The Strong One cover

Singer /songwriter Etana is fast becoming a rising star in the reggae world. Already well established in Jamaica and Africa, Etana is now taking her soulful, expressive sound to the world. Her debut album ‘The Strong One’ is being released in New Zealand on 20 September out on VP Records. This five-track sampler is in preparation of the full album release.   Dubbed the ‘truth’ and Jamaica’s India Arie, Etana is the new generation of reggae soul.

Etana is a Swahili name meaning strong one and it is very fitting for this songstress.  Her cultural and political songs are full of inspirational messages and showcases Etanas desire to spread positive vibrations. ‘I do music straight from the heart, straight from the soul, straight from the people I see in everyday life’. With her desire to stay true to her beliefs Etana is one of the new generation of women in reggae who choose not to be defined as sexual objects in an overly dominated male industry.

In 2005 Etana was a backup vocalist for Richie Spice on his American and European tour whilst also indulging in her own song-writing. During this time, a collaboration with Sean Element produced the song, ‘Wrong Address’, track five on this sample CD.  It is a soulful, original song highlighting the prejudice against people living in the garrisons and the stigma of being judged by where you live.  After this release, now being firmly in the forefront, Etana continued on her solo career with the desire to set a new standard for women in reggae.

Also on this sampler is the track, ‘Roots’, released in 2007 it became a one-drop anthem of the year.  By mixing African and Jamaican sounds with powerful backing vocals this song is truly unique.   Next up, ‘Warrior Love’ is a beautiful love song and showcases Etanas sultry free vocal style. Two other songs included on this sampler include ‘Overcome’, an uplifting mellow song and ‘Jah Chariot’, a catchy dancey tune.

The 13 track album to come contains production credits from heavyweights Dean Fraser and Steven Stanley. A highlight I’m sure will be the duet with popular Italian singer Alborosie. I’ll be definitely checking out this album next week when it drops.