Raised in tough conditions in Jamaica and the United Kingdom, singjay Tina B says resilience has always been her strong point. It's a trait she credits for taking her through personal challenges.
The London-based artiste reflects on tough times but gives thanks for sunny days on Struggle, her song which was released in April by AOC Records. It recalls her youth playing “marbles and dandy shandy” in the Mannings Hill Road area of Kingston, where Tina B lived until she was nine years old.
“The inspiration came from how I felt about my life and what I was going through. All of the song is autobiographical,” she said.
Born Tina Hall, Tina B migrated to the United Kingdom in 1999 and settled with her family in Shepherd's Bush, west London, a region with a diverse populace. Things were tough there as well, but in Struggle she reflects on overcoming obstacles to launch a recording career 11 years ago and raise two children.
It is a story Tina B says many Jamaicans who move abroad for a better life can relate to.
She spent her pre-teen years in the Gully Bank area of Mannings Hill Road which has an outstanding sound system history. It has also produced several dancehall artistes, most notably Mavado.
Though Lady Saw and Sizzla are among her favourite artistes, Tina B is not drawn to a particular sound.