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HomeNewsArchivesReggae Singer Iba Takes V.I. Culture to Europe

Reggae Singer Iba Takes V.I. Culture to Europe

Sept. 30, 2006 — "The people really loved our vibes — we had them jumping, screaming and calling for more," Iba said of his recent concert tour in Europe.
Born Charles "Chucky" Encarnacion on St. Croix, it didn't take Iba long to find his calling in the roots of Rastafarianism, embracing the teachings in his formative years.
His love for the Rastafarian way of life led to his love for conscious reggae music — reggae with a spiritual and political emphasis. As a young man he sang lead for Front Line Reggae Band until Hurricane Marilyn swept him off the island in 1995. For Iba, this act of Mother Nature proved fateful. He moved to Connecticut where he continued making music, finding another band to front, Survivor's Reggae.
Iba later recorded songs with another band, Bambu Station, in 2001 for his current label, Mt. Nebo Records. The compilation album Talkin' Roots Volume I was a great success, with Iba's track "Chant" as its lead hit. "Chant" got heavy airplay throughout the United States and Caribbean, helping to "usher in a globally recognized talent pool of artists from the Virgin Islands," according to Mt. Nebo Marketing Director Lizette Llanos.
A grassroots company, Mt. Nebo is based out of Washington, D.C. The label "promotes and distributes high-quality roots reggae music predominantly from the Virgin Islands," Llanos said. Iba has found a home away from home in his Mt. Nebo and Bambu Station partners.
Iba's first solo album, Jah Lion, came out in 2003. He followed it in August with Many Lives, which has received "wonderful feedback," according to the artist. His musical talent has taken him around the world to places like Hawaii, Israel, France and Germany. He is now on tour in Europe, belting out his songs and delivering his smooth rhythms alongside such legendary acts as Steel Pulse, Culture, Anthony B and Bunny Wailer.
Iba's pride in his success became apparent as he explained how his venues are getting larger and the crowds more welcoming. "When I say people," he said, "I'm talking about 5000 to 15,000 people at a time." But Iba knows his exposure to the world is in its early stages: "I feel this tour will open some doors for V.I. reggae music and artists."
The current European tour is a first for V.I. artists, according to Iba, and "they really loved the vibes" he brought. Many Lives embraces many different vibes and messages, from the insightful and energetic "World Crisis" to the ode to his mother, "Strongest Woman."
Iba takes all of the praise and accolades in stride: "I just give thanks and praises to the most high every day for the opportunity to become a musical warrior in this struggle to try and uplift humanity and to do my part in saving the world."
For more information about Iba, check out the Mt. Nebo Records website.
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