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SINGER TONY ANTHONY SAYS “REGGAE IS ON THE UP” IN CANADA!

Tony Anthony—
SINGER Tony Anthony has been a fixture on the Canadian reggae scene for over 20 years. He is an elder statesman in a market that lacks sustained careers.

The St Catherine-born Anthony has lived in Toronto since 1992. He has earned a Juno Award (the Canadian Grammy) nomination and won Reggae Vocalist of the Year in his adopted country four times.

Last week, he told the Jamaica Observer that though there are still some glitches, Canadian reggae is on the up.

“The scene is changing. I have noticed an overall elevation of the industry over the last five years in terms of support for live shows, better music productions, a talented crop of new artistes emerging and the upswing in support for Canadian artists worldwide,” he said.

An increase in live events outside traditionally-strong Toronto and acceptance of reggae by Canadian youth are other positives Anthony cites.

The biggest obstacle, however, remains inadequate support from big media.

Tony Anthony

Tony Anthony

“Mainstream media continues to ignore the genre in terms of playing and supporting Canadian reggae music.

There’s not enough unity among reggae artists here,” he said.

Born Mark Bennett, Anthony’s first serious serious gig in Jamaica was as guitarist/vocalist with the Crucial Vibes band from 1980 to 1991.

He then worked the north coast tourist circuit before moving to Canada. After a successful stint with the Toronto rhythm and blues group After Dark, he returned to reggae in the late-1990s, scoring a number of regional hit songs such as Yuh Nuh Simple, Torn and Bad News.

Torn and Bad News are from Million Chance, his 2010 debut album which won Canadian Reggae Awards for Best Album and Best Songwriter. The set was also nominated for Best Reggae Album at the Juno Awards.

Anthony’s latest album, Live to The Fullest, was released in October.

— By HowardCampbell

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