by Howard Campbell
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The gruesome murder of Yetanya Francis, a teenaged girl in Jamaica has sparked outrage among politicians and civic groups throughout the country.
Hessnce, a singjay, is equally incensed.
Last week, Hessnce released Pray in tribute to 14-year-old Yetanya Francis whose burnt body was found in an open lot in Arnett Gardens, a gritty area in Kingston, the Jamaica capital.
Yetanya was also raped.
“The thought of what criminals and pedophiles premeditate and what they did to Yetyana Francis, influenced me to make a song about it,” said Hessnce. “The world needs peace and prayer.”
This is the second horrific murder of a teenaged girl in Arnett Gardens within one year. Mickolle Moulton, 17, was shot and killed at her home there.
These incidents, Hessnce points out, shows Jamaican authorities are not doing enough to protect children.
“I definitely don’t think so, seeing how crime is being dealt with currently where witnesses don’t feel protected or comfortable, to bring justice to criminals because of the lack of trust between civilians and the security forces, and also the government,” he said.
No arrests have been made in either case. On August 30, a man was shot multiple times near the open lot where Yetanya’s body was discovered by her mother. Some residents targeted him because he allegedly raped a young girl three years ago.
Pray is the latest song by Hessnce, who is the father of two daughters. He launched his recording career in May with a number of self-produced songs for his XXXlus label, including My Queen and After All.
Born Emroy Elliott, he is from Waterhouse, another tough neighborhood in Kingston.
He said Pray is a reflection of his career path.
“I bring back clean, hardcore, positive and energetic experience/vibe to dancehall and reggae where all can enjoy and listen my music. Even your great-grandmother,” he said.
Family, Money, Clear Path and Statement are some of the other songs the lanky artist has released this summer.