Neelah experiences highs and lows on début tour

April 29, 2022
Up-and-coming dancehall act Neelah is cautious as she steps out into the safari to take a snap with an elephant.
Up-and-coming dancehall act Neelah is cautious as she steps out into the safari to take a snap with an elephant.

Up-and-coming dancehall singjay Neelah got her first taste of the tour life earlier this month and admits that it was not her best experience.

After leaving Jamaica with a clean bill of health on March 28, she arrived in Zimbabwe on March 30 feeling out of sorts.

"I was extremely happy to go to Zimbabwe because I have never travelled that far before. Unfortunately, I ended up getting sick. I was dizzy, I had headaches, fever on one of the days, and I couldn't sit still or stand without feeling nauseous," Neelah told THE WEEKEND STAR. "It wasn't a virus or anything. According to the doctors that saw me, my body was dehydrated and needed to adjust to the travelling. They were very loving and had about seven persons tending to me. After a night of rest, I felt much better. I bounced back and was ready to take on anything."

The Caution artiste expressed relief that she was able to perform at the JamAfro Festival in Harare, which featured Zimdancehall star Freeman HKD and popular South African singer Makhadzi. Neelah has recorded a track with Freeman HKD but, due to time constraints, never performed with him at the show. They were also unable to shoot the video on her short trip.

"These are some great acts but they don't get the credit they deserve for their work. The reactions from the people when they hear Jamaica is superb ... they immediately started to ask me about Beenie Man and Alaine, and talking about Bob Marley's music," she said.

Neelah admitted that she had mixed feelings about the entire experience because of the promoters, who she felt were "not the most professional".

"I'd want to go back but under different circumstances. Overall, it felt like home with bigger buildings. I was also supposed to go to South Africa for some other events, but that never worked out. At least I was able to do a safari tour, see some of the sights and engage the others artistes on the show," Neelah continued.

The artiste said that while 2021 might have been her breakthrough year, 2022 is already looking like the year to make major moves. She is still promoting her EP Ready and is buoyed by the reaction of foreigners to songs like Come Ova, Caution and Rewind, which was especially well received.

"I want to do more singles that inspire that reaction. My ultimate goal is to do Jamaican music that make people happy and I want to be internationally acclaimed doing that type of music. I don't want to change my sound," Neelah said.

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