A call to Black People

Monday, February 13, 2017

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With recording sessions for his Black People EP complete, British singer Emmanuel Anebsa is preparing for the next phase --- promoting the four-song product.

Anebsa, 45, is from Bristol, England but is keen to pitch Black People in Jamaica, his parents homeland.

"In England, we’d have a hard time promoting it because black British people don’t support black British music on that level," he said. "I don’t think they can name 10 British reggae artistes."

The lanky Anebsa (Amharic for lion) recorded Black People at Tuff Gong studios in Kingston with guitarist Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith, bassist Chris Meredith and drummer Squiddly Cole.

The title song is its first release. It sums up the challenges being a person of colour in England where Anebsa says there is still widespread racism.

"I come from a political situation...I don’t come from a normal situation," he stated.

Anebsa was born Steven Emmanuel Wilks to parents from St Catherine and Clarendon. His father, Bertram, owned the infamous Black And White Cafe in Bristol, which was the scene of a major riot in April 1980.

It was through his father’s establishment that Anebsa got into reggae. He listened to a diverse roster of reggae/dancehall artistes such as Bob Marley, U Roy, Big Youth, Papa Toyan, Eek-A-Mouse and Peter Metro.

Several of those acts passed through the ‘Black And White’ which closed in 2004. The cafe, which had a reputation as a den for hard drugs, was constantly raided by police.

Anebsa says he has recorded over 30 albums, ranging from acoustic rock to roots-reggae. Most of them, he admits, did not proper promotion.

"My music has never been promoted in the right way. What I’m looking to do is put together a great marketing plan and get Black People out there."

– Howard Campbell

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