamaica this January as they have launched their sixth season. This show can arguably be compared to the US competition talent shows ‘American Idol’ or ‘X-Factor’ with the interesting competitors, passionate and controversial judges and fashionable hosts .
Magnum Kings and Queens host Yanique Barrett affectionately known as ‘Curvaceous Yanique’ has returned once again for her third season as the show’s fierce and fashionable host. Yanique is a rising designer in her own right and may even be showcasing more of her designs this season. Not only does she host MKQ she also co-hosts FAME FM’s E-Blaze, one of the hottest radio shows in Jamaica.
We recently interviewed Yanique to talk about her fashion style, sexism in the reggae music industry and whats her next big move. Check out the interview.
What is your background in terms of the Jamaican entertainment industry and how did you get your start in this industry?
My first experience in the entertainment industry came from recording a single for one of the most successful music producers in Jamaica, Danger Zone, after which, I hosted, ‘In the Dance’, my first official television hosting job, then Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall which segueing into radio presenting on FAME FM.
How did you land this dream job with Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall?
I was contacted by Alykhat PR and was called to a private audition and was confirmed 10 minutes after my audition.
Your fashion sense on the show is wicked to say the least. Where does your fashion sense stem from? What would you call your fashion style? Do you maintain this style off stage? Are your clothes custom made for you and if so who is your designer?
Thank you for that compliment, as a child growing up, I had a passion for dressing up and being very girly. This inherent love for fashion blossomed as I grew older and manifested itself in my everyday style. My style, I believe is very eclectic, contemporary and street chic and yes I do represent this style everyday, as I am a strong believer of consistently representing and building my ‘brand’ . My clothes are mainly sourced from ”Retail Therapy’ store, located in Kingston, which carries my personal designs.
What do you think about some of the contestants such as Movac, Glamity, Sassy Silva and Jah Buks?
This season on Magnum King’s & Queens of Dancehall has really set the bar much higher for contestants in the future. I find that the lyrics consists of more substance and speaks more to current social issues affecting our country. The sound of each contestant, their breath control and stage presence has gotten better than previous years, therefore, it is safe to say that MK&Q of Dancehall has a bright future.
Do you feel that sexism in the male dominated reggae music industry has impacted your career? If so how?
As with any industry there are prejudices and qualms, but as an individual, one must be focused and strive to attain success despite all obstacles. As Kelley Clarkson song ‘Stronger’ states ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller’, therefore, though the problem of sexism exists in the industry, my belief is to rise above all negativity.
Who is your favorite Caribbean artist and why?
Beenie man, simply because, he sings for the ladies.
What is your favorite Caribbean island to visit and why?
St. Maarten because, it reminds me of the beautiful beaches on my island, Jamaica.
What’s next for Diva Yanique?
My hope is to build my ‘Brand’ and to transcend same across all segments of the industry both in local and international markets.
Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall Show airs on TVJ 9:30pm Saturdays in Jamaica. But don’t worry,US stateside fans, you can watch online LIVE at www.televisionjamaica.com/LiveTV.aspx