Cruz elects to press on

By Sade Gardner
Observer writer

Monday, July 23, 2018

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Being a seasoned artiste does not guarantee automatic airplay. At least this is what Anthony Cruz says. And so the singer is in promotion mode for his latest project, Elect of Jah: Light of The World , released digitally last year.

A compact disc release date is pending.

“You may look at it and think it might be a little easy, because people know my catalogue and know what to expect,” Cruz told the Jamaica Observer. “But you still need people to get it played on the radio to get it rotated.”

He described the 16-track set as “uplifting and educational”, and said it benefits everyday people.

“As you mature, you learn and you grow and you want to be able to teach people through the music — that is our job. Singers before us like Dennis Brown and Bob Marley taught us how to live and how to grow in their music. as a singer it is important for me to help this generation by doing the same thing,” he said.

Tracks from Elect of Jah include In My Shoes produced by Sly and Robbie; Black Man Story, produced by Christopher Hooper, and In My Life by Christopher Knight. Cruz deliberately worked with different producers to achieve a diverse sound.

He was inspired by his daughter Shanice Smith, who was murdered by her stepfather in a domestic dispute last February in Florida. Her mother, Karen Lyle, was also shot and killed in the incident.

“She (Shanice) would have turned 16 this month,” Cruz said. “I have some songs on it where she really gave me some inspiration, like Cold Blooded. I put everything I was going through at that time in the music. In a way it kept me sane; the only thing that kept me going was the music.”

He also recorded the track Shanice in her honour.

Cruz is operating independently without a distribution company.

“I use platforms like iTunes, Amazon and Spotify,” he said. “The industry has changed over the years. Now you can have your own account and monitor your stuff, instead of waiting for a distribution company to take your music all over the world. To have an iTunes account you have to have a US bank account and a lot of artistes don't, so they have to go through people to distribute their music. I have that benefit especially having lived in the United States, so I am in more control of my music.”

Album aside, Cruz is pushing his latest single, No More A Dat, a Bobby Digital production, which addresses crime. He has been visiting schools like Greater Portmore Primary to talk about domestic violence as part of his foundation's outreach activities.

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