Mon | Nov 20, 2017

Naomi Cowan follows her father's lead

Published:Wednesday | August 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew
Naomi Cowan in studio with bass guitarist and vocalist, Mark Pelli.
Bass guitarist and vocalist Mark Pelli (left) of the Canadian reggae-pop fusion band, Magic! in studio with Naomi Cowan.
Tommy Cowan
Carlene Davis (left) and Tommy Cowan.
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Naomi Cowan is publicly launching a career in Jamaica's entertainment industry, this time as a recording artiste and musician.

Cowan has been living in Toronto, Canada, having successfully completed a master's degree programme in digital media at Ryerson University.

"The course of study was only one year, but school was not my only objective, so I remained for a total of three years, and I gained experience in the advanced media market there," shared Cowan.

"I did my undergraduate degree as well in Toronto and fell in love with the North American country, and so I wanted to see if I could live there in the long run," she added.

However, Jamaica was constantly calling. Instinctively, Cowan returned to the island in mid-June this year to pursue her dreams in business, music and nation building.

"When I look back, in terms of coming back home, it made sense; although unplanned, as a number of things combined to help me realise that Jamaica was the best place to be," Cowan said.

As the daughter of two influential figures in the reggae and gospel music markets - Tommy Cowan (OD) and Carlene Davis - she has received a fair share of exposure to the various aspects of Jamaica's entertainment industry. Currently, Cowan is the creative director of her parents' company, Glory Music Entertainment.

Some of Cowan's music, as well as vocals, have been a part of her mother's singles and albums in the past. She also plays guitar and piano. To date, the emerging artiste has released, Naked, a single she worked on while living in Canada. But the decision to follow her father's lead does not come as a surprise.

"Last year, I pushed myself creatively to make a decision about my music, but my songs were all over the place; not that I believe in limiting musical style to a specific genre, and so I returned to the source," she added.

Cowan's sound is contemporary alternative music (or Indie-pop) fused with the traditional sounds of reggae.

Since her return, Cowan performed at the Jamaica 55 Kingston Reggae Night in the 'Children of Reggae Greats' segment. The platform was suitable to share her version of, Things You Say You Love, which was originally written by Tommy Cowan and colleague, Norris Weir, from the 1967 festival winning song group, The Jamaicans.

Cowan's version of Things You Say You Love is pending release as a tribute to the 50-year old rocksteady classic, accompanied by a music video for the track. The video is already halfway through the production phase, with scenes shot primarily in Toronto with Mark Pelli (bass guitarist and vocalist of Canadian reggae-pop fusion band, Magic!) who, alongside her father, acted as executive producer.

She is also collaborating with Donisha Prendergast to record additional scenes in Jamaica prior to the complete release of the single.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com