Whispering sweet poetry for a Better Tomorrow Image

by Biko Kennedy

Waltzing from the Gospel-esque I Got You to the self-confident-Jah-protected I am not Afraid to the survival chanting on Free to expressing her unconditional love on Happy Heart, Etana's lyrical and vocal diversity and versatility has driven in so many lanes over the years yet has remained authentically her throughout.

As the release of her third studio album – Better Tomorrow – draws closer, fans, critics and curious listeners are anxiously awaiting what musical goodies she has in store for us this time. With singles such as Reggae, Better Tomorrow and 4 Play 2 Love already teasing the masses, February 26th couldn't creep any slower. Jamaicanmusic.com met with The Strong One for an interesting looking into a Better Tomorrow.

Jamaicansmusic: What was the vision you had for Better Tomorrow; in terms of what did you want the project to reflect prior to starting it?

Etana: I had in mind a live album with positive lyrics that grows on my audience and connect with souls. I wanted an album that would help build the spirit of my audience.

JAmusic: Why would Better Tomorrow be considered your most cohesive and confident offering to date?

E: I'd say because of wisdom earned over time.

JAmusic: What specific elements do you think characterizes your growth as artiste from Free Expressions to Better Tomorrow that we'll hear on the album?

E: Both albums are honest and fitting for my own life experience during recording. The inspirations come from the divine infinite powers based on all my spiritual cup could hold at the time. The more I experience, is the deeper the music, the more expressed joy or pain, the better the vocals.

JAmusic: Singles such as 'Reggae', 'Queen' and 'Smile' are powerful to say the least. What would you say is the driving theme behind the album and why this specific theme?

E: In my initial stage as a Reggae artiste, my dreams were to uplift and inspire through music. My food for soul is the message in the music. That has not changed. The driving force behind Better Tomorrow is my love, my passion for Reggae music and for people across the world.

JAmusic: When you look back on the journey you took in creating this album, what lessons did you learn along the way? Be it about yourself or musically (story telling/lyrical composition/etc).

E: In creating this album I learned sometimes I have to give to get. I also learned a lot about VP Records and their way of business and how it can affect the music. Most importantly to me though the growth in my ability to totally let go and let the music take over.

JAmusic: What song(s) on the album do you hold closest to your heart, that you simply can't wait for everyone to hear and why this particular song?

E: I have a couple (laughs) Better Tomorrow, Strongest, Reggae, All I need, Till you get old, queen... On second thought, the whole album Better Tomorrow (laughs hysterically).

JAmusic: What do you hope listeners will take away from Better Tomorrow?

E: I pray my message and positive move will take on to their whole being and be the perfect picker-upper. I pray they take with them the positive energy always and feel the power of Rastafari Love.

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