Reggae Powerhouse Etana will be the sole female act on the first annual Welcome To JAMROCK Reggae Cruise which set sail on Monday, October 20 from Miami. The singer will be sharing the spotlight with Sean Paul, Tarrus Riley, Jah Cure, Shaggy, Stephen Marley and Joe Mersa among others.
Speaking ahead of the cruise she said guests can expect “a great performance, merchandise and loads of love!”
As the only female on the bill, Etana is already going in with the mindset that she will have to work “extra hard”. Working hard in delivering a perfect set is nothing new to the singer who over the years has scored with hits such as Roots, Wrong Address, and I Am Not Afraid.
Although she has shared stage with the other acts on the cruise, this will be the first time the songstress will be performing in this kind of environment and for her it’s something she is excited about. As she said she is looking forward to “positive vibes, positive energy and happy people.”
The cruise will be the precursor to the release of her fourth album I Rise, an appropriate title to describe occurrences in her career.
The singer recently walked away with the Princess of Reggae award at the recently held International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) which took place at Coral Springs Centre for the Performing Arts in Miami.
I Rise has seen creative input from Dwayne ‘Wire’ Campbell from C-Sharpe who she said put a lot of energy into the recording sessions. “I am really grateful for all the energy he spent on the music, he didn’t make it easy for me at all. He is super multi-talented,” she shared. Also sharing creative input on the upcoming project are Ian from C-Sharpe, Sherieta Lewis, Kirk ‘Kirkledove’ Bennett and “the great Sly Dunbar”. “The songs on this album are well constructed not just produced,” said Etana with a chuckle.
Clive Hunt who holds Etana in high esteem also joined the project. His wealth of knowledge and musical expertise supports the view that Etana has another winner on her hands. “He said he wanted to give the album his best and he did, I am very grateful and I hope when they get this one on their radio, they can feel all the positive energy and hard work that went into this album. More life to reggae music,” said Etana of I Rise.
With all the hard work and talent that has resulted in her album coming to fruition, Etana is not overly concerned about the slump in album sales and remains confident in the craft and her fans. “Recording sales is quite complex. The Billboard chart only covers the United States. My fanbase spans the world. If they don’t purchase a cd on the internet, or in the store, they can get it at the shows. Either way I am not worried because my fan base continues to grow and the venues are never scanty these days so I am grateful,” she said.
With the five night cruise to look forward to and I Rise on the horizon, Etana said she keeps going through by “faith, will, courage and unconditional love for people and love for the music.