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

“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 an 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.”

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

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