Wine With No Regrets, Unapologetically Nessa
The music industry can be tough to penetrate, especially as a female artiste; but with drive, determination, great work ethic, a strong team, a confident sense of self and passion, coupled with a shot of sex appeal, you can break through and become one of the most notable women in your field! Nessa Preppy has not only solidified her role in the soca industry with her unique melody and sexy aura, but she has done so unapologetically!
Vanessa John, daughter of a German father and Trinidadian mother, describes herself as a “German-born Trini”, as she was born and raised briefly in Germany; later migrating to Trinidad with her family at the tender age of five (5). Initially, Vanessa, known to many as Nessa Preppy, experienced culture shock as the way of life in Trinidad was far different to what she had grown accustomed to in Germany. Nessa offered, “It was really different for me, but different in a good way.” She soon learned English and developed a deep love and passion for the unique Trinidadian culture.
Nessa, an entertainer from birth, grew up in Arima, and began competing in junior calypso tents throughout her youth. Her passion for music grew when she entered into secondary school, where she started experimenting with other music genres such as dancehall and hiphop. Nessa’s exposure to entertainment came at an early age and she always knew she was destined for greatness; after all, she was named after Vanessa William
In 2013, at age 19/20, Nessa recorded and released her first single, but it wasn’t until her release of “Tingo” in 2018, that she started to rock the airways and make a name for herself. Nessa shared the importance of song-writing, in addition to welcoming the collaboration of other writers. “I always set the foundation for my songs so that I can relate to it and have that love for the melody, and it is not far-fetched from anything I would write.” Tingo, written by Nessa, in collaboration with writers for the 2nd verse, was her breakthrough record and she soon became a household name; solidifying her place in the industry and evolving into a soca sensation.
The following year, Nessa released “Issa Snack”, produced by Travis World, and like Tingo, it ripped the airways! What started out as record inspired by her social media captions, and a hook from her manager Soca Banton, evolved into a fan favorite and became a catchphrase that rang through the Caribbean diaspora. The success of this song lead to a remix, which featured international icons, Machel Montana and Hood Celebrity; an opportunity she immediately welcomed. Nessa recognizes her fans as the force behind this song and she is forever grateful for their contributions to her success.
A sexy persona can lead to many misconceptions and tends to cause individuals to formulate inaccurate conclusions of others. Nessa shared she has been considered “ghetto” and “rough” around the edges because of her appearance, and the fact that her performances are outside the norm of female soca artistes. Nessa offered, “I’ve sang about smoking weed, being a snack, patting de snack and years ago that was forbidden, especially if you were signed to a big brand. Many female artistes weren’t pushing the envelope and I dared to be different! People tend to overthink how they are viewed by others, but what matters is how you want to be portrayed and respected. Just being a woman, being me, being unapologetically Nessa, I feel I have suffered for that to a degree and I try to work against it; I aspire to be better and do better.”
The Snack Pack – Splash
Nessa pays homage to all female artistes who paved the way and made it possible for her to hone her craft and live her dream. She was excited to collaborate with one of her favorite artistes, Patrice Roberts on the song “Splash,” a catchy rendition with a steamy music video, exuding strong sex appeal; shot by manager Soca Banton; the mastermind behind most of Nessa’s creative concepts. She describes Patrice as someone she always admired; who has a beautiful personality and strong work ethic. Splash was released at the top of 2020 and was another crowd favorite.
Nessa recently released her newest body of work, “Art of Flex,” which she had the opportunity to complete during the pandemic. This has been a time for artistes to really focus on their craft and provide quality content. Nessa saw this as an opportunity to release new content, as fans were eagerly anticipating new material, especially given the fact that carnival has been canceled. The album, which was released February 12th 2021, is a flavor of Soca, Dancehall, Hip Hop & R & B, with local and Jamaican artistes featured, and was #4 on the US Reggae Itunes Charts on the first day of its release.
A great team results in great endorsements! In addition to her musical contributions, Nessa is grateful to be a brand ambassador for Digicel, she is contracted with Nestle and is currently working on restoring her contract with Value Optical. In addition to larger brands, Nessa collaborates with smaller businesses such as Creative Nails in Trinidad. “Once people have forward-thinking ideas and want to do something innovative, I am always willing to work with what aligns with my values.”
A message to the future generation
“Never allow another individual to dictate who you should be; be true to who you are and don’t be complacent. Hone your craft, have good work ethic and watch your dreams manifest!