Last summer Oshun Yan, the youngest contender and finalist of the 2017 calypso season won the support and admiration of many St. Lucians both young and old, at home and abroad.
Although she didn’t secure a place in the top four spots, she without a doubt secured a spot in the hearts of many.
Later that same year during the observance of Jounen Kwéyòl in October, Oshun participated in the Mizik En San Nou Kwéyòl Song Competition in Belle Vue and won the coveted top spot with her song entitled Coupé.
Fascinated by this dynamic, multitalented and culturally rooted emerging artist, Manmay LaKay Magazine endeavored to find out just who is this young lady with such a goddess name, how the name Oshun Yan was born, her life after calypso finals, her plans for the future, who and what inspires her and all that good stuff.
My candid interview with the incomparable Oshun Yan.
Thank you Oshun for taking the time to share your story with Manmay LaKay everywhere.
It’s my pleasure. Thank you.
So your formal name is Yannette James. How did Oshun Yan come about?
Yan is short for Yannette. And Oshun, well… I was very fond of Caribbean history in school. I learned about the trans-Atlantic slave trade where African people were sold to Western European slave traders.
The slaves carried their own traditions and customs which are now lost because we adapt more to the Europeans. So, yeah, I just kind of move away from all that European-ness and embrace my blackness, you know. But Oshun is the African Goddess of love and fertility.
Ah! I see. Thanks for the history lesson(lol). So you’re from Mon Repos, right? What was life like growing up as a little girl in Mon Repos?
It was exciting. I remember all the kids playing in the yard until late without fear of being kidnapped. Going to the bakery was something everyone looked forward to on afternoons. I remember sewenal during the Christmas season. People would come out, dance in the street, sing – that was nice. That used to be the community spirit but things are changing. Such a beautiful community. Your community has a major part to play in shaping you and your development.
That’s for sure. Speaking of shaping and development, what were your childhood dreams? What did you want to be growing up?
I’ve always dreamed of being a famous actress. I also wanted to be the governor general.