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The whimsical Makeida Beckford whose stage name is “Keida,” has emerged as a budding new talent on the dancehall/reggae scene. Aptly mistaken for an “uptown girl,” Keida is quick to correct the masses – “I am actually from Bull Bay, Jamaica. Not quite uptown!” Growing up in a household in which both her parents are visual artists, they instilled a work ethic that charged Keida to follow her dreams and do whatever it is that inspires and drives her. A well-rounded individual – Keida paints, surfs and is an experienced graphic designer - she passionately extends herself to the limit.
A STAR HAS EMERGED! The call to music came while enrolled at the Edna Manley School of Visual and Performing Arts. In 2009, Keida released her debut single “Jamaican Boy,” on the Stalag Riddim.
The single, which was produced by Craig "Leftside" Parks of Keep Left Records, is a light-hearted ode to the men of her beloved island, Jamaica. With over 100,000 YouTube views, the song became an instant radio hit receiving airplay locally and abroad. Keida recalls the first time she heard the single on the radio, “When I heard ‘Jamaican Boy’ on the radio for the first time I was doing set design in school, I was excited but humbled. I thought it would just be a one-time thing. At that point I still hadn't realized the reality of myself as an artist.”
Following the success of “Jamaican Boy,” Keida released singles such as “Can’t Get Enough” (Birchill Records), “Hot It Up” (KeepLeft Productions), “Bubble Up” (Chimney Records), Dancefloor/Care Not” (Jam 2 Productions), “All I Have” (Romeich Records) and “Really Love” (Liv Up Records) to name a few. The recognition afforded her the opportunity to work with other producers such as (ZJ Chrome/CR203) and Don Corleon.
Her hard work and dedication to her craft paid off when she was nominated for the Excellence in Music and Entertainment Award for Best New Artist (Female). She won the Jamaica Star People’s Choice Awards in two categories: Best New Female Artist and Best Singjay in 2010. Not only is she winning with industry accolades, but she’s also commanding the stage during her performances at shows such as Sumfest Digicel Stage, Mystic Moonlight, Spring Break 2010, Brit Jam 2010, RJR Cross Country Tour, RETV School Tour,Rapids Beach Party and Show and Wickie Wackie Live to name a few. Additionally, she has worked with dancehall artists such as Tami Chynn, Tifa, Timberlee, Stacious, Natalie Storm, soca star, Shurwayne Winchester and Protoje.
In 2011, Keida recorded a song with Antiguan and reigning Soca Monarch (2010) Tian Winter for “We are the West Indies” campaign, aimed at revitalizing the public’s perception of cricket. The campaign’s promotional efforts, thus far, has included travel to Barbados. Keida has performed in Barbados and will perform in Trinidad and Dominica over the summer.
In a male dominated industry, Keida is not intimidated at the challenge of setting herself apart. “I try not to segregate gender when it comes to music. It's not impossible, as a female to be just as good as a male at anything, but depends on your talent and what you bring to the table. I think we as females just have to go twice as hard.” Keida has her sights set on distinguishing herself as a talented artist and not just another talented female artist. “My ultimate goal is to maintain a fresh new strain of music and build a foundation that will encourage growth, but at the same time remains current for years to come.” To that end, in 2011, Keida and her manager, Woodrow Whyte, retained New York PR Firm Triple 7 Entertainment to serve as the singer’s publicist both locally and abroad. Stay tuned. . .