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Tight Skirt heats up the 'Park'

SAMANTHA Gonsalves was just one-year-old, in 1997, when deejay Red Rat topped local charts with Tight Up Skirt. Sixteen years later, recording as Samantha J, she has scored a big hit with Tight Skirt, her take on the Red Rat hit. The video for Tight Skirt is also making waves. Directed by Renais Marshall, it aired last Thursday on BET&;s 106 and Park as &;New Joint of the Day&;. "It was an overwhelming experience to see my video being premiered on BET. This is something I always dreamed of happening," said Samantha J in an interview with the Jamaica Observer. The video premiered on MTV.com three weeks earlier. It became that website&;s number one most shared; number two most commented; and number three overall favorite. Samantha J says her goal is "to bring a fresh new sound to the music world". It is that attitude which influenced her moniker. "The name Samantha was a bit too ordinary so we added the &;J&;. I like to refer to it as a symbol of Jamaica," she explained. Tight Skirt is her first song. It is a joint production between Washroom Entertainment&;s Conroy Forte and American radio executive Gary Bernstein of Oceanic Tradewinds. The latter is an independent record company which has worked with Jamaican acts including Chris Demontague and Trudy. It was Forte&;s company which approached Samantha J to cut Tight Skirt. "Washroom Entertainment came to me with the idea to do a reply to Tight Up Skirt. (Singer) Alaine and I collaborated on the writing and came up with what is now known as Tight Skirt," she said. Born in Kingston, Samantha J resides in St Ann and attends the Heinz Simonitsch School in Montego Bay. She admits being startled by the success of Tight Skirt. "I am definitely surprised and very happy that it has been well received. Due to the overwhelming feedback, I have had to improve on my time management as it relates to my schoolwork." Wary of the one-hit wonder tag, Samantha J has already begun working on follow-up singles, which include Lollipop and Angel.