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Dancehall USA group set to launch Dancehall Africa brand

DHUSA_AFRICA1Established Jamaican music hub, Dancehall USA has announced the impending launch of its newest subsidiary website, promoting the Dancehall genre’s grown in Africa.

DancehallAfrica.com, set to be launched on March 1st , will aim at giving full exposure to Dancehall artists, producers and other content based in the continent as well, with news, interviews, new artist features, music downloads and videos, among other features, highlighting the website.

“Its solely concentrating on the African dancehall industry and giving African dancehall music exposure backed by official and authentic dancehall industry veterans like Dancehall USA,” said Nick Walker, founder and chief operator of DancehallUSA. “It will be a part of the Dancehall USA group.”

​​He also emphasized on his strategic ‘on ground’  partnerships with popular African Dancehall personalities, who will be engine behind Dancehall Africa.

 “It obviously wouldn’t be truly authentic without African influence, so I sought out the best young talents in Africa that i could find,” he said.

Africa is a long-known lover of Dancehall music, with several Jamaican artists such as Beenie Man, Busy Signal, Mavado, Ce’Cile and Sizzla Kalonji having performed across the continent, to mass approval and others such as Vybz Kartel and Bounty Killer heavily regarded there.

There are also several African Dancehall artists who have broken through in the mainstream and collaborated with or performed alongside Jamaican acts, such as Ghanaian award-winning act, Samini, who has collaborated with the likes of Etana. Others, such as Ugandan artist, Coco Finger, as well as Daddy Muss out of Sierra Leone, among several others.

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Damian Marley, Mr. Vegas and Tarrus Riley cop multiple awards at IRAWMA

Damian Marley Grammy AwardsAccomplished Reggae/Dancehall acts,Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Mr. Vegas andTarrus Riley are celebrating triumphs achieved at this year’s International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) after each winning two honors during the show.

The event, which took place at the Coral Spring Centre for the Arts in Fort Lauderdale Saturday night was highlighted by the three men, who were the only Jamaican acts to take home multiple awards on the night. Marley took home Entertainer of the Year and Best Crossover Song for his chart-topping collaboration with Skrillex (Bun Dem). Riley copped the awards for Best Male Vocalist and Most Cultural/Educational Entertainer while Mr. Vegas won Best Song for Sweet Jamaica and Best Music Video for Bruk It Down.

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Video: Etana Reggae

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Artist Spotlight : Etana

Etana  -  biography

It’s been five years since Jamaica’s reggae princess hit the music scene, and the genre has never looked back. Now, with two albums under her belt, Etana is a household name worldwide, with a voice and message that soothes and entertains.

 

Since Etana’s breakout hit Roots, the songbird has found herself as a staple on reggae charts across the globe. Following up with Wrong Address, the Strong One began to build a catalogue of conscious music… and a massive fan base.

 

Increasingly, her music connected with people through relatable messages of love, fighting injustice and prejudice, having pride and more.  “Overall, my music has to uplift. It can’t just be that I go in a studio and string words together. My music must have a message, it must have a purpose. It has to make people feel good and want to really listen to what I’m saying,” says Etana – who was born Shauna McKenzie.

 

In 2008 Etana released her debut album, The Strong One. It was a hit. The wildly successful debut album, recorded and released on the VP Records label, silenced critics who claimed Etana was a one-hit wonder. In fact, so popular and successful was The Strong One, that every one of the tracks on the album was released as a single – and also charted. The Strong One featured songs such as Warrior Love, Jah Chariot, Don’t Forget, I Am Not Afraid, Blessing, More & More, Caltariba System as well as her first two hits Roots and Wrong Address.

 

More than that, Etana had spread her wings and was filling clubs and stadiums in the Caribbean, North America and Europe – and it was a humbling experience.   “Travelling to another country to perform is perhaps one of the most exciting things for me. Especially if it is a country where English isn’t the first language. Being in Portugal or Spain, for example and hearing a crowd of 100,000 people sing every one of your songs word for word is just exhilarating”.

