Destiny Sparta leaves dancehall music, finds joy in Christianity and candle makingThursday, October 14, 2021
BY ROCHELLE CLAYTON
MONTEGO BAY, St James — After quitting the dancehall music industry in a bid to turn her life around, 38-year-old Kimberly Cuvilie discovered she had a greater love for making candles.
Cuvilie, who formerly went by the name Destiny Sparta, told the Jamaica Observer West that though she had the idea for years, she had placed it on the back burner because she was more focused on her music career.
“I had the idea for a while, but I didn't want to do it because I was in music [industry] at the time so I wanted to focus more on music than anything else,” said Cuvilie, who got baptised in July.
Her introduction to the dancehall scene, she told Observer West, came in the year of 2010 when she entered the then locally aired talent show Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall, where she placed second.
“That year  was my stepping stone into the [music] industry because I entered Magnum Kings and Queens [where] I came second that year. It was a great experience, I [was] shy so that really helped me to get out of my shell to just do what I love,” Cuvilie said.
She later signed to the music label of dancehall artiste Tommy Lee, another Montegonian act, and rebranded as Destiny Sparta. During her music career, she has performed at Reggae Sumfest as well as numerous other shows and recorded multiple tracks on the Sparta label.
“I think it was a year or two after the competition that I signed to Tommy [Lee's label] and that was when 'Sparta' was added to my name,” she told the Observer West.
“I performed at [Reggae] Sumfest twice, I think it was either 2013 or 2014 with Tommy [Lee] and [again] in 2019,” she noted.
After a reflection on her journey in the dancehall music industry, Cuvilie said a conscious decision was made to put down the microphone, dedicate the rest of her life to Christ, and finally venture into the candle-making business.
This decision, she said, birthed Scented Beauty by Destiny in December of last year.
“Based on the kind of music I used to do, I just sat down, and I thought about everything, then I said that I do not want to go in this direction anymore. I got baptised and then said you know something, I am going to take it up now because I was more settled,” she explained.
“I had the candle [wax] and as I said, I was more settled now, not thinking about music, not thinking about which other song I have to write or what I [must] do to get it out there now. I just sat down and said I am going to focus on this [candle making], so I branched off and said I am going to do it full time.”
Her new career path, she said, has helped her to recognise her sense of creativity in another way as after numerous experiments, she started to make dessert-style candles, a favourite of her customers.
“It is something that I discovered. I didn't think that I had that creativity in me, but it came out while experimenting with candles. I make dessert candles in different fragrances. They are made [to replicate] sundaes, ice cream, cupcakes, and donuts; you name it, and I can make it. I also do regular candles like the eight-ounce tins and 12-ounce jars, but the big craze is the dessert candles,” she stated.
“The more I do it, the more I love it. I think it has [a lot] to do with me changing my life and trying to find myself.”
Though she spent a lot of time surfing the Internet for videos on how to perfect her craft, she shared that it was her mother, who bakes a lot, who was very instrumental in helping her with those designs.
“The first time I did it, my mom helped me because she bakes so she saw me doing it and she said, 'Hey, how about you try it this way', and gave me another technique, which worked out well,” said Cuvilie, a Montego Bay High School past student.
Her new church family, she said, has been her biggest supporter, pushing her to work even harder.
“I brought candles to church one Sunday and I got a lot of support there, everybody wanted one. They supported me a lot so from there I was very motivated and that built my confidence,” she told Observer West.
The dedication to growing her candle business, she shared, has seen her walking in and around the city of Montego Bay in an effort to garner support and build brand awareness. By doing this, Cuvilie stated, she has met a lot of customers who have also forced her out of her comfort zone, in a bid to satisfy their orders.
“Some customers push the envelope, they will link me and say, 'I want this candle', like the cornflakes candle that I made, that was a customer's request and I brought it to life. So, they just tell me something that they like, and I create it,” said Cuvilie.
As the first anniversary of venturing into this new career path approaches, the former dancehall heavyweight is reflective on her journey thus far, and looks forward to expanding Scented Beauty by Destiny with a body care line of products.
Dancehall music, she stressed, is now the last thing on her mind.
“I love singing and I love music, that is something that is embedded in me, so I am always going to sing but now, I am going to sing for the Lord,” she told Observer West.
“I have more peace of mind now. I just want [Scented Beauty by Destiny] to expand on a wider scale because I am going into body care with body splash, body butters and that kind of thing,” said Cuvilie.