YANIQUE – THE NEW FACE AND ATTITUDE OF MAGNUM KINGS & QUEENS OF DANCEHALL
It was 1:32PM as I sat in the waiting area of a popular Coffee House pinging away on my Digicel Blackberry, passing the time as I awaited my 2PM interviewee. Twelve minutes later, the cafe’s doors open and my eyes capture a beauty in light blue jeans, a youthful red top, sexy shoes, a sizzling handbag and shades hiding part of her beauty. My first impression: “WOW!” It was only after removing her shades I saw it was my company, Yanique Barrett, the New Host of Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall.
I nodded to her and rose to my feet and quickly and anxiously positioned by laptop bag to free a seat for the beauty. As we settled in and got comfortable I asked what she would like to order. She asked for coconut water or water with lime juice: “I’m on a special diet, and an exercise regime to get in shape,” she gave away without even knowing it.
By the time our drinks arrived, Yanique had me laughing like crazy. “You’ve got jokes! Now tell me more about you.”
With a giggle she said, “OK seriously, I’m Yanique Barrett, I’m the New Host for Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall. I love to laugh, eat, sleep…”
I couldn’t allow her to continue, did she say she loves to “eat”?
“Yes ‘eat‘, contrary to what many may believe, I love food!”
- Season 4
“It’s going really well so far and I know it’s going to be an awesome season. It’s much different from what I’ve done in the past,” Yanique gave of being the new host of the number one dancehall talent show. Continuing she said, “I’m over-excited, words just can’t explain how I feel about. When I first took up the position I was a little worried, I’m not gonna lie, but as I travelled Jamaica with the Magnum Kings & Queens team, meeting the contestants I realise it was just fun, the contestants were fun and receptive. Most of all I was comfortable.”
I wanted to get more details about the exciting adventures she had while travelling across Jamaica at the five locations: Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, May Pen, Portmore and Kingston. As she spoke you could hear the genuine delight in her voice: “When you see the audition shows you’re gonna see what I’m talking about. The thing tun up, bad, bad!”
When asked of her favourite moments on the audition tour, Yanique opined that they all were great. “Each stop was different and had its own uniqueness to it. I’ll forever remember the craziness that went on in Ochi (Ocho Rios), when my director let me go bamboo rafting,” she disclosed followed by the expression, “Lord God, never again! Even though I enjoyed it. May Pen & Mobay did crazy, two old people auditioned, and Kingston and Portmore tun’ up things, that is all ah telling, you have to watch the audition shows for more.”
While this isn’t Yanique’s first time in front of the camera (she hosted another dancehall/music show), it is however her first time doing Live TV. But even so, the Kingsway High and Northern Caribbean University (NCU) graduate says the transition should be smooth for her. Though she refused to disclose her age to us the striking down to earth Host said, “I’m young“.
“The pressure will be on, no doubt about it, but I’m gonna be me and really that’s what counts” she answered when questioned about taking over the show in its fourth season after former host Empress left.
Continuing her response on the comparison question, “at the end of the day you expect persons are going to make comparisons, especially since Empress was there for three years. I’m confident that Jamaica won’t be disappointed and I’ll do my utmost.” To solidify her answer, the new host made note of the comments by the producers that she embodied what the show was about.
“Already I’ve met persons in the streets who give me advice telling me ‘just bring it‘ or ‘mek sure yuh vibsy‘ among other things,” she was quick to note.
- Social Media
The new host who is over-excited about the show has been talking with viewers through the two major social network sites Twitter and Facebook. On Sunday evening the New Host took over the Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MagnumKingsandQueens), answering questions posed by the show’s fans.
“I need to start tweeting more” she confessed as she is new to the interactive medium, “sometimes the questions come in all at once, but I’ll get the hang of it, in time.”
Fans of the show can follow on the twitter handle: @MagnumDancehall, while personal fans of Yanique (the number which by the way is growing daily) can follow her on twitter @YaniqueMKQ
After meeting Yanique up close and personal, I am going to have to agree with a Magnum Kings & Queens Facebook fan on this one: “Swagg tun up til it Buck!”