Etana (musician)

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Etana
Etana (Uppsala, 2009).jpg
Etana performing in 2009
Background information
Birth name Shauna McKenzie
Born (1983-05-22) May 22, 1983 (age 31)
Kingston, Jamaica
Genres Reggae, gospel
Occupations Singer-songwriter, record producer, guitarist
Years active 2000-present
Labels VP

Shauna McKenzie (born May 22, 1983, Kingston, Jamaica), known commonly as Etana, is a reggae singer from Jamaica. Her debut album The Strong One[1] was released in June 2008.

Biography[edit]

Born Shauna McKenzie, the only girl in a family of boys, Etana grew up in the eastern Saint Andrew community of August Town. Her vocal talent was discovered when she was eight years old and was overheard singing along to a 1991 hit by the group Air Supply.

Etana migrated to the United States in 1992. She went on to attend Broward Community College with the intention of becoming a registered nurse.

Beginnings (2000-2005)[edit]

Following her decision to prematurely exit college in 2000, Etana joined a female vocal group named Gift. At the time Universal Records was interested in their music so Etana reluctantly agreed to wear the skimpy outfits dictated by the music industry’s pervasive stereotyping of female artists; then one day, she could no longer conform.

Etana returned to her Kingston birthplace and focused on making music that reflected her embracement of Rastafarian principles, which include a royal representation of women, adhering to a natural lifestyle, and an acknowledgment of the teachings of Marcus Garvey and Emperor Haile Selassie I. That opportunity arrived in 2005 when a friend brought her to Kingston's Fifth Element Records, who were then enjoying success with Richie Spice's single "Earth A Run Red" and his album Spice In Your Life. Etana successfully auditioned to become one of Spice's vocalists on his tour of Europe and North America.

The Strong One (2007-2009)[edit]

While in the studio with the guitarist and percussionist from Spice's band, Etana put together the song "Wrong Address". Fusing acoustic folk with roots reggae rhythms and strains of neo-soul influences "Wrong Address" was based on the experience of Etana's aunt being told to lie about where she lived in order to gain employment. The single received heavy radio rotation, reaching the number one position on several Jamaican charts.

Etana's second major hit "Roots" was inspired by her travels to Africa (her very first solo performance was in the West African nation of Ghana where she was showered with overwhelming adulation).

The remainder of the songs on her debut album The Strong One presents an eclectic mix of Etana's ideas and influences, which include Air Supply, Dolly Parton, Bob Marley and Sizzla.

Etana was nominated for the 2008 MOBO Awards in the 'Best Reggae' category.[2]

Free Expressions and Better Tomorrow (2011–2013)[edit]

Etana at Ruhr Reggae Summer 2014

Etana released her second album, Free Expressions, in 2011. She toured Europe in 2012.[3] She is now married to Andre Morris.

Her third album, the Shane Brown-produced Better Tomorrow was recorded mainly at Tuff Gong studios in 2012 and is scheduled for release in February 2013.[4] It will be preceded by a US tour.[4]

In 2013 she recorded the duet "If Tomorrow Never Comes" with New Zealand singer Swiss for his album, and it was also released as a single which hit the New Zealand top 50.[5]

Now resident in Florida, she has two children.[4]

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Etana Music"
  2. ^ "The MOBO Awards 2008", BBC. Retrieved 2 December 2012
  3. ^ "Etana Enjoys Europe ... Fallen In Love With The Appreciation For Reggae", Jamaica Gleaner, 12 July 2012, retrieved 2012-07-13
  4. ^ a b c Campbell, Howard (2012) "Etana hopes for a Better Tomorrow", Jamaica Observer, 2 December 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012
  5. ^ "Etana goes Swiss on new single", Jamaica Observer, 1 September 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013

External links[edit]