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Reggae North


Freedom Sounds from Etana

Etana pulls double duty on “Freemind Riddim”, a 12-song album featuring songs by established acts like herself, as well as upcoming artists. She produced the project which was released by her Freemind Music on May 10.

While she produced three of her last four albums, Etana said overseeing a ‘riddim’ compilation is entirely different as the producer usually selects the artists, they believe can do the beat justice.

“Riddim albums keep the music moving and keep the culture of reggae music and dancehall strong,” she noted, adding that key ingredients of a good riddim’ are “Great and talented musicians, good engineer, quality sound, good vibes and popular artists.”

Etana leads the cast of popular artists on “Freemind Riddim” with “Grateful”. Lutan Fyah “Work & Play”, Richie Spice “Life Goes On”, Warrior King “Ragga Ragga” and Ginjah “Coming Around” are also featured.

Some of the emerging acts, and their songs, on the album are Greg Gutty “Hey Darling”, Samini “Holiday” and I Noah “Free Your Mind”.

Etana, whose hit songs include “Roots” and “I Rise”, said she decided to become more involved in producing her music after splitting with VP Records, the Queens, New York company that distributed several of her albums.

She co-produced and produced her Grammy-nominated albums, “Reggae Forever” and “Pamoja”.

Riddims have been the lifeblood of reggae-dancehall music for over 50 years. It helped put foundation labels like Treasure Isle and Studio One on the map during the 1960s. Riddims exploded during the 1990s with hits like the “Pepperseed” and “Joy Ride”, which set the pace for monster beats like the Diwali in 2002.

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