Entertainment

Sen on musical journey

BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter livingstonc@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, March 12, 2014    

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This is the third of a 10-part series looking the impact of reggae/dancehall culture around the world.

VENEZUELAN REGGAE artiste Anthony Sandoval (aka SEN) has been in Jamaica for almost one month, working on his EP at Tuff Gong studios with producer Philip 'Winta' James.

Speaking with the Jamaica Observer, SEN describes the songs as "spiritually romantic lover's rock". It is a follow-up to Celestial, his debut album which was released last year.

According to SEN, he took advantage of his time in Jamaica to shoot the music video for his new single, Starlight Woman, which he is promoting locally.

Although he is from Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, SEN says he has lived "all over the world". His mother is English and father Venezuelan.

The 29-year-old singer began studying piano at age seven while living in Spain. By age 16, it was on to guitar and a love for Jamaican music which saw him forming a rock steady band in England.

"My professional music career began at age 23 in Bolivia, when I realised that music is everything," said SEN. "One of my main influences to pursue the reggae styles was my mother's vinyl collection. She lived for two years in Jamaica in the 70s and was able to collect a lot of great music."

His greatest experience in Jamaica has been hanging out with 'Georgie', a close friend of the Wailers who is immortalised by Bob Marley in No Woman No Cry.

"He took us to visit the wonderful Bull Bay. We also spent time at the Tuff Gong studio and at Hope Road (Marley Museum). But when he took us to Trench Town which really is a magical place, I really got to understand the spirit of one of my great musical inspirations, Bob Marley," SEN said.

Venezuela has a growing reggae population. Jamaican acts such as Anthony B and Sean Paul have performed there and Caracas has a vibrant sound system scene.

Caracas is also home to several ska and reggae groups such as Desorden Público and Papashanty Saundsystem.

SEN recorded the eclectic Celestial in Bolivia and Puerto Rico. He says its songs reflect his influences.

"It has a mixture of songs in Spanish and English, with many styles including rock ballads and elements of jazz and, of course, reggae."

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