Yesterday the House of Marley was blessed to meet and interview Etana, reggae’s beautiful leading lady. It was a big day for Etana as it marked the release day of her 4th album “I Rise”. We were given a sneak peak of the album and we put it on blast non stop in the office. Etana’s mesmerizing voice and positive words uplift the soul and can make any worry you have slowly creep away. Peep the interview below and the wise words Etana gives to aspiring artists.
Dee: What inspired you to write “Wrong Address”, and did you think this song was going to be such a huge success on reggae music charts?
Etana: I had no idea. But my aunt is the person I wrote that song for, who applied for a job and didn’t get it. The song is not like reggae reggae so I didn’t even think it would fit on the radio.
How did you balance obtaining your nursing degree with your passion for music?
It wasn’t a passion of music that made me decide to not go to school. I was just bored and tired of going to work after school and doing the same thing over and over again.
What advice would you give aspiring artists who can’t decide whether to stick with school or pursue their music dreams?
You have to follow your heart, that’s all it’s about really. You have to know within you what you want for yourself and you always. You always have to follow your heart and do whatever makes you happy.
What was the biggest lesson you learned from being in the girl group “GIFT”?
Following your heart, and not being afraid of expressing myself , and doing what I think is right for me.
If you could go back in time what advice would you give an 18 year old you?
There is so much time in the world to do everything, so pace yourself.
What is it like being a woman in a male dominated genre of music?
I always know that I have to go hard, and go hard everyday. A little harder as long as I possibly can, thats all it is.
What was your first reaction when you heard your name being called at the International Reggae and World Music Awards for Best Female Vocalist?
I was a little shocked, it makes you feel good that you are being acknowledged at such an event. To even be nominated is a good feeling.
Etana’s I Rise – Track Listing:
1. Selassie is the Chapel
2. How Long
3. On My Way
4. Stepping Out Of Babylon
5. Jamaica Woman
6. I Rise
7. Richest Girl
8. Love Song
9. By Your Side
10. Passing Thru
12. Ward 21 (Stenna’s Song)
14. Jah Jah
15. Jam Credits