Many Jamaican Rastafarians moved to Ethiopia to find solace in their faith and African roots. One of them is Sydney Salmon, a singer who has called the East African country home for the past 24 years.
Salmon has built a following in his adopted home with songs like ‘Ethiopia is Calling’. His latest release is ‘Trees’, a horn-hooked track he co-produced with Agent Blurr and Majik Reed.
The jazzy feel of ‘Trees’ is a departure from the roots-reggae sound Salmon has recorded since he launched his career during the late 1970s, but he welcomed the opportunity to something different.
“It’s not necessarily the sound I prefer, but a sound which challenges me to adjust my vocal style to capture the feel and meaning of the writer. I love the challenge, it improves my singing skills,” he said.
Michael Eaton, a Jamaican based in New Jersey, wrote ‘Trees’ which was recorded there at Blurred Noize Studio and Planet Hits Lab Studio.
Salmon is from Kingston and was inspired by the roots-reggae revolution of the 1970s. Interestingly, the first song he recorded was a cover of The Beatles ‘I Love You’, produced in 1977 by Garth Henriques, father of Sean Paul.
Salmon lives in Shashamane, a fertile region in southern Ethiopia where Jamaicans and other West Indians have lived since the 1960s. He has recorded two albums there and collaborated on songs with artists from East and West Africa.