 

While touring, Etana also picked up a new hobby – collecting award trophies. Since her berth in the music world, she has copped one prestigious musical honour after another. Ranging from Best New Artiste, Female Vocalist of the Year and Reggae Singer of the Year to Most Admired Female Artiste, Cultural Artiste of the Year and several Album of Year trophies, Etana has a sizeable list of accolades behind her name.

 

Etana began to tease fans with what was to come on her next CD when she released Free, Happy Heart and August Town. Almost immediately, critics clamoured and fans anxiously awaited the release of her sophomore attempt at a full-length album. She continued to record, and in 2011 released Free Expressions. With this, Etana pulled off what many artistes are unable to – a successful second album. Free Expressions is lining up to be as successful as its predecessor with several of its featured tracks being released as singles.

 

“This time around, I got really involved in the making of the album. For The Strong One there were a team of writers but it’s pretty much all me and my pen in the majority of the songs on Free Expressions. That was an experience I enjoyed, and I am definitely more into writing these days,” the now married artiste says.

 

Crowds around the world seem to enjoy Etana’s increased input in this album, evidenced by her performing consistently on the biggest reggae festivals and shows around the world. In fact, Etana made her debut in South America in 2011.   “I’ve been blessed with this talent, and I don’t plan on slowing down for now,” she smiles. Etana has two more albums to be released by VP Records, and she promises that she’ll try and make it her best work yet each time.

 

 

Etana’s official social networks

Official Website:  http://www.etanathestrongone.com

Facebook.com:    http://www.facebook.com/OneEtana

Twitter.com:   https://twitter.com/EtanaStrongOne

Myspace.com:    http://www.myspace.com/etanastrongone

 

 

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ETANA UNLEASHES REGGAE

Etana, the Jamaican-born, Miami-raised songstress, returns with her brand new digital-only EP Reggae on November 13th with VP Records. The 3-song preview off her upcoming studio album Better Tomorrow will give fans a taste of what is to come in February 2013. The entire set is produced by Shane Brown with Stanley “Rellee” Hayden co-creating the title track.

The charismatic singer, songwriter and performer incorporates elements of reggae, soul and pop into her captivating postmodern sound that tackles real life experiences. Etana’s unabashed romanticism shines on the soulful sway of “Reggae” and the r&b tinged “4 Play 2 Love (Start Over)” about her torn feelings of two lovers. The spine-chilling single “Better Tomorrow” addresses the atrocities of children in poverty-stricken communities, while instilling optimism for brighter days. Etana’s lyrical depth and revolutionary thought continue to impress and inspire her audience.

With a baby on the way, new EP and album in the works, Etana is in a place in her life where she looks forward to a promising future. She expands upon her 2010 sophomore album Free Expressions, which won praise for the being “a rarity: music that sermonizes, yet still sweetly serenades,” according to NPR. The anticipated album Better Tomorrow and EP Reggaeexpress a similar sentiment, while offering new-found wisdom and clarity. These releases also follow her 2008 critical acclaimed debut The Strong One, which featured massive hits “Warrior Love,” “Roots” “I’m Not Afraid,” “Blessings” and “Wrong Address” that topped reggae charts in The Caribbean, England and United States. During this period, Etana was nominated for Best New Reggae Artist at MOBO Awards and awarded Best Female Vocalist at both the Excellence in Music & Entertainment (EME) Awards and IRIE FM Radio Awards as well as the Best Solo Female Reggae Vocalist at the 1st annual Reggae Academy Awards. Vibe Magazine claimed she had already “established herself as a formidable performer and songwriter whose music and reputation precedes her.”

Reggae Track Listing:

  1. Reggae
  2. Better Tomorrow
  3. 4 Play 2 Love (Start Over)

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Etana to premiere TV show in October

Internationally renowned Reggae singer, Etana may be set to welcome her second child in November but the prominent entertainer won’t be far removed from the limelight as she plans to delve into the reality TV world.

Starting in the first week of October, CVM TV will launch Against All Odds, a 13-week reality series hosted by Etana that focuses on people who’ve overcame numerous adversities to become successful. According to Etana, Against All Odds will evoke very strong emotions as the program cites stories that people from all walks of life can relate to.

