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Grammy designer one of Etana’s Sumfest options

Published:Thursday | July 11, 2019 | 12:00 AMYasmine Peru/Gleaner Writer

When Etana’s Reggae Forever World Tour leaves the Oland Roots Festival in Sweden, it will see the Grammy-nominated singer heading for Montego Bay, Jamaica, where she has a date with destiny. It’s called Reggae Sumfest, a festival whose stage she has not graced in seven years. Sumfest is one of the stops on her international tour, which kicked off April 13 and runs through to August 25, and Etana, The Strong One, will be representing with a force.

The reggae singer has enjoyed a remarkable year thus far, having rubbed shoulders with music’s glitterati at the Grammy Awards in February, and, as the first female reggae star to grace that red carpet as a nominee, Etana pulled out all the stops. She eschewed foreign design houses, and instead reached for home-grown, Jamaican talents, and her decision paid off handsomely. Etana made global fashion headlines when her Melissa Dunkley-designed red carpet outfit catapulted her into the Top 10 and Top 20 picks of major magazines. Her girlie pink creation was said to highlight the under-represented females in the male-dominated industry. Etana, it is said, also selected pants opposed to a dress, indicating she was just as strong as her male counterparts.

Her bubblegum pink lipstick was also a winner and Yahoo’s Allure Beauty noted: “Nominated for best reggae album of the year, Jamaican singer Shauna McKenzie – known as Etana – celebrated the occasion with a bubblegum-pink lip colour that matched her ensemble perfectly. Long, dark lashes and her gorgeous spirals completed the look.”

PAPER magazine selected Etana for The Most Inspiring Beauty Moments of the 2019 Grammys stating, “Jamaican singer Shauna McKenzie, or Etana, completed her Best Reggae Album nomination with some glossy pink lip, shadowy lashes and striking set of curls.”

“Etana gave me natural hair realness with a bubblegum pink lip and glittery blue eye shadow with some intense lashes,” BuzzFeed stated.

Stunning Statement

Having made such a stunning statement on the global stage, Etana is taking equal and deliberate care in her preparations for Reggae Sumfest, where she is scheduled to perform on Saturday, July 20, alongside Buju Banton, Beres Hammond, Jah9, Romain Virgo, Protoje, Chris Martin, and Dalton Harris. Not surprisingly, Melissa Dunkley is one of two designers who are busy working on getting the singer Sumfest ready.

“I will use two designers. Both of them are Jamaican women, Natasha Hutchinson of Natash Designs and Melissa Dunkley-Hampton, MDs Designs. Both she and Natasha have designed most of my fan favourites over the years,” Etana told The Gleaner.

Assured of the fashionable statement that she will undoubtedly make, Etana is looking forward to thrilling her fans next week Saturday night, at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay.

“My fans know that I care about them and, for them, I believe they are just looking forward to a great performance.”

She added, “If there is any pressure surrounding my Sumfest performance, it is the pressure I put on myself,” the Wrong Address singer stated.

Regarding her Reggae Forever Tour, a very upbeat Etana told The Gleaner, “I ventured off on some new territories and revisited some familiar places, headlining my own shows.”

On this tour, she visited Reunion Islands, Mauritius, Kenya, Dortmund, and Frankfurt, Germany; playing over 30 shows in the US and will be heading to Austria, Amsterdam, UK, Canada and Dominica to top off the summer.

With her mission getting even more global, Etana and her team are already looking beyond 2019.

“We are gearing up for 2020 where I’ll kick off the year in New Zealand and Australia,” she disclosed.