IT was not difficult for singer Akustik to write a song saluting one of modern history’s greatest figures.
Mandela, his salute to the South African icon who died in December, has earned a JUNO Awards nomination for Reggae Recording of The Year.
The JUNOs, Canada’s Grammy Awards, takes place March 29 at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg.
Born in St Elizabeth but raised in Toronto, Akustik has been part of the Canadian reggae scene since the early 1990s. He says his first JUNO nod is special because it was inspired by a personal hero.
“Mandela has played a big part of who I am today for several reasons, but one that stands out is the gift he had to forgive others who have been totally unfair and unjustified in their action towards him.”
Mandela was produced by veteran saxophonist Tony Greene who is also producing Akustik’s first album. Originally a deejay known as Andrew Ranxx, Akustik started his career in the 1990s when he said Toronto’s reggae circuit was dominated by dances that rocked “from midnight ’till ‘mawning’.”
The JUNO call, he noted, is reward for years of toil.
“This nomination shows that all the years of dedication to reggae music, mainly in Canada, have been recognised,” said Akustik.
Singjay Exco Levi, singers Ammoye for Baby It’s You, Dru for Effortless and Dubmatix Renegade complete the list of 2014 JUNO Reggae Recording of The Year nominees.