Wed | Dec 6, 2023

Singer Shawn Antoine releases ‘Dear Angel’ after sister’s tragic death

Dedicates song to Sashya Cato one year after her passing

Published:Monday | November 20, 2023 | 12:09 AMYasmine Peru/Seior Gleaner Writer
Shawn Antoine
Shawn Antoine
Sashya Cato
Sashya Cato

Singer-songwriter-producer Shawn Antoine has made no secret of the fact that the chilling death of his younger sister in September last year has taken a serious toll on him and his family. However, the Loving is Easy singer is now at the stage in the grieving process where he can write a song dedicated to her.

“This happened in different stages. Initially, I found myself going out a lot more with friends. It was a way of just distracting my mind from everything that was happening. With this, I found myself drinking more, which was definitely counterproductive. It made me think more, break down more, and sleep more, which made things that were once simple harder to complete such as writing music,” Antoine shared.

He added, “I eventually limited my outside clubbing and started spending more time in the studio, even if I wasn’t doing anything, Just being in the environment pushed me. It steered me in a positive path, which led me to express myself not through distraction with noise and people, but instead through music and writing.”

This led to the birth of the single Dear Angel, a tribute to the entertainer’s sister Sashya Cato, who was found dead and her body partially burnt in her home in Ludowici, Georgia, USA. Reports from the Long County Sheriff’s Office stated that Staff Sgt. Deveraux Cato, 34, was found dead along with his wife, Sashya Cato, inside their home on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, in an apparent murder-suicide. Sashya’s remains were cremated due to the extent of her burns, and the family held a memorial service in October last year in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

Antoine, who has been involved in music production for more than 10 years, recently produced Draw Closer for Sergeant Sasha Henry aka Queen Cop. He noted that My Angel wasn’t solely aimed at writing a song for his sister, “but it was done as a form of helping the hurting to move on and express how they felt by believing that one day they’ll see that loved one once more”.

Dear Angel was released on October 31, one year after the thanksgiving service for his sister. Antoine is happy at the response.

“So far I’d gotten tremendous feedback from both young and old. I figure because it’s relatable to all ages. I remember being in a session with some kids and playing it, and I had to stop because they started crying. When asked what happened, they would say that it lets them think about someone close to them that had passed away or simply that they’re missing the person. It was therapy for me, and I hope it will do the same for others.”

Reminiscing on his sister, he described her as “the glue … the family person always pushing for everyone to stay close … holding us together,” he said.

In an interview with THE STAR last year, he stated, “Sash and I were very connected. I spent Christmases with her and her family, and I looked forward to creating new memories each year. The morning of her death, I was roasting with a high fever right through ... I had no idea why because I was not sick then or after.”

Quizzed about his advice for someone going through similar loss, he said, “Each experience is different, but the only similarity is the outcome: our loved one is gone. I had to come to terms with that. So I’d say put less focus on the why and how but more on celebrating their life and maintain hope that you’ll see that person one day. Focus on “pushing on” and making that Angel proud.

Pushing On is also the name of Shawn Antoine’s upcoming single set to be released later this month on his recently established Keyize House production company.