Won't Stop Records aims to drive Reggae in Europe
Won't Stop Records, an independent label based in the United Kingdom, is part of a movement to champion roots-reggae music in Europe.
With over 30 albums produced during the span of a decade, the label has built a reputation for hard-hitting dub and roots-reggae music that elevates black consciousness. The label's catalogue includes songs such as Junior Kelly's searing Jah Know, which made it to a Jetstar album, and Anthony B's Make My Money. Both songs were released as singles in 2005.
Last year, Won't Stop Records released a compilation album featuring conscious artistes like the late Doniki, Emmanuel Anebsa, Junior Kelly, Determine, Jah Mason and Turbulance.
"I released that album last year with no promotion, so you don't hear it. My music and production is all me. I am the producer, manager, and songwriter, I have 20 albums of acoustic music - I make more acoustic than anything," Negus Emmanuel Anebsa, producer and chief executive officer of Won't Stop Records, told The Gleaner.
Reggae music is currently plagued by disadvantages such as poor sales and seldom backing from major labels. However, the producer remains optimistic, and is prepared to bank on his own investments.
"Won't Stop records is my house, my life, my catalogue. I have my own outlet on iTunes, making over 30 albums and over 30 single releases, all done with my own investment money. It's tough, but I believe in what I do," Anebsa, who also records songs under the name Emmanuel Anebsa, said.
The producer, who is of Jamaican lineage, also revealed that he was drawn to reggae via the music of U Roy, Big Youth, Papa Toyan, Eek-A-Mouse and Peter Metro, and other artistes such as Funk Jammers and J.M.W McGee gap band.
"My power is big, I believe that my albums are part of a larger message about black consciousness. The Rastaman dem would collect us from school and at 10 years old, we would have Bible studies and talk about Rasta and Babylon oppression," he said.
The albums have been written using different styles of music such as acoustic, reggae-soul, folk and reggae roots foundation rhythm.
"All of it is mixed, all in one, to create an eclectic style. After so many years of oppression, reggae music is now big in France and Germany, but the white people are in control of the reggae music. Soon, you will see they push more white artistes in reggae to wash it out and make their artistes bigger than the originators of reggae," he said
The producer is therefore gearing up to release a project titled This White Man, with the hopes of shedding light on the exploitation of reggae music in Europe.
"I will record over original music, reggae music from soul, no more foundation rhythms for now. But the songs will be powerful songs for the upliftment of black and brown people," he said.
Anebsa's most popular songs so far are We Wear It Well, featuring Turbulance, and I Gotta Say it Foreal, featuring Determine.