It's really a 'New Day' for Winston McAnuff
Winston McAnuff, Reggae Boy Jobi McAnuff's uncle and the world's only 'Electric Dread', as he is known in music circles, breezed through Ocho Rios recently, after completing a mammoth world tour in 2015 that involved 161 shows.
McAnuff had spent the last two-and-a-half years touring, performing in Europe, South America, Africa and the Caribbean. On the day he was headed back to his home in Paris, he was at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica, awaiting his flight, when the terror attack took place in that city.
"I was actually at the airport in Montego Bay waiting for a flight to the UK and then on to Paris. The flight had to be rescheduled," McAnuff told Entertainment Avenue. Chances are, if he had not come to Jamaica, he would have been in Paris that day and one never knows what could have happened. As fate would have it, though, he was in the blessed land of his birth, thousands of miles away, and safe. He eventually flew out about a week later.
McAnuff was in Jamaica taking a breather after his extensive touring to promote his music, which over the past two years has included a successful album in New Day (2013), a 12-track collaborative set with French musician Fixi. New Day spanned a French Grammy Award in the World Music category and a hit single in Garden of Love, which was voted number one song in Germany by WDR Funkhouse radio.
"Garden of Love, became quite popular in Germany and then other parts of Europe caught on. When Germany approves your song, then the rest of Europe will follow," McAnuff explained.
Garden of Love, is in fact one of three of McAnuff's songs that have been included on a movie soundtrack, scheduled for release in early 2016. McAnuff said New Day, was enhanced by Fixi's superb skills on the accordion and is the first of a three-album deal with the musician.
The deal was struck after McAnuff introduced the musician on a previous album, Paris Rocking. The second, yet-to-be-named album is almost completed, he pointed out.
Speaking about his recent tour, McAnuff said, "We never had a bad show in those 161, the biggest response was in Germany," spurred no doubt by the success of Garden of Love, in that country. The tour came with many side stories.
McAnuff told the story of a woman in Germany who was never able to dance because of a pain in her knee, but was so enthralled by the music, that she somehow managed to get up and dance. At the end of the dance, she reported that the pain had disappeared.
Then there was New Orleans, where he did a sample of his song, Sentence, (a record with French musician Camille Bazbaz) and getting a fantastic response; and also jamming with the Stick Figure band, one of the biggest reggae bands in California. The journey also included World Music Expo (WOMEX) in Cardiff, Wales in October 2013. And it doesn't end there. McAnuff returns to the Caribbean in April to perform at the Grenada Music Festival. In the meantime, the Electric Dread continues to energise the world with his music.