She is known as Queen Ifrica because everything about her is of royal character. Effervescent, audacious, strong and self-assured yet modest and humble, Queen Ifrica was christened Ventrice Latora Morgan, 25 years ago. Of the stock of music great, Derek Morgan, Queen Ifrica is poised to become a raging lioness in Jamaica’s entertainment industry.
Her magical voice has been lacing the theme song of the International Year of the Volunteers [IYV] campaign and recently in ‘He’s Just My Brethren’ with Lady G, in reaction to Tony Rebel and Suede’s ‘Just Friends’. With roots, firmly secured in the Rastafarian faith, Queen Ifrica says, her duty is to be an example to women, through entertainment. She laments the haphazard approach to the industry by female entertainers, their lyrical content and mode of dress. She, however, commends female entertainers for attempting to assert themselves but bemoans some of their motives for doing so. She notes that circumstances have unfortunately dictated what values females believe in and live by.
Ifrica’s interest in music began some eight years ago, when she entered the Magic City Star Search competition in Montego Bay. It was there that she was placed first and went on to ace the grand finals held at Club Inferno, in Montego Bay, Jamaica’s second city. This victory seemed to have boosted Ifrica’s confidence because in 1995, she auditioned to perform at one of Jamaica’s major music festivals, Reggae Sumfest and as the gods would have it, Ifrica got the opportunity to perform on Singer’s Night. Her performance followed that of DJ, Buju Banton’s.
Blessed with a beautiful fluid voice, Ifrica ranges from the sound of hummingbirds to a deep baritone, reminiscent of female DJ, Patra. But in a song she penned herself, it is reggae emissary Garnet Silk that Queen Ifrica hails, the artiste who would become her inspiration. It has not been a path without difficulties for this young singer. In 1996, she concluded a compilation album called ‘All Woman’, which was released overseas. However, unaware of the intricacies of the industry and her intellectual rights to the album, Ifrica has not benefited financially or otherwise from the products of her work.
Queen Ifrica’s ‘big break’ in the music industry is yet to come but she has been busy preparing herself. In 1998, while performing at a stage show in Montego Bay, she met musician/producer Tony Rebel. Impressed by her musical virtuosity, Tony Rebel and his Flames Productions Company have embraced her. Ifrica is already demonstrating her true mettle as a member of the Flames Crew, having performed creditably on Rebel Salute 1999 through 2001. Her first single, ‘Royal Love’ gives credence to what she calls ‘universal love’, the love between brothers’. The second song is a DJ tune ‘Bye, Bye’, which, Ifrica explains, is an indication of her disapproval of the general disrespect being meted out to women by the large majority of men.