5 Questions With Anthony Cruz
The music landscape has evolved since reggae singer Anthony Cruz first emerged on the scene in the 1990s. Advanced technology now allows several entertainers to act independently without a distributor. Cruz is moving with the times by using social media to promote his latest album Elect of Jah: Light of the World.
The project features 16 tracks, with production contributions from names like Sly and Robbie and Christopher Knight. Cruz, however, stands as the executive producer and shares his experience in selling more than 5,000 copies of the album so far without a label. He tells us how he does it in this week's edition of 5 Questions With ... .
1. Why did you choose to do this project independently?
It's like a long-term investment - you don't sell out your stuff. Even if it sell one by one, you still see every dollar weh mek. When you have a good album where you know what you doing - production- and distribution-wise - you can't go wrong. It's not like mi a try hustle fi mek a fast money. Mi know in the long term this album is always gonna be mine. In modern times, when you have iTunes and Amazon, you don't need more than that. It's just that most of the youths don't know how to do that.
2. What is the biggest lesson you have learnt in promoting it?
I've learnt that when you take your time and go over the hill, it's easier than rushing to go over the hill and buck up inna one bagga ting. It teach me a lot of patience, and when you put out good stuff, you will see the return. It may take a little longer, but you will definitely see the return when you put out good music, so when you're 60 and 70, you can look back and say that you made this and it belongs to you.
3. Of the 16 tracks, which one means the most to you?
All of them mean a great deal to me. For example, In My Shoes, produced by Sly and Robbie, speaks about being in someone's shoes, and no one can go through your experiences in life but you. Everybody go through dem own troubles and trials, so people can relate to that. When you do music, you have to do it so people can relate to it, so that song is one of my best ones.
4. You have taken a more conscious sound in recent years. Why is it important for you to educate people through your music?
It's very important to educate people through your music because music is the biggest source of communicating to people. Even when you going to school, they put 'ABC' in music because that is the easiest way for you to catch it. Some people can't read and write, but they can relate to music. That's what reggae does, it uplifts and educates.
5. You have maintained longevity in the music industry, but is there anything you have not done that you would like to do?
There are places I've never been before, like Africa. I'd love to do more collabs with some of my favourite artistes, like Sizzla or Beres (Hammond). The journey long, so you haffi just take your time. Everything can't happen one time. I remember when I didn't have a collab with Buju - until I got one. Everything is a journey, and it's about having the patience and taking the time to try and do things.