Just when you thought you’ve heard it all, along comes an artist with the power and vitality to steer reggae in a new direction. At age twenty-six, Gyptian sounds like no one else and, unlike 99% of his peers; he’s oblivious to the constant parade of one hit wonders. His new hit “Hold You” is opening the eyes of present and new fans alike. The rediscovery of his great talent is refreshing to Reggae music as a whole. Since the release of his albums My Name is Gyptian and I Can Feel Your Pain, his presence and voice has not faltered. His soothing vocals has carried his bold views from the island of Jamaica to the world. Gyptian finds inspiration from his surroundings and in the venerable spirits of original truth-tellers like Peter Tosh. Bringing authentic lyrics in conjunction with a voice that demands to be heard; Gyptian returns with his third installment to his already remarkable music career.
“We like the real facts of things, not going around the corner and wait - just light music, you know,” Gyptian says. Raised as Windel Beneto Edwards in the countryside of St. Andrew above Kingston, JA, by a Christian “muma” and Rasta “pupa,” Gyptian describes his temperament as “everything in balance…humble and calm as the wind...although at times, the wind turn hurricane and haffi blow off house top,” he says. Unimpressed by the born-again Rasta craze that dominates Jamaica’s music fraternity, Gyptian notes that “Rasta is not something you feel or think you are; it’s just a natural mystic. A lot of people come in the music and turn Rasta, but Gyptian is not about that. I really sing ‘pon the higher soul - real, authentic music, and it’s just life and music.”
Gyptian’s been rocking the mic since he was a school boy, mashing it up in the church choir on Sunday mornings and, by night, wowing the massive at his father Basil Edward’s sound system dances in Kingston’s working class Barbican district. But it wasn’t until 2004, when his family moved to the teeming pool of musical talent that is Portmore, a town located just outside the capital city, that Gyptian’s career got legs.There he met Ravin Wong, “the one who start the whole thing,” says Gyptian. Wong was known for helping budding artists, like I Wayne, “build their musical standard and get them right,” as Wong describes it. “I got a lot of artists started but I never had the financial backing. I have a little studio in the corner where they hang out and cook and sleep – just like a family unit.
Lying between baritone and tenor vocals, Gyptian can’t be pigeonholed into one sound. In 2006 his debut album My Name Is Gyptian was released. It introduced his bold new voice that swept airwaves around the world; his incendiary hit “Serious Times” was declared Jamaica’s Most Important Song of 2005 beating out Junior Gong Marley’s Top Ten Billboard hit “Welcome to Jamrock”. He achieved crossover fame with the smooth and upbeat track “Beautiful Lady,” gaining airplay on popular radio stations like Hot 97 in New York. Gyptian was nominated as Best New Reggae Artist and named the Most Promising Entertainer at the 2006 International Reggae and World Music Awards held at New York City’s legendary Apollo Theater. At home, Gyptian was cited as the Best New Artist of 2005 by the Jamaica Observer newspaper.
Gyptian surpasses the standards established on his remarkable debut with his inspiring sophomore effort “I Can Feel Your Pain.” From the unforgettably beautiful title track which he wrote as a balm to broken hearted ladies everywhere to his passionate heartfelt hit “Love Against The Wall.” “I Can Feel Your Pain” offered sophisticated and genuine lyrics from Gyptian. “With music you can’t just stick to one sound, you have to pick and choose to satisfy the largest fan base,” he says. “Some people love the cultural side of Gyptian but for the girls it’s all about lovers rock because everybody needs love and everyone needs to share love.”
Gyptian sounds his own potent chord, from his album “My Name is Gyptian to “I Can Feel Your Pain.” His new album that’s on the horizon, promises to bring the hit making, thought provoking music that we all have come to know and appreciate. “I’m trying to make songs that people can understand and tell them what they can do to help themselves – how they can get whatever they need,” Gyptian says. “I want to influence the people. One man can’t carry the world, and I’m not saying I’m a saint or anything. I’m just trying.”Gyptian puts his heart and soul in every song he produces. His goal is to provide feel good music to the masses in the hope that he can revitalize the spirit of the people and Reggae music.
Once in a great while, the world is afforded with a powerful, soulful and unique voice of the people. The ever-so-talented songstress Etana "The Strong One" has emerged as this entity, representing one of Reggae music's newest faces. Boasting a flawless soul-soaked voice, in just a few years, Etana has captivated and inspired legions of die hard fans. In addition to wooing listeners with her rich honey-laced vocals, Etana also proudly dons the hat of songwriter. The singer has boldly struck a chord with the masses, winning the hearts of people one song at a time. Etana's craft of developing Reggae music masterpieces spans beyond just a means of entertainment. Consistently, Etana addresses pressing issues in her music. And just like the "The Strong One" translation of her name, Etana's messages are a force to be reckoned with. Crooning of oppression and injustices against all people, Etana never fails to motivate and inspire her audience. Although Etana's music is often billed as "Roots Reggae," her style undeniably transcends music genre and is also infused with hints of Jazz and R&B.
Etana has been afforded with extensive visibility in 2009, performing in locales throughout the world, including an impressive performance at the Johannesburg 2009 Arts Alive Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa. Notably, for this performance, the soulful songstress was handpicked by the governments of Jamaica and South Africa. Other milestones include unforgettable sets at several high profile music festivals like Reggae Sumfest, Irie Jamboree and the Soul Beach Music Festival in Aruba – where Etana shared the stage with the likes of Jamie Foxx, Common and Robin Thicke. Clearly, this performance exposed Etana's music to a diverse audience.
Etana's latest single "August Town" is being heralded by fans as a great, thought provoking song. Like many of Etana's efforts, "August Town" tells of a real-life, recent situation that occurred in her community. “August Town” will be featured on her new album set to be launched on November 9th. Other tracks confirmed for her highly anticipated sophomore effort include “Free” and “Happy Heart”. Presently all three tracks are concurrently burning up the airwaves and music charts. One can expect great things from Etana with her new album set to launch later this year. Her world tour kicks off in mid October. The tour starts in Europe as her exclusive agent for that territory, Pride music international merges forces with her existing management team. Her team consists of renowned music events promoter Junior “Heavy-D” Fraser, Connect PR in addition to Free Mind Music. Etana desires to formalize her youth involvement in the future with a youth-driven foundation centered on the themes of education and empowerment.