by Howard Campbell
[SOUTH FLORIDA] – If it’s one thing Etana can ever be accused of, it’s inactivity. The prolific singer/songwriter is back with a new album, one year after the release of her previous.
Pamoja is the title of the new set. An expansive 16-song effort that hears Etana working with artists from diverse countries. In fact, there are 11 collaborations on the album which came out on June 25.
“With Pamoja, the message is unity and togetherness. Pamoja means together in Swahili. I collaborated with artists from Zambia, Tanzania, Jamaica, Belgium, Fiji, Ghana, and Kenya to help drive the message home,” she explained. “At the same time the songs are infectious and it may be hard for one to stay still throughout the whole album.”
One of the collaborations on Pamoja is with Damian “Junior Gong” Marley on Turn up di Sound, a dancehall jam that salutes sound system culture in Jamaica. Proppa, done with Ghanaian Afrobeats star Stonebwoy, Baby O with Vybz Kartel and Jamrock Vibez alongside Alborosie, are other highlights from the album.
Etana goes solo on Malaika which she does in Swahili, and the Afro-centric Melanin.
Pamoja was released under different circumstances than Gemini. The latter dropped in May last year at the height of COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, it prevented her from touring to promote the album.
Even then, Etana said the mood of that album was positive.
“Gemini was a good vibe and a well-produced album that was meant to lift the spirits of listeners through all the lockdowns in 2020. It was also intended to keep lovers engaged and strengthen relationships,” she said.
Big Ship Music Festival
Etana began promotion for Pamoja on the Memorial Day Weekend at the Spread Love Reggae Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina. She is one of the headliners for the July 3rd Big Ship Music Festival. Scheduled to place in Port Charlotte, Florida at the Port Charlotte Fairgrounds and streamed live.