Nana EQ: Inspired by Rita Marley

by Jan 2, 2024News

Nana EQ: Inspired by Rita Marley
Nana EQ is no puppy in the music arena. She barks as loud as any veteran, even though she is not seen on a number of high-profile shows.

She has performed alongside some of the greats, including Gregory Isaacs, Burning Spear, and George Nooks. At age 14, Nana EQ, then a student attending Grange Hill High School, was so talented her teachers took her to perform at hotels in Negril and Montego Bay.

But, who is her inspiration? “It would have to be Rita Marley, and if it were not Rita it would be Bob Marley, one of the greatest reggae artiste the world has seen.”

Rita Marley, born Alfarita Constantia Anderson met and married Bob Marley in February 1966, a union which created three children.

The Cuba-born singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur, along with Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt formed the I-Threes as backing vocalist for Bob Marley & The Wailers.

Among her accolades are the Order of Distinction (OD) and Order of Jamaica (OJ) conferred by the Government of Jamaica. Rita now resides in Ghana,

According to Nana EQ, “I remember being attracted to the I-Threes, but it was Rita Marley I admired the most. I loved Rita’s style of singing and the fact that she was singing from her heart. One could identify with her messages because these were so compelling and powerful.”

“Rita had me glued to her song, ‘Who Colt The Game’, which I later covered and did with so much conviction that a lot of thumbs up was conferred on me just like Rita.”

“People kept asking me the question, ‘Who Colt The Game’, and I usually returned the question to them which turned out to laughter.”

But, there were other songs Rita had done which inspired Nana EQ. “‘Who Feels It Knows It’ is special because everyone feels their burden the heaviest because it is their personal pain. I watched Rita perform at Samsara Hotel in Negril back in the nineties and it cemented what I had thought of Rita, which is her being a powerful songstress.”

Nana EQ also recalls rehearsing one of Rita Marley’s songs for a show. “Rita, who was there, came over and congratulated me. I felt so good. I promised to do as many covers by Rita. This did not materialize as my producer died but, nevertheless, I continued to be inspired by Rita and covered ‘One Draw’, another of her songs.

Nana EQ, born Brenda Finlayson grew up in Sterling, Westmoreland. She released her first song, ‘I Love You For So Many Reasons’ on the Taxi label. Other songs include ‘Mama Seh’, ‘Kingston Town’, and ‘Tired Fi Pay Di Rent’. Her latest project is ‘God’s Blessings’, a Donroy Muziq Production from father Glenroy and son Savoy Donaldson.

(Photo contributed)

Kingston Town

Who Colt The Game

God’s Blessings

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