With her latest single, Paternity Fraud, Dancehall newcomer Sekklez hopes to spark a conversation about the emotional and familial consequences of the deceptive practice in Jamaica.
“Paternity fraud destroys families, dem need fi stop it,” Sekklez said.
“I know someone close to me whose mother gave her to the wrong father, and it had serious emotional consequences for her, it mash up her meds. I have friends who have two and three fathers and I have a friend who loved her stepfather only to find out that he is not their biological father. When my friend found out the truth, it was devastating because she felt robbed of a man who could have been a great father and that pushed the family apart.”
Sekklez said she her plans to shoot a video for the project this week.
“The fans are feeling the song because it is an explosive issue that affects a lot of people” she said.
The song will be released officially on September 22, 2023 via all digital download platforms.
Sekklez believes that too much emphasis is placed on women and that the society and lawmakers should also recognize men also commit paternity fraud.
“I know males who breed other males’ woman deliberately just to hype say ah him breed her and other man ah raise the child. It’s like a badge of respect for them and they can jeer and tease the male, some women do it for survival, but it causes too much pain and confusion,” she said.
In 2021, the matter sparked much controversy when St James Central Member of Parliament Heroy Clarke indicated his intention to bring to Parliament a motion calling for mandatory DNA paternity testing at birth. The issue of paternity fraud remains widespread in Jamaica.
A recent cross-sectional study by the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) revealed that 67 per cent of Jamaican females said they knew of another woman who had committed paternity fraud; and that 26 per cent of Jamaican fathers who took part in the study admitted that they had been victims of paternity fraud. St Thomas and Trelawny are the parishes with the highest number of self-reported victims, the study said.
The artiste, whose real name is Reina Butler, said that she doesn’t condone the practice of paternity fraud and ensured that it did not creep into her own personal life.
“I have a daughter who now lives in the US, she had to do a DNA test and she got through, she is no jacket, mi know my baby father,” she said, laughing.
She released an EP last year called Queen which showcased seven tracks.
Years ago, Sekklez attempted to compete in the popular Digicel Rising stars contest. Showing up in Portmore, she was given a call back to enter the contest again in Montego Bay but she got a job and was unable to follow through.
Determined to pursue music, she recorded her first song, ‘Settle Down Thing’ that became a popular stage show song so much so fans began to call her Sekkle Down Wendy.
“Mi run with the name and over the years , it evolved into Sekklez,” she said.
The spunky singjay is a big fan of social commentary and tackling controversial social topics.
“There are a lot of things to talk about in music as a female, not just sex, there are a lot of issues affecting us as women and as a people, so I like to tackle issues and raise awareness,” she said.
She will be performing at a show called Ambition in Bronx, New York in October.