Shem King, a budding Vincentian soca artiste from Long Piece, says he has always had a love for music since he was a child.
“My love for soca music has grown because the songs I listened to back then helped inspire me and my music career”.
Shem told the St. Vincent Times that at 4 feet 4 inches, his time at North Union School was one of trial.
“There were those who made fun of my height and those who rallied around my cause.” “This image has never really hidden the fact that I am a natural entertainer, so sometimes I will gather with my most loyal friends and sing to the beats produced from hands knocking on a table.”
Fast forward to 2016, when Shem graduated from North Union Secondary School. It was time for him to face the world.
“I didn’t go to college because I lack the financial support to do so. As a result of this, I then sought employment. Nine out of ten times I was not successful, and most of the jobs I got to do were temporary. I became a member of the South Central Windward singing group, and since then I have been looking to create music”.
“I would link up with producers online and sing to their instrumentals and post them on YouTube just to see what the audience liked, and as usual, there were those who supported and those who didn’t.” “I have had instances where some other people who bullied me back in school saw it fit to post my songs, saying that I should stop singing music.”
Shem said instead of giving constructive criticism, they gave negative reviews, but he still pursued his dreams, ignoring the fight.
“Music is not only a hobby for me, but it’s something I turn to in times of pain and stress. Due to my height, I am a constant target and victim of bullying on all levels. My dream is to turn my long passion into a living”.
“Last year I started recording with Freedom Studio, and I was able to get a development contract with the Arizona Independent Record Label.” “With them, I’ve learned a great deal, and each day I keep learning and improving my skills, for I am not perfect and still have room for improvement.”
For the 2023 Carnival, Shem will be releasing several songs and is asking the public to support him by subscribing, viewing, following, and leaving constructive comments on any of his songs.
“In other words, go out and support my music, for it goes a long way. This is important to me because I want to bring great entertainment to those who wish to enjoy soca music. My love for soca music has kept me out of crime and violence”.
YouTube page “Shem King,” where you can listen to his new release “Shem King Shake It Down,” or you can follow him on Instagram @_shem_King or Facebook.
Ernesto is a senior journalist with the St. Vincent Times. Having worked in the media for 16 years, he focuses on local and international issues. He has written for the New York Times and reported for the BBC during the La Soufriere eruptions of 2021.