Dancehall singjay Macka Diamond has been blazing up stages for more than 30 years, no doubt contributing to her engaging ease as a performer.
Interestingly, the Dye Dye hitmaker has spent most of her career battling performance anxiety, which she revealed in an interview with Tempo Networks on Wednesday.
“I’m not gonna lie, it has been three to four years since I got over that – I had it all my life,” the 52-year-old said. “I used to have shows, and (let’s say) I have Sumfest coming in the next six months, I’m nervous in the six months.”
Recurring angst centered around the unpredictable nature of an audience, and her forerunner on any lineup.
“You don’t know what to expect cause remember seh Jamaica crowd a di rough crowd enuh; a the crowd weh everybody ‘fraid of all over the world, so, yuh have to put out your best. And, if yuh nah seh weh dem waan fi hear or dem just have a bad mood dah time deh, a nuh your night, but you want it to be your night once you face them, so, you get a little nervous.”
She continued, “Sometimes it depends on who perform before you cause sometimes someone go on before you and the place is tearing apart and you’re like, oh my God.”
For these reasons, it was hard for the money-manifesting artist to give advice to newcomers on ways to beat performance jitters, but she did highlight the importance of a positive mindset.
The Walmart ambassador has been performing for more intimate crowds over the last three years due to the nuances of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving her the opportunity to mix and mingle with fans, kick her shoes off, and discover a new level of comfort on stage.
She’s bringing her newfound cool to Sting on December 26 at Jamworld in Portmore, St. Catherine. Macka is no stranger to the ‘Greatest One-Night Reggae & Dancehall Show on Earth’, and expressed excitement about connecting with fans.
“The only thing I’m gonna do is do my best, and me and the audience is gonna have fun,” she said. “Even now, I’m looking at my outfit and I’m like oh, I need a next one, I need a back up, I want to change it. It’s confusing a bit and I just spoke with my dancers and, you know, it’s overwhelming, but I’m gonna try to stay calm because I’m a little excited too and I just want to look my best.”
Her pre-performance ritual includes breathing exercises and ingesting well-wishing affirmations.
“Mi get two of the people dem weh boost yuh up… The speaking positive in the ears and relaxing and not much talking, and get the throat warmed up with water and stuff like that.”