Etana shined on the second night of the annual Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival held at Greenfield Stadium in Trelawny on Friday, January 25. According to the Jamaica Gleaner the graceful Etana" delivered a commanding performance" to the jam-packed audience inside the 25,000 capacity venue. The reggae soulstress joined the long list of star-studded names - including Dionne Warwick, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Michael Bolton, Romain Virgo and Monica - who took the stage at this three-day extravaganza.
The singer-songwriter heads to New Zealand this Friday (February 1) to perform at the prestigious 2013 Raggamuffin Festival at Rotorua International Stadium - featuring artists Lauryn Hill, Toots & The Maytals, Rebelution, The Green, Gappy Ranks and many more. She will plan to tour the United States throughout the month of March in support of 'Better Tomorrow.' Dates and more details will be announced shortly.
Etana will also team up with director Kerrin McLean to shoot her video for Reggae (Listen to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OlK2Xg4kr8)" back in her native country of Jamaica. The contagious single, produced by Shane C. Brown of Jukeboxx Recordings, is the title track off her latest EP (Buy now: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/reggae- single/id572799416) and the first single off her eagerly awaited album 'Better Tomorrow' (February 26, VP Records). The video will be unveiled in time for her album launch.
Recorded at Kingston’s legendary Tuff Gong Studios, Etana’s third studio album 'Better Tomorrow' is a true testament to her evolved sound. She reveals arguably her fiercest, most thought-provoking material to date. With a fresh perspective and baby daughter born in November 2012, Etana offers newfound clarity. Her powerful songwriting and evocative vocals ride effortlessly over soulful reggae melodies on this 14-track collection produced primarily by Jamaica’s own Shane C. Brown and also Stanley Relle" Hayden. Described as “reggae’s Jill Scott” (NPR) or “reminiscent of India.Arie” (Essence), Etana is “moving ahead from struggles of yesterday on a musical journey that uplifts the mind, body and the raw soul," as she eloquently explains on 'Better Tomorrow’s' intro “Spoken Soul.”
Etana’s indomitable spirit inspires generations both old and new. Songs like “Queen,” ignite strength and empowerment, while “Till You Get Old (Life's Gift)” is an awe-inspiring tale of motherhood and unconditional love. Her unabashed romanticism shines on the r&b tinged “4 Play 2 Love (Start Over) and on the rhythmic sway of the album's contagious first single Reggae.” She combats hopelessness on Whole New World," All I Need" and Better Tomorrow.” The latter spine-chilling title track addresses the atrocities of children in poverty-stricken communities while instilling optimism for brighter days.
'Better Tomorrow' expands upon her recent digital-only EP 'Reggae' and 2011 sophomore album 'Free Expressions,' which won praise for the being “a rarity: music that sermonizes, yet still sweetly serenades,” according to NPR.org. These releases also follow her 2008 critically acclaimed debut 'The Strong One,' which featured massive hits “Warrior Love,” “Roots,” “I Am Not Afraid,” “Blessing” ft. Alborosie and “Wrong Address” that topped reggae charts in The Caribbean, England and United States. Essence.com raved that her “poetic consciousness amid soul-stirring grooves rivals that of gifted neo-soulsters.” Pitchfork chose her debut album as their dancehall pick of the month and gushed about her “fulsome and soulful voicings” and “syrupy love songs.” Vibe magazine claimed she had already “established herself as a formidable performer and songwriter whose music and reputation precedes her.” 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.