Jamaican reggae artist Etana has revealed that a lot of inspiration came from Kenya as she decided to title her new album ‘Pamoja’.
According to Etana said the highly anticipated 16-track album was released on June 25, 2021, with her 2019 trip to Nairobi, Kenya being the main source of inspiration.
“When I thought of the album Pamoja, I did think of Kenya, just like I did when I wrote my single, ‘Better tomorrow.’ A lot of good inspiration came from Kenya,” Etana said.
The Kingston-born singer also acknowledged that the message in the songs is part of what inspired the title ‘Pamoja’ for her new album.
Etana asserted that her main inspiration was due to the high number of divorce rates and frustrations, she decided to uplift their souls with the new album.
“Due to the pandemic in 2020, divorce rates increased, families broke apart and people got frustrated. I figured, what can I do to encourage people more, uplift their spirits, keep them happy, positive and put together, and I decided to do an album with many collaborations which is something I have really never done before,” she said.
Etana arrived in the country ahead of her much awaited performance at the Pamoja Festival to be staged at the Ngong Racecourse on Saturday.
Her visit comes after releasing a new project titled 'Pamoja (Together)', and months after her album featuring Kenyan and African artistes.
In a live interview with a local station, Etana explained why she did her version of the song 'Malaika', a Kenyan song originally by Fadhili Williams.
"I know the message in 'Malaika' is about a man not having enough to marry the woman of his dreams and a lot of us, not just Africa, a lot of generations, had to start from the bottom, having nothing. A woman or even a man starting from nothing and accomplishing a lot is a big deal," she said.
Etana further said that she has created a base in Kenya, and it’s the only country where her fans sing along to all her songs.
“In different countries, crowds react differently. There are those who wait until I am done singing, and then they just clap in appreciation at the end of the show, but when Kenya turns up, it’s over,” Etana said.
The tracks on Etana's new album are a mix of Dancehall, Afro beat, and Reggae.
She was born Shauna McKenzie and will be performing live at Ngong racecourse on Saturday.