Jamaica Gleaner - - AVENUE E - Sade Gard­ner/Gleaner Writer en­ter­tain­ment@glean­

THE MU­SIC land­scape has evolved since reg­gae singer An­thony Cruz first emerged on the scene in the 1990s. Ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy now al­lows sev­eral en­ter­tain­ers to act in­de­pen­dently with­out a dis­trib­u­tor. Cruz is mov­ing with the times by us­ing so­cial me­dia to pro­mote his lat­est al­bum Elect of Jah: Light of the World.

The project fea­tures 16 tracks, with pro­duc­tion con­tri­bu­tions from names like Sly and Rob­bie and Christo­pher Knight. Cruz, how­ever, stands as the ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer and shares his ex­pe­ri­ence in sell­ing more than 5,000 copies of the al­bum so far with­out a la­bel. He tells us how he does it in this week’s edi­tion of 5 Ques­tions With ... .

Why did you choose to do this project in­de­pen­dently?

It’s like a long-term in­vest­ment – you don’t sell out your stuff. Even if it sell one by one, you still see every dol­lar weh mek. When you have a good al­bum where you know what you do­ing – pro­duc­tion- and dis­tri­bu­tion­wise – you can’t go wrong. It’s not like mi a try hus­tle fi mek a fast money. Mi know in the long term this al­bum is al­ways gonna be mine. In mod­ern times, when you have iTunes and Ama­zon, you don’t need more than that. It’s just that most of the youths don’t know how to do that.

What is the big­gest les­son you have learnt in pro­mot­ing it?

I’ve learnt that when you take your time and go over the hill, it’s eas­ier than rush­ing to go over the hill and buck up inna one bagga ting. It teach me a lot of pa­tience, and when you put out good stuff, you will see the re­turn. It may take a lit­tle longer, but you will def­i­nitely see the re­turn when you put out good mu­sic, so when you’re 60 and 70, you can look back and say that you made this and it

be­longs to you.

Of the 16 tracks, which one means the most to you?

All of them mean a great deal to me. For ex­am­ple, In My Shoes, pro­duced by Sly and Rob­bie, speaks about be­ing in some­one’s shoes, and no one can go through your ex­pe­ri­ences in life but you. Ev­ery­body go through dem own trou­bles and tri­als, so peo­ple can re­late to that. When you do mu­sic, you have to do it so peo­ple can re­late to it, so that song is one of my best ones.

You have taken a more con­scious sound in re­cent years.

Why is it im­por­tant for you to ed­u­cate peo­ple through your mu­sic?

It’s very im­por­tant to ed­u­cate peo­ple through your mu­sic be­cause mu­sic is the big­gest source of com­mu­ni­cat­ing to peo­ple. Even when you go­ing to school, they put ‘ABC’ in mu­sic be­cause that is the eas­i­est way for you to catch it. Some peo­ple can’t read and write, but they can re­late to mu­sic. That’s what reg­gae does, it up­lifts and ed­u­cates.

You have main­tained longevity in the mu­sic in­dus­try, but is there any­thing you have not done that you would like to do? There are places I’ve never been be­fore, like Africa. I’d love to do more col­labs with some of my favourite artistes, like Siz­zla or Beres (Ham­mond). The jour­ney long, so you haffi just take your time. Ev­ery­thing can’t hap­pen one time. I re­mem­ber when I didn’t have a col­lab with Buju – un­til I got one. Ev­ery­thing is a jour­ney, and it’s about hav­ing the pa­tience and tak­ing the time to try and do things.

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