Etana relayed that she jumped at the chance to host her own show once CVM TV contacted her, though shooting schedules were adjusted given her hectic touring and stage show schedule. Furthermore, the Reggae princess admitted that some subjects were unwilling to tell their stories.

Against All Odds highlights stories of persons who’ve been abused or orphaned as well as those who struggle to make ends meet.

Up to three more episodes will be recorded to complete the first season of Against All Odds as Etana insists that viewers should gain new perspectives from watching the show as they will learn not to take the simplest of amenities for granted.

Meanwhile, Etana revealed her growing excitement regarding her pregnancy as she and husband, Andrew Morris look forward to having their first child together. Additionally, the August Town singer plans to unveil her upcoming album, Better Tomorrow in February of next year and will release three singles from the compilation: Reggae, Foreplay to Love and the title track (Better Tomorrow). 

 

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Etana working on new album

Prominent Reggae songstress, Etana seeks to build on an already accomplished international resume’ as she currently fine-tunes material for her upcoming album.

Most of the tracks for Etana’s yet to be titled third studio album have already been completed and will be shipped off to American based Dancehall/Reggae label, VP Records, who will make the final decisions regarding which singles will make the compilation. The highly regarded songbird hopes to release her album later this year.

Though Etana remains tight-lipped regarding specific collaborations and singles that could feature on her album, industry observers have raved over her joint effort with Reggae veteran and Big Ship captain, Freddie McGregor.

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Macka Diamond lashes out against Jamaican music industry, cites unfair treatment

Veteran Dancehall superstar, Macka Diamond bemoans what she calls undeserved criticism from fellow, local music industry players.

The prominent deejay made this claim following her recent nomination by the Jamaica STAR for the Worst Dressed Female category at this year’s Star People’s Choice Awards. Macka Diamond faces competition from fellow, highly-acclaimed acts such as Danielle aka D.I., Alliance Next Generation first lady, Bridgez and Reggae superstar, Etana.

With that marking her only nomination for the award show, Macka Diamond gave a recent interview, published in Caribbean Entertainment Magazine, blasting the Jamaican music industry for demeaning her various achievements in 2011, including the International Reggae and World Music (IRAWMA) award for International Female Rapper/DJ of the Year.

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Damian Marley has big plans for 2012, wants more exposure for Jamaican artistes

Internationally-acclaimed Reggae artiste, Damian Marley aka Junior Gong has an optimistic outlook for the New Year following a rather successful 2011.

Marley enjoyed several accomplishments during 2011, including a completion of his Distant Relatives tour alongside hip-hop superstar, Nas as well as the formation a new super group, Super Heavy including British songstress, Joss Stone and Rolling Stones front man, Mick Jagger. Their subsequent, self-titled debut album and the success of other collaborative efforts such as Jah Army with Stephen Marley and Liquor Store Blues alongside R&B sensation, Bruno Mars rose Marley’s international stock as he continues to build a legacy somewhat reminiscent of his legendary father, Bob Marley.

Looking ahead to 2012, Damian Marley seeks to enhance his international reputation once more. In a recent interview published via the website of Reggaeville Magazine, Marley hopes to unveil new projects as well as groom some of his family members, such as Joseph and Daniel Marley, who each released singles last year.

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Video: ETANA ” Free ” – Live

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Video: ETANA ” Free ” – Live

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I-Wayne claims Jamaican music industry promotes too much negative music

Internationally renowned Reggae superstar, Cliffroy Taylor, more popularly known as I-Wayne, has called out the Jamaican music industry for promoting too much negative music; overlooking positive, uplifting music.

The “Book Of Life,” singer suggests that the media & Dancehall/Reggae industry at large has focused most of its attention on promoting songs with negative messages to the masses; ignoring uplifting music that he & other artistes have been pushing. I-Wayne told the Jamaica STAR, “I’m here, still working but the media houses a push madness; I have a new mix tape out with credible collaborations, a just the system naah promote wi thing,” I-Wayne claimed.  Additionally I-Wayne implied that, “It’s not like mi can’t find mi meditation anymore, but a dem a hol’ wi back because a dem control which music gets played.”

I-Wayne has seldom been heard from on the mainstream since releasing his hit single, “What will They Do,” on the Relationships Riddim in 2009. However, I-Wayne maintains that he’s still making music whilst collaborating with various young artistes to help promote them to the mainstream but implies that such good work is being overlooked. “Right now I have been working with a lot of young artistes doing collaborations, suh a nuh like sey Rasta naah buss artiste. But because there is a preference for nastiness, positive artistes are not easy to get their fair attention, but never the less mi still a help the youths,” I-Wayne intimated.

Additionally, I-Wayne implied that the quality of Dancehall/Reggae music in Jamaica has depreciated as a result of so many negative songs being pushed; insisting most of his earnings throughout his career have come from international performances. “We mostly duh the Caribbean Islands and European countries, because wi ting dun set already from Lava Ground,” I-Wayne said.

Meanwhile, I-Wayne is currently working on his third studio album entitled, “Life Teachings,” & explained that his upcoming project will take on an authentic Reggae/Roots sound. Furthermore, he revealed that the album will feature production from legendary Dancehall/Reggae producers, Sly & Robbie as well as a collaborative effort alongside Reggae songstress, Etana entitled “Life Joy.” I-Wayne suggested that this album & other new projects he’s working on are reminiscent of some of his earlier hit singles.

I-Wayne is known for a plethora of internationally acclaimed songs including “Life Seeds,” “One Man Can’t Satisfy Her,” “Living In Love,” & “I Need Her In My Arms.”

 

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Etana – LIVE at B.B. Kings

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ETANA JOINS GYPTIAN FOR U.S. ALBUM TOUR

VP Records recording artists Gyptian andEtana team up for a tour that is set to take selected U.S. cities by storm. Kicking off on March 3 in Indianapolis and culminating on March 11 in Columbus, Ohio, the East Coast-meets-Midwest tour will take Reggae music and these shining stars to fans far and wide.

Etana is celebrating her brand-new album Free Expressions, which was released on February 8, 2011. This, her sophomore studio effort, sees a softer side of the songbird and features long-time hit singles such as “Free,” “Happy Heart”and “August Town.” Her new single “People Talk” has people talking and its video is in the can and about to hit airwaves shortly.

Gyptian has been busy touring the globe ever since the release of his album Hold You, back in July 2010. Enjoying the immense success of his breakout single and Billboard hit “Hold You,” the soulful singer has been taking his catalog to longtime fans and gaining new ones as he continues on his musical journey.  Now armed with his bubbling new single “Nah Let Go,” and with both the song and video currently enjoying airplay worldwide, he’s bound to keep his fans clamoring for more.

U.S. Tour Dates for Gyptian and Etana
03/03/11  Indianapolis, Indiana – Caribbean Village
03/04/11  Charlotte, North Carolina – Twilight Bar & Grill
03/05/11  Syracuse University, New York – The Underground
03/06/11  Washington, D.C. – DC Star Nightclub
03/07/11  Bridgeport, Connecticut – Toad’s Place
03/08/11  Louisville, Kentucky – Tailgators Bar & Grill
03/09/11  St. Louis, Missouri -  Club 2720
03/10/11  Kansas City, Kansas – G’Jamaican
03/11/11  Columbus, Ohio – Al Rosa Villa

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Video: Etana – Power 105 Interview with DJ Norie

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Mp3: Etana Ft – Vybrant – I Love You

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ETANA SET TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM AND DIGITAL EP

Reggae singer/songwriter sensation Etanareturns with her highly anticipated sophomore album Free Expressions in February 2011 from VP Records. Before her new studio effort hits the shelves, VP Records is releasing a digital EP entitled Free, which features three of her current hits that are also included on the album. The digital EP drops on December 7, 2010, to satisfy fans during the wait for the full-length album.

Etana deems this second album Free Expressions because she adamantly refuses to be constrained by approach or lyrical content. “This album was produced a little differently from the first, most of the sessions were less planned so there is more of a free vibe,” she reveals. “I just wanted to express myself freely, write just what I want without thinking too hard about what anyone’s opinion would be – just doing music as I feel to do it.”

Fans are so consistently enthralled by Etana’s music that several tracks from Free Expressions have already topped the charts in Jamaica and reggae charts internationally, including “Free,” “August Town” and “Mockingbird.” The album’s first official single “Free” was produced by Kemar “Flava” McGregor and offers a somber reflection of a prolonged period of struggle endured by the artist. Its second single “Heart Broken” is equally as heartfelt with London-based producers Curtis Lynch, Jr. and Gussie Clarke at the helm.

Etana’s unabashed romanticism shines on the lovers’ rock tunes “I Know You Love Me” and “Happy Heart,” with both tracks produced by Flava. “Move On,” also produced by Lynch, adapts a neo-soul reggae fusion that laments a break-up tale that embraces life’s new possibilities, as does the upbeat reggae track “My Name Is,”which was produced by Stephen Stanley. She also targets those erroneous character assessments and the cutthroat competitiveness that dwells throughout the music industry on the roots rocking “Mockingbird,” produced by Flava, and the hip-hop tinged “Venting,” produced by Lynch.

Etana highlights her soulful side on “I Got You,” produced by Specialist and Alborosie, while “Day By Day,” produced by Joel Chin, offers spiritual renewal.“People Talk,” produced by Rohan Dwyer and Specialist, reflects her determination to succeed against all odds in the music business.

Free Expressions also furthers Etana’s reputation as a skillful songwriter as she penned 12 of the album’s 14 tracks. Her regal countenance, uncompromising messages of self-empowerment and the lyrical depth of her distinctive hit-filled catalogue offers a major challenge to the dominant perception of female artists’ images and identities. With Free and Free Expressions, Etana offers revolutionary changes in popular Jamaican music, one captivating, genre-blurring song at a time.

FREE EXPRESSIONS (Album)

1.      Free

2.      Mocking Bird

3.      People Talk

4.      Heart Broken

5.      I Know You Love Me

6.      I Got You

7.      Happy Heart

8.      My Name Is

9.      Move On

10.    War

11.    Retribution

12.    August Town

13.    Venting

14.    Day By Day

FREE (Digital EP)

1.      Happy Heart

2.      Free

3.      Mocking Bird

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Etana stars in new movie – “Ghett’a Life”


Reggae song bird, Shauna McKenzie better known as Etana has broadened her list of attributes in entertainment. The Reggae Ambassador has secured an acting role in the soon to be released film, “Ghett’a Life”. The movie’s official premiere is scheduled for Summer 2011. This will debut Etana as an actress and marks her arrival to the film industry. Fans can expect a different side to the performer in her fresh role, acquired through a succesful audition. Etana plays the role of ‘Arnette’, the mother of a youth troubled with life, frantically trying to get over on the other side.

The film is directed by Chris Browne, best known from the movie, “Third World Cop”. Etana is enthused of this new venture and hopes her fans and the general public will share her joy and excitement, when the film hits theatres. The cast boasts notable Jamaican actors including Winston ‘Bello’ Bell, Chris McFarlane, Carl Davis and Teddy Price. Ghett’a Life has completed its principal photography and currently in post production. In early 2011 screening will commence at international film festivals.
Etana enjoys watching Academy Award winning actress, Angelina Jolie, who is among her favourite Hollywood movie stars. As one would imagine, the songstress has a very busy music schedule clogged with local and overseas shows, coupled with the release of her sophomore album titled, Free Expressions. It’s amazing how she maintains focus to continue dominating at the top of the charts with her current #1 single, “Free”. The singer now turned actress says, she prioritises and sticks to her schedule to strike a balance for smooth operation. She considers herself ready and welcomes more acting roles in the future.

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ETANA OFFICIAL EPK | Freemind Music |

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Video:Etana- Happy Heart

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Etana- August Town

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Etana – Happy Heart (Official Music Video)

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Ghetto Riddim – Peetah Morgan feat Busy Signal – Unfair

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Spotlight: Etana

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I-Wayne feat Etana – Life Joy -
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Etana – August Town -
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Demarco feat Etana – Can I | Buss A Shot

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