Jamaican roots reggae empress, Etana, just released her fourth studio album I Rise on Oct. 28th, 2014 via VP Records. This marks a special release for Etana as the album rose to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Reggae Album chart in just a week!
With her I Rise topping the Billboard Reggae Album charts, this positions Etana as one of three Jamaican female artists ever, and the first in nearly two decades (since Diana King and Patra in the mid-90s), to land on top of the Billboard charts.
The beautiful Etana was born in Jamaica and moved to South Florida in the early 90s. After prematurely leaving college, Shauna McKenzie (AKA Etana) joined an all-female vocal group called Gift. She chose not to conform to the music industry’s skimpy standards and moved back home to Kingston, to focus on producing music based on her Rastafarian spirituality and love of Jamaica. Back home she performed background vocals for Richie Spice and Fifth Element and she wrote her first single “Wrong Address” while in studio with some of the band’s musicians. This single reached #1 on several Jamaican charts and was included in her first album The Strong One.
I Rise was produced by legendary Jamaican multi-instrumentalist and producer Clive Hunt and the release follows Etana’s previous albums with Better Tomorrow, Free Expressions, and The Strong One. This album resonates her true passion for reggae by expressing her deep-rooted spirituality on tracks like the Bob Marley remake of “Selassie Is The Chapel,” the Marcia Griffith’s cover of “Stepping Out Of Babylon” “Emancipation” and “On My Way.” Producer Clive Hunt arranged an all-star team of the island’s musicians to contribute to the album – including himself, Sly and Robbie, Grub Cooper, Handel Tucker, and Dean Fraser.
In a music industry dominated by men, Etana is rising as one of the few female reggae vocalist & artist who is putting out quality reggae albums, worthy of Billboard Charting, yet alone the number one spot. She’s the first in almost 20 years to do so and did so without having to compromise the spirit or content of her music.
Etana will celebrate here recent success and perform tracks from her brand new album at her NYC release party at SOBs on Monday, November 17, 2014. Doors open at 7:30pm and show time is 9pm. Advance tickets are $15 and can be purchased by clicking HERE!
Watch: Etana – “Richest Girl”
Watch: Etana – “Trigger”