Reining reggae princess Etana’s sophomore album hits the shelves come tomorrow and by all indications the 15-track project is set to surpass the buzz created by her debut album, The Strong One.
Originally set for a late 2010 release, Free Expressions, will be on record store shelves in Jamaica, the United States, across Europe including the UK, across the Caribbean and in one of the largest reggae markets Japan.
The singer is excited about this, saying “the nervousness and excitement doesn’t dwindle for me and I’m just hopeful that this album will do as well as and even better than The Strong One.”
Etana notes that she recorded this album as a more mature person, in both her entertainment and personal life. The songstress has performed her hit songs on stages around the world and crowds numbering more than 150,000 people. Then, there’s the fact Etana, whose real name is Shauna McKenzie, became Mrs Shauna Morris when she got tied the knot in 2010.
She said that the album was called Free Expressions because she “wasn’t and refused to be lyrically restricted,” when asked if her husband was the reason for the love songs on the project. The tracks Happy Heart, I Know You Love Me and My Name Is all have ‘love’ undercurrents.
To say that Etana played a greater role in the creative direction and selection of the songs on this album would be an understatement. She wrote 12 of the 15 tunes on the album, and dedicated countless hours to the recording and mastering of the tracks — a sign of the perfectionist she is.
“This time around, I got really involved in the making of the album. For The Strong One there were a team of writers but it’s pretty much all me and my pen in the majority of the songs on Free Expressions. That was an experience I enjoyed, and I am definitely more into writing these days.”
That said, however, Free Expressions doesn’t depart from what we’ve come to know and love from the songbird that burst on the entertainment scene with the singles Roots and Wrong Address.
“This album is filled with loads of truth as always. I don’t see the point in writing things that aren’t true to me or things that other people can’t relate to.”
Socially conscious undertones can be found in tracks such as Mocking Bird, Retribution and of course the popular August Town. In the songs Day by Day, Moving On, People Talk, Free and Dance Etana croons messages of upliftment and positivity.
“All my experiences since The Strong One have made me so much more aware about the business and entertainment on a whole and they have allowed me to grow in so many enriching ways. I’m just happy for it all, and it will reflect in my music and in this album,” said Etana.
“Some really great music is on this album thanks to the great team of people behind the project. From my record label VP Records to the producers and musicians that made the beats and music beds, and I’m sure fans and music lovers will enjoy the 1 hour musical journey we’ve paved out for them.”