Reggae artiste Duane Stephenson has been nominated for a 2011 Excellence in Music and Entertainment Award (EME). The nomination for Album of the Year which was announced on February 14 is for Stephenson’s sophomore album BLACK GOLD, released by VP Records late last year.
Stephenson, who has been vigorously promoting the album on a tour throughout North and South America since December, says he is happy to have received such a nomination: “The EME Awards have become a signpost on Jamaica’s entertainment calendar and artiste like me looks forward to it as a sort of validation of the work we have done. I am happy that my album has been nominated and I hope the fans will continue to support me in this way.”
Black Gold follows on the release of Stephenson’s 2008 album FROM AUGUST TOWN and displays the artiste’s poised assurance and versatility, supported by the authoritative speech of respected dub poet Mutabaruka on the acoustic Truth Is or rejoicing in the mystical vibes of Jah Works. There are also noted appearances from Queen Ifrica and Gramps Morgan on the 15-track release.
The album was produced by noted saxophonist Dean Fraser who helms the majority of the production with assistance from Duane on several tracks. His exacting standards, as with their previous collaborations culminated in the exceptional performances from this extremely talented singer/songwriter.
The album has received several positive reviews since its release and recently New York’s Amsterdam News revealed that: “Black Gold has been selected as a “Caribbean Lingo Best Buy Choice” in honour of Black History Month. The noted publication also said that: “The 14-track CD is packed with tight, memorable lyrics, most of which were written by Stephenson in collaboration with Dean Fraser, the distinguished Jamaican saxophonist…”
Reggaeville.com also said at the time of the album’s release: “His music sounds even more well engineered. His lyrics are even more pensive, more mature….he not only keeps his level, he outclasses himself.”
With such high praises and recognition it’s no wonder that Duane Stephenson’s BLACK GOLD is nominated for the EME Award’s Album of the Year.