A Hyattsville singer’s first album was lost during a civil war in Liberia.
A native of Nigeria, