By Howard Campbell—-
WHEN Sharon Peterkin entered the music business as deejay Lady Shabba in 1988, artists such as Lady G and Sister Charmaine were helping to break the glass ceiling in a male-dominated arena.

She is still in the business but goes by the moniker Ruffi-Ann these days. Now a singjay, the 44-year-old mother of three children says 25 years on a challenging circuit has mellowed her.


That personal growth, she notes, is evident on her debut album which is scheduled for release in early 2014.

“After a time yuh have to do different things, I wasn’t getting a lot of love from dancehall. Plus, yuh get older an’ more mature an’ yuh have to watch what yuh sey,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

Ruffi-Ann co-wrote the 16 songs on the album with her partner David Laing. It is produced by Dean Fraser and includes Careless Driving, another track she is currently pushing.

Born in Kingston, Ruffi-Ann was raised in Portmore, the sprawling St Catherine community which has always had a vibrant music scene. It is where she got her start on the sound system beat.

According to her, “Mi love to perform. It inna mi blood.”

She kicked off her recording career with the song Love You which was produced by Winston Riley of Techniques Records, who gave several female artists their start in the 1980s.

As Lady Shabba, she ‘voiced’ for a number of producers including Lloyd ‘King Jammys’ James, Sly and Robbie and Steely and Clevie for whom she did the popular Stick to Yuh Man.

In 2000, she changed her stage name to Ruffi-Ann and maintained a busy studio and live schedule that yielded songs like the self-produced Mi Putus for her Sugar Pan Productions.

Ruffi-Ann’s best known song, Save The Juvenile, was released in 2009. She co-produced it with singer Max Romeo for his Charmax Music label.

Save The Juvenile will also be the title of her album. Her latest song is Nothing Can Between with fellow singjay Magma.