She quit a well-paying job as an investment banker in New York and as we speak she is a singer, song writer, and actress. She recently sang a song with The Love Child Wyre from Kenya. Meet Alaine Laughton. Born in New Jersey in 1978, Alaine is no ordinary woman. She is a complete performing artist, if you like.
At 10 years, she appeared in a movie, Clara’s Heart alongside celebrated actress Whoopi Goldberg and in her early teens through the early 20s she was doing backup for Rocafella artistes like Camron and Freeway. But she was doing all that alongside her job as an investment banker at JP Morgan and Chase. The stints she had in singing made her realize that it was more profitable to embark on a singing career than manage other people’s savings. So, in the summer of 2004, she quit her job and left for Jamaica to start a new career. Her contact with top producers their helped her get good music out, with Craig Marsh who would go on to help launch her career.
Craig is also credited for bringing into limelight Mavado. He has also done work for Vybz Kartel, Bounty Killer and Busy Signal. Alaine, who has since moved to Jamaica permanently, says people like Marcia Griffith, who she regards as the queen of reggae, Bob Marley, and Mariah Carey, among others from different genres of music were great influences as she started out singing. In 2005, she released her breakthrough single “No Ordinary Love” that received rave reviews in Jamaica and the world over. Many people were quick to praise her for the special talent she possesses. She describes her style, saying; “My vocal style is for the most part sweet and laid back.
I really throw myself into my songs and emotionally commit to them. My music is all me. I write and arrange all my songs. It’s a mixture of reggae, dance hall, and R&B.” But has the success she has since enjoyed come on a silver platter? No, she says, adding seeking wisdom from God has helped her sail above the waters. “I have had challenges but have overcome everyone with the help of God, my family and some wonderful people that He has blessed my life with. The biggest risk I have taken has been to quit a good job in investment banking for music. So I gave up the certainty of a retirement plan and a steady pay check for the uncertainty that is the music business,” she says, adding: “But I maintained my faith in God and it has definitely been the best decision of my life.” She says she gave up her job as an investment bank because it wasn’t fulfilling in a way. “Life is about being happy,” she says. “The only thing that really makes me happy is music. I had a job in investment banking that provided me financial stability but zero happiness. I dreaded getting up in the morning to go and do somethingthat gave me no joy.” Due to a crowded music industry not only in Jamaica but also the world over Alaine says it is always hard to break into it but advises upcoming musicians to keep people with good intentions close. “The music industry on a whole is not easy to break into. The reggae industry is no different. I think that anybody trying to sing should try to get good management and surround themselves with people who look out for their best interests,” she advises. Alaine is lucky that she appears on lists of many promoters elsewhere in the world unlike so many other female musicians who the world deems “unmarketable”. She says the trend has changed, arguing there are more recognizable female musicians on the international scene at the moment. As a professional singer, she says she wants to go places and perform the world over. “I want to sing for as many people in the world as I can. I want to perform in large venues and tour the world. As long as I live I want to sing. I want to sell millions of albums and be better at my craft every day,” she says. Alaine will share the same stage with flame-haired Jamaican dancehall maestro Konshens, famed for songs like Stop Sign, Bad Gal and Gal a Bubble, at the Lugogo Cricket Oval next Friday courtesy of Pepsi. She says of the concert: “I am coming to bring the roof down in Kampala. I can’t wait to perform for my Uganda people.’ She also expresses happiness when reminded she will be performing alongside Konshens. She speaks fondly of her tour to Japan where she was met with a reception she never expected to receive. “In Japan I performed in one of the largest clubs in Tokyo and four thousand people turned out to see me. It was incredible even more so because the crowd spoke Japanese but was singing my songs in English. It was a very humbling and wonderful experience that I will never forget and look forward to repeating,” she recalls. Stardom has not spared her just like any other public figure. She has been linked to many men but she denies all. Most recently it was rumored she was dating another dancehall artiste Flippa Moggla. The two featured as couples in Bugle’s music video Nuh Compatible. She acted as Flippa’s girlfriend. She has also previously been linked to Freddy McGregor’s son Daniel McGregor a.k.a Chino whom she recorded a song “Me and You” with. Alaine broke up with her longtime producer boyfriend Don Corleon several years ago. The two had been going out for almost three years before they separated due to unknown reasons. Since age nine when she was a Red Cross Ambassador, Alaine has not looked back as regards doing charity. She has since done several HIV/Aids awareness campaigns in Jamaican schools. To keep her body looking sexy, Alaine says she goes to the gym at least three times a week and tries to eat healthy. Her last word: “Work hard and be consistent. Don’t give up.”