Who knew? Etana’s alter ego is Melissa | Loop Jamaica

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Reggae singer Etana made history years ago when her album, ‘Reggae Forever’, hit the pole position on Billboard’s Reggae Album chart in the US. This was the artiste’s second album to reach the top spot, and it cemented a place in reggae history for her as the first woman from Jamaica to have back-to-back top albums on the Billboard chart.

Her first chart-topper album was ‘I Rise’, which reached the apex of the Billboard ranking in 2014. Since then, she has continued to make strides in the music industry, copping Reggae Grammy nominations, the most recent for her ‘Pamoja’ album.

‘The Strong One’ is in the studio working on new music but took time out to speak to Loop News for our Loop Entertainment feature Who Knew?

Loop Entertainment: What are two things about yourself that people would be surprised to know?

Etana: My alter ego’s name is Melissa, which is my given middle name. My husband thinks she’s amazing!

Loop Entertainment: Dave Chappelle was recently attacked onstage? Have you ever had a weird fan moment or felt afraid during a performance?

Etana: I was never uncomfortable on stage. I am always aware but never afraid. My weirdest moment ever was being kissed on the lips by a girl who pounced on me as I walked out of a narrow hallway with security to get on stage. It happened so fast, that I didn’t have time to react.

I really wish he was not attacked. I believe Malcolm X was attacked in a similar way based on stories told. When the stage that is used to entertain or inspire and uplift isn’t safe anymore, it feels like an indirect attack on the people. Imagine a world without music and laughter.

Loop Entertainment: Name the top three places you want to visit in the next year and why?

Etana: Since the pandemic, I have not been back to England. I am ready to perform there one more time. I also will visit the malls and boutiques.

I would also visit Japan again. I love the people, their culture, cleanliness, level of respect for nature and other people, and so much more.

Anywhere in Africa will do for me. It’s just everything to be in Africa.

Loop Entertainment: Which trait helped you to survive the pandemic and emerge stronger?

Etana: I’d have to say tenacity and adaptability. I just knew that no matter what happens I just have to keep going, so I dropped an album for each year: ‘Dimensions’, November 2019; ‘June Gemini’, 2020, and ‘Pamoja’, June 2021.

Loop Entertainment: What are the top three songs on your iPod?

Etana: ‘Fight the Fight’ by Mortimer; ‘Not for sale’, by Etana; and ‘Young Gifted and Black’, by Etana.

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