D'Angel Fashionista to Dancehall Diva

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Michelle Downer affectionately called D'Angel was born and raised in Spanish Town. A past student of St. Catherine High School, a mother, businesswoman and an artiste, D' Angel is the epitome of a true Caribbean woman, focused on fulfilling her life's dream of becoming one of the top dancehall artistes on the world stage. D'Angel continues to break down barriers and is a role model to numerous young women.

At an early age D'Angel knew that she was born to be a star and this dream was shared by her friends and family who honed her vocal ability when they encouraged her to sing and perform at an early age. In fact, they often served as her audience while she practiced her vocals while entertaining them. Eventually she was performing at school parties, concerts and even in class. Those close to D'Angel from childhood knew that she was destined to be on stage.
However, like most life journeys there is sometimes a detour and this was the case for D'Angel's musical journey. She drifted from her musical pursuits and entered the world of glitz, glamour and couture when she took on a modeling career in the early 90s. Strutting runways and landing alluring photo shoots for brands such as Rocaware only prepared her for the bigger spotlight that she would later receive in the music fraternity. The promising A-List lifestyle and popularity were not enough, though to keep D'Angel away from Jamaica and in 2002 she returned home and immediately capitalized on her entrepreneurial skills by opening her unisex fashion boutique 'Angel's'.

With a modeling career and a fashion boutique 'in the bag', there was something missing from D'Angel's life, her ultimate love and dream: Music. D'Angel began to pursue her musical career while operating her boutique. She began writing songs and doing studio sessions after work. Her first solo effort Hottie Girls was produced by Kevin Blake and released in 2004. Her follow up single, in the same year, Blow, was produced by internationally acclaimed producer Cordel 'Scatta' Burrell.

In 2005, under the banner of her label Champagne International Records, D'Angel's single Downtown Girl…Livin Uptown.

In 2006, D'Angel dominated local and international media with her celebrity marriage to Dancehall Mogul Beenie Man and both collaborated on the hit: One Man. The song became a dancehall sensation and could be heard on all local radio stations, car stereos and in dancehall sessions. On the heels of that success, she later released the single Woman Power. D'Angel took her vivacity and energy to various stage shows locally and internationally. Her spicy lyrics and charismatic stage performances landed her a nomination for the 2006 Female DJ of the year and was awarded Best Dressed Female in the same year.

Despite personal problems in 2007, D'Angel released the hit single Blaze (Up and Live Riddim) produced by Arif Cooper for Fresh Ear Productions. The groundbreaking video, directed by Kamala 'LaLa' Bennett, quickly rose on the local cable stations' video charts and reaffirmed D'Angel's place as a dancehall diva.

In 2008, with the propelling success from Blaze, D'Angel copped awards such as: Best Dressed Female Artiste (Irie FM Awards) and Favorite Fashion Female Icon (Gleaner Youth View Award) to name a couple. She boosted her presence in the music fraternity with a plethora of singles claiming heavy rotation on the local airwaves including the singles: Caan Stall featuring Vybz Kartel, Lucky Charm, Whisper, and Good Day. Working again with Arif Cooper, D'Angel dropped the single High Intensity followed by Hustling Ladies (Estrogen riddim by Ward 21), Real Gangsta (Chester), Talk is Cheap (Scatta for Kings of Kings), Don't Hate (South Bronx riddim by Jah Snow Cone), Naw Go Nuh Weh (Shake Town riddim by Black Pearl), and Stronger, (Sonny Spoon).


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