ST CROIX, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – R&B Dancehall-Pop artist KuNsErVaTiVe has been writing music for ten years, but for his debut single “Lighta,” he decided to switch things up. Instead of the meticulously crafted verses he penned in the past, he stepped up to the microphone without a single word prepared. When the rhythm dropped, he closed his eyes and let the song come to him.
“Since about a year ago, I don’t know what happened to me, I don’t write music anymore. I close my eyes and I envision the music like a movie. I literally put my mic up and start to sing. Whatever my vision tells me, I use my mouth, I make my melodies on the spot,” says KuNsErVaTiVe, who was born Shamall Turnbull.
The result is a sultry, sexy summer jam that mixes Afropop sounds with dancehall and reggae, along with touches of R&B and calypso beats – all sounds that KuNsErVaTiVe grew up surrounded by in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“It’s also a song that represents the love and fire we have inside for females. Without that spark they bring to us, we don’t have anything in this world,” KuNsErVaTiVe says. “It’s a song to play when you’re out riding around with your girl. Within 20 seconds of hearing the song you’re gonna be singing along to it. It’s one of the simplest songs I’ve ever written, and it has the most impact.”
KuNsErVaTiVe says making the transition to recording as a freestyle artist was difficult at first.
“It was hard. I’m not gonna lie. I grew up on rapping. I actually make my own beats and really good music,” he says. “I don’t know what happened. I guess I just became accustomed to freestyling. It just started to flow out of me.”
KuNsErVaTiVe says he plans to incorporate his incredible freestyle talents into his live shows.
“I actually wanna do this live someday to show people how I do it.”
Though this is his first single, KuNsErVaTiVe is far from a newbie to the music industry. He’s worked with many of the biggest names in the dancehall and reggae scenes in the Virgin Islands, including Pressure (Bus-Pipe), PRYA, and Dennis the Menace.
“I definitely have albums worth of songs. I’ve collaborated with the best artists in the Virgin Islands. My future is bright,” KuNsErVaTiVe says. “I have tons of songs just waiting to be released.”
When it comes to the future, KuNsErVaTiVe already has big plans, including plans to tour across America and around the world.
“I definitely know I’m gonna be global through this,” he says. “I can see myself working with major artists I’ve dreamt of like DJ Khaled and Rick Ross. I wanna be one of the first Virgin Islands singers to make it globally known.”
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