Queen Ifrica opens up about her conversation with Lila Iké after she stunned the reggae/dancehall community last year by coming out as a LGBTQ. Ifrica also discussed the role of gatekeepers in the industry.
Always one to share what is on her mind regardless of any possible backlash or criticism, reggae warrior Queen Ifrica sat down on the ‘Xtra Fix’ podcast a few weeks ago and spoke to the misconception that lot of people have about her and other senior statesmen and women in the music industry.
Ifrica emphasized that while some may feel that their comments about young artistes are at times a result of hate or being jealousy, they are quite the opposite. She explained that they are attempting to offer guidance by being a sounding board for the genre’s newcomers in most cases. This is in hopes that they do not get lost but have support as they try to navigate an industry that can be both overwhelming and unforgiving if they are not careful or grounded.
Queen Ifrica shared that reggae singer Lila Iké had approached her some months ago and said that God told her that the “Daddy Don’t Touch Me There” entertainer would help her find her way in the industry, which was encouraging news for Ifrica. She then told the young singer that she was blessed with the awesome responsibility to now use her musical platform to motivate young girls and let them know that it is entirely possible for them to overcome their past trauma and hurt and rise like the phoenix out of the ashes, stronger on the other side.
“So she said ‘what if I wanted to have it both ways’ and I said you can’t have it both ways when you are trying to get to a solution,” she said while relaying her conversation with Lila Iké. “I used her example because of what is happening in the space and for people to understand that we don’t just talk things just to say it, but because we really are concerned about our industry, and all of us are industry players. You can never have an industry that doesn’t expand and have newcomers but you also have gatekeepers and overseers. Those are the ones that we saw when we were coming up, who we listened to and respected, and who we stood on their shoulders and we never tried to step out of that. So from dancehall to reggae or whatever genre of music there is, Queen Ifrica and Tony Rebel counseled our fellow artistes on how to do things right in this industry.”
Queen Ifrica, whose real name is Ventrice Morgan, is the daughter of Reggae legend Derrick Morgan. The 46-year-old musician who hails from Montego Bay said that she has no beef with any artiste but felt compelled to talk her truth. In 2020 she said, she was on tour but made time to talk to Chronixx by phone for over five hours as she ‘reasoned’ with him to be a part of a project that was meaningful and beneficial, not to anyone’s pocket but to the sustainability of Jamaica as it had to do with preserving the sanctity of the protected areas of the Cockpit Country.
Not every artiste will listen or take the advice she added, but you still have to reach out and try to create a bridge. “If artiste can be free and truthful and tell the public the truth that reggae artiste elders don’t just stand aside and criticize the young ones that come along but really do reach out. It is about us being human but for many, it is about what feels good for them at that moment. But everything we do comes with a price and at some point as we have to give an account for the decisions that we stick to.”
When asked if Lila had confided in her about her sexuality, Ifrica chose to plead the fifth and said that although she has on occasion’ bun fire’ on those who came out as homosexuals in the industry, she will wait on Lila to respond before saying anything more on that matter.