New name, new message for Quara Ahnya

Music

New name, new message for Quara Ahnya

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

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Singer Quara Ahnya has dabbled with lovers' rock, dancehall, and rhythm and blues since he launched his music career over 25 years ago. Initially known as Icon, he has found his calling with roots-reggae.

His latest songs are No One, Love is The Answer, and Rasta which are co-produced by his Yaadflame Productions and Andrew “Bassie” Campbell.

No One is based on a ex-girlfriend who choose the next man who she thinks will make her happy, but it never worked out that way,” said Quara Ahnya.

Love is The Answer and Rasta have nothing to do with affairs of the heart. They are hard-hitting tracks driven by empowerment messages synonymous with the artiste's Rastafarian faith.

With Jamaican music dominated by hardcore dancehall acts whose controversial antics grab headlines more than their songs make charts, Quara Ahnya believes his songs strike a much-needed balance.

“I think that reggae music at this time needs to be refreshed, meaning people and artistes must remember the purpose of reggae is to educate, liberate, and emancipate the people, and bring joy, comfort, and a way out, not to just amplify the problems but to highlight the solutions also,” he reasoned.

Born Hebna Wilkinson, Quara Ahnya is from east Kingston where some of reggae's early Rasta exponents, like Count Ossie, lived. His early influences were not as rootsy; they included Beres Hammond, Sanchez, Beenie Man, and Bounty Killer.

As Icon, he was a member of New Generation, a vocal group that also included his brother Hattaman. Along with Hattaman and DJ Sledge, he recorded Party 2000, his first song, in 1998 for the Binggae label.

Two years ago, he changed his moniker to Quara Ahnya, Hebrew for Call I. It suits his positive message.

“I would call the music I do lifetime music, that is to say songs that would motivate and encourage a positive motion in people's life non-stop,” he said.

— Howard Campbell


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