Naomi Cowan creating her music legacy

March 06, 2023
Cowan showing her touch on the guitar.
Cowan showing her touch on the guitar.
Naomi Cowan performing at Lost In Time Music Festival at Hope Botanical Gardens in St Andrew.
Naomi Cowan performing at Lost In Time Music Festival at Hope Botanical Gardens in St Andrew.

Known as a legacy of her reggae royalty parents Tommy Cowan and Carlene Davis, Naomi Cowan is happy to have a 'New Wave' of reggae creatives.

"New Wave, I am grateful for it and I think it's a necessary brand, a necessary movement to us as the new wave of Jamaican music, because I think one thing that is going to fuel Jamaica to the next level is us not being afraid of experimenting, us not being afraid of pushing the boundaries,"she said.

Started by reggae artiste Protoje, New Wave is a collective of reggae and dancehall artistes, musicians, dancers, photographers, designers and other creatives that have emerged in Jamaica.

Cowan, who is heavily affiliated with the collective, told THE STAR that, though her music is rooted in reggae, she is grateful for the space New Wave allows for her to explore while maintaining her 'Jamaicanness'.

"Because, for me as a reggae artiste, I never want someone to listen to my music and not be able to tell that I'm Jamaican," she said. "I always want to put Jamaica first, Jamaica as my brand, Jamaica as my sound. But at the same time I want to see our genre, our music reach the Billboard charts, reach the Grammys. I think for sure New Wave allows a space for that," she said.


During her set at New Wave's Lost in time Festival recently at Hope Gardens in St Andrew, Cowan gave a medley of both songs from her discography and classics from a variety of historically diasporic genres of music. She told THE STAR it was tough to decide her track list, because she only had 25 minutes.

"But I spoke with my musicians about what I wanted to bring to the stage, what I wanted to bring to the table, and they understood the vision. They know that I am very creative and so, as you can tell, I fused a lot of hip hop, R&B and dancehall into my thing. Because, for me as a musician, of course I am a reggae singer, but I would not be here without certain rhythms and certain moments in history," she said.

While it is unclear to her whether her reverence for music is nature or nurture, its influence on her creative process has been incontrovertible.

"I think it's because of my parents, but also because I am a by-product of music, I connect with it. I guess I've always connected with it from before I was even born," Cowan reasoned. "So, when I listen to music I also think about what was happening in the time when this was created, when someone was creating a song or a rhythm what was happening on the streets, what was happening in society, 'cause all of those things influence what we create."

Cowan is now promoting her latest EP, Stargirl.

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