STAR of the Month: Language barrier doesn't stop Etana's message

May 16, 2018

As the Star of the Month Etana makes preparations to leave for Hangout Music Festival in Alabama and Guadeloupe's heritage festival celebration, Eritaj, she is apprehensive about the upcoming performances.

Etana told The STAR, "My biggest problem is choosing the songs to perform. Once I get that out of the way, my team and I work on perfecting the set."

She is presently occupied with rehearsal sessions where dynamics, such as the presence of first-time listeners, are playing a major part in her song selection.

"I reflect on what my fans globally would like to hear and prepare to perform those songs, but I also consider what those seeing me for the time might find interesting. Depending on the allotted time given for performance, I may be required to add those songs as well," Etana said.

The Hangout Music Festival features a diverse offering with recording artistes from all the musical genres, including electro-house music disc jockey Zedd, rapper Kendrick Lamar and fellow Jamaican reggae recording artiste, Skip Marley.

Etana said she is looking forward to seeing Lamar's performance "because I love the artiste in him as well as SZA; I love the way she writes, I'd love to see her performance to put the two together".

She said she also wanted to see The Green from Hawaii "because I am a reggae lover" and "I am curious about Pussy Riot as their name stands out".

The Strong One singer will be travelling with her band, RawSoul Rebels, for this weekend's event, and although she is not billed to perform alongside any of the popular names publicised, Etana said "I don't think I'd hesitate if asked to sing with anyone."

Etana has never experienced the Hangout Music Festival and says she is looking forward to having a professional experience and is eager to gain new fans.

Throughout her travels, Etana has overcome many cultural dissimilarities but one that stands out is the language barrier.

"Based on my experiences in French, Spanish, Italian, German and Portuguese territories, it no longer surprises me," Etana said.

The singer says that she has had to depend on individuals who speak English, along with the language of whichever territory she is in, to translate and also utilises the Google Translate mobile application.

"On stage, however, I just sing and they all sing along to their favourite tracks," she said.

Etana says that if there is one lesson she wants the audience at the upcoming events to learn from her it is that it is all right to love and accept everyone the way they are.

She also hopes that her performance influences the people to let go of their troubles and dance.

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