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Etana leads the way for Tad's

Observer senior writer

Saturday, December 08, 2018

When Etana and music producer Tad Dawkins met in the summer of 2017, it was to discuss her recording a song for Old King Cole Riddim, a compilation album from his company, Tad's International Record. Their talks soon expanded.

“We started to talk about a collaboration between Tad's (International) Record and Freemind Music (Etana's company) to put out her next album. That was the birth of Reggae Forever and here we are with a top-notch Grammy-nominated album,” Dawkins told the Jamaica Observer.

Nominations for the 61st Grammy Awards were announced yesterday. Reggae Forever, 44/876 by Sting and Shaggy, A Matter of Time by Protoje, As the World Turns from Black Uhuru, and Rebellion Rises by Ziggy Marley are the nominees for Best Reggae Album.

The awards take place on February 10 at Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

Dawkins is not surprised that Reggae Forever made the Best Reggae Album category.

“It's undeniably the best reggae album for 2018,” he said.

It is the first Grammy nod for Etana and second for Tad's International Record. The company's first was Gregory Isaacs' Brand New Me in 2009.

Reggae Forever was released in March and coincided with Etana's 38-date tour of the United States with Hawaiian singer J Boog. She produced some of the songs on the 13-track set along with drummer Kirk Bennett and DJ Frass.

It was one of four artiste albums released this year by Tad's which operates out of Kingston and South Florida. George Nooks' For You; Dean Fraser's Melodies of D E B (a tribute album to Brown); and Dub, Stories and Poetry by DYCR are the others.

“We released these albums to stay in tune with the industry as well as to ease the strain on our release listing, considering the long list of artistes for whom we are planning to release albums for in 2019,” Dawkins explained.

The Ultimate, the company's compilation of dancehall and hits, was released in September.

Dawkins said 2019 may be the busiest in terms of album releases since he started the company in the early 1980s. Albums by Marcia Griffiths, Brigadier Jerry and Annette Brissett are on the cards, as well as a new song by Dennis Brown, to mark the 20th anniversary of the singer's death.