SHE may not be a billboard chart-buster like one of her inspirations, female rappers Eve and Lil Kim, but new diva in town, Jhene, is certainly getting there in style.
Having tasted her early music career in the United States after completing her tertiary education at the prestigious University of Baltimore in Maryland, Jhene is craving for some funk in the rap music circles.
Born and bred in Lusakaâ€™s sprawling Chilenje township in the â€˜90s, where she was christened Nawa Supi, Jhene is not concerned about what other local female singers are doing at the moment because she is already eyeing some global fame.
â€œI am aware about the presence of the current female artistes and I should admit they are doing pretty well,â€ acknowledged Jhene, the only child of Raymond and Chato Supi.
After completing her high school at Namwiyanga Boarding High School in Kalomo in 2008, she headed to the USA, where she enrolled at the University of Baltimore to study Corporate Communications for three years.
With plenty of exposure and some inspiration from the likes of Lil Kim, Eve, Queen Latifah and Foxy Brown, Jhene was already heading to the studios to record her debut Mixed Tape.
With songs such as Itâ€™s My Time, Barcardi, featuring Club rapper JB, and another rap-sauced classic titled Every Day Class, Jhene was thus buoyed to look beyond the US market.
â€œI recorded my debut Mixed Tape shortly after leaving university and that greatly exposed me to the US market and beyond,â€ said Jhene, who also attended Lusakaâ€™s Buluwe (re-named Sacred Heart) Primary School, as well as George and Forest Elementary and Argyl Middle School in Maryland.
The Mixed Tape also included the remixes of Nazâ€™s composition Made You Look and a remixed version of Twister called Daddy, which was originally known as Wet.
After relocating to Zambia in 2012, Jhene set her eyes on working with local artistes and so far she has been signed under Zombe Records with renowned producer and recording artiste Twezi (Twenda Sikazwe).
â€œI have been observing the unfolding musical events in the country since coming back three years ago, and I guess I like what I have been exposed to, especially the female musicians,â€ Jhene said.
With artistes such as Salma Sky, Judy Yo of the award-winning song Anaka and Bombshell from So Good Sounds receiving some massive acclaim, Jhene feels they deserve it.
Already she has collaborated with Yepan Yepang on the song No Waiting, which she recorded with the two rappers last year.
But it was probably her smart collaboration with the late P Jay, Twezi, Majik Links, Kâ€™Millian, Leo Muntu and General Ozzy on the song Vintu Vili Nantu that Jhene registered her presence on the local music scene.
But just when she hit her fine rap notes, Jhene looked to Nigeriaâ€™s Tiwa Savage, DJ Loaf and the USâ€™s illustrious rapper, Nicki Minaj, for some inspiration.
â€œThe likes of Nicki Minaj have been quite some inspiration in my musical journey and her switched-up grooves in all manners of genres have been my inspiration, too,â€ revealed Jhene.
Well, I guess after she bopped to Chris Brown and Nicki Minajâ€™s stormy hit track Love More, Jhene is getting all fired-up as she heads to the Mbala Mafia Records.
Hot on her list of songs that will make her introductory Mixed Tape will include the songs Tiyeni, We Made It (featuring Tray Kush), Push (featuring Jolly Lad), Calling for You (featuring Nigeriaâ€™s hottest properties QD) and Fast Lane.
â€œIt was an exciting experience working with the likes of QD, Jolly Lad, and Tray Kush and I look forward to collaborating with more local artistes in future,â€ revealed Jhene.
With the likes of Mampi, Judy Yo, Nyemba, Scarlet, Adora, Kay Figo, Dambisa, Brisky and Kantu plying their skills at different studios, Jhene is confident of getting where these girlie singers have gotten so far.
And without taking anything away from these babes, who have also gone an extra mile in performing before global audiences, Jhene is set to rule in her own world of music.
Her producer at Zombe Records, Twezi, simply describes Jhene as â€œone of the finest talents that should change the direction of local musicâ€.
â€œShe can compose good songs, she can rap, she can sing and she possesses a well-toned voice that should help her record and stage shows anywhere in the world,â€ said Twezi.
Well, like the saying goes, songbirds are born and not made. All eyes will be on a girl named Jhene because she has some well-jelled rap that would turn any head.