Reggae Songtress Etana releases latest album, Reggae Forever

By Howard Campbell

KINGSTON, Jamaica – It’s been four years since Etana released an album. That’s an eternity in contemporary music where extended breaks can sidetrack a career.

But the singer credits the break for a creative rebirth. Her latest album, Reggae Forever, was released on March 8 by Tad’s International Record, one month after she embarked on a 38-city tour of North America with Hawaiian reggae star J Boog.

“I spent a lot more time writing…I would call this album my evolution,” said Etana.

My Man, Reggae Forever’s lead song, was serviced to radio in late 2017. The set has more uptempo songs than her previous album, I Rise, which was distributed by VP Records.

She pointed to another big difference between the albums.

“With I Rise, the promotion was lacking. The difference between promotion then and now is that I’m more in control,” Etana said.


Reggae Songtress Etana releases latest album, Reggae Forever

Photo Credit: Joe Clay

The tour with J Boog started on the United States West Coast with dates in Salt Lake City, Utah before moving on to the Pacific Northwest for dates in Oregon where she developed a following from previous tours.

On March 18, Etana is scheduled to play the Vinyl Music Hall in Pensacola, Florida.

Reggae Forever is number 11 on the Billboard Reggae Album Chart and number 15 on the publication’s Reggae iTunes table.

The release of Reggae Forever was preceded by negative press in Jamaica.

In February, Etana received a $5,000 grant from the country’s government to assist with her tour, a gesture that was met with anger from the public and fellow singer Tanya Stephens.

They felt the funds could have been spent on more worthy projects, considering the beneficiary is not a struggling artist.

Unfazed, Etana believes the publicity, though largely adversarial, did some good.

“Whether they’re talking good or bad, they’re talking about me. People can decide whether they want to be a fan or not,” she said.

Despite the media onslaught, the 34-year-old singer-songwriter retains strong support in Jamaica. She said she did four corporate shows there in December, and on April 14 performs with Freddie McGregor in Kingston, her hometown.

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