Reggae Singer and Songwriter I-Maa-Ra
Reggae singer I-Maa-Ra has quiet an alluring voice; one that others often stop to listen to, because of its pure, naturally sweet, melodic sound.
The artiste, who is also known as Courtney Mark Anthony Stewart, resides in Claremont St Ann Jamaica, but is originally from the parish of St Thomas. Some of his interests are reading history; especially African History, watching inspirational movies and documentaries.
By listening his songs, one can tell that he is a very good lyricist and yes, he writes most of his songs. I-Maa-Ra started sharing his talent as a lyricist and singer on a professional basis back in 1989, when he discovered that his talent was good enough to share with the world.
His music is influenced by listening to revolutionary songs from the 1980’s. He greatly admires singers like Half Pint, Bunny Rugs, Jacob Miller and Billy Paul; however Half Pint is one of his main influences, as well as his personal struggles and that of the people around him.
Though not an expert at playing any musical instrument, I-Maa-Ra plays around with the guitar and keyboard, who knows, he may be able to master one or both someday. That would be like icing on the cake and would blend superbly with his style of music, which are reggae and a synthesis of other genres. He shares, “My genre of music is mainly roots reggae, but I am a diverse artiste who experiment with other genres.”
He has worked with several producers, to name a few….Michael Ibo Cooper formerly of the group Third World, Mickey Bennett, Mallory Williams and Marshall Neeko from France. Roots Rock Music is his main label, led by CEO Milton Boothe and TCE videos (the cube effect) CEO Theodore Boothe…a dedicated team, more release from Idlers Corner Records out of France coming soon.
I-Maa-Ra has written and recorded numerous songs. His first song is called “Iron Bar” done in 1989. He has done two albums: “Let I Go” with the group Abbassani and “Life Journey” as a solo album. Most recent songs and music videos are “Ten Feet Tall” and “Trenches remix”. Most recent release is “International Criminals” for Idlers Corner in France.
Some of his songs are collaborations with Luciano of Jamaica, as well as Don Junior and Kiram Smith of New York. He plans to record more collaboration and says, “I would really love to collaborate with Agent – Sasco, Buju Banton and Jay Z.”
Four (4) new releases; “Trenches” remix, “Teknowledge”, “Awaken” – live version and “Warm Me” are currently being distributed by Zojakworldwide.
In addition to being a singer/songwriter, I-Maa-Ra is also a poet – his latest release being “Teknowledge”.
The singer has performed on many stages in Jamaica, such as Jamaica 55th Independence celebration in Falmouth, Jamaica on August 6th 2017, Troy High School in Trelawny Jamaica on October 11th 2017, Western Consciousness in 2001 and others, plus several appearances on radio and TV shows. His music is known and loved worldwide; this landed him a tour of Mexico in 1996.
I-Maa-Ra is a professional who prioritizes his time; allowing time for each area of his life; however he spends time ensuring that his product is mastered to his expectation before releasing it to the public. In each are of his life he faces obstacles, but speaks vaguely about the ones he encountered in the entertainment industry by saying, “I have had my share of challenges with unprofessional conduct of some players in the entertainment industry in Jamaica, especially show promoters and the practice of payola.”
When asked if there was a time, before you were discovered that you felt frustrated, what was the thing or things that uplifted you or “got you over the hump” and ultimately led to your career success? (A question from my Facebook friend E Honey B Riddle ). I-Maa-Ra responded:
“My inner conviction and commitment to a cause is not limited to material value. Success for me is constant growth…expanding my spiritual awareness to positively affect life.”
Fans can expect more music videos, Hip Hop collaboration with Don Junior from NYC, live performances, including the Trelawny Food and Music Festival, on October 16 2017, a new album and European tour for 2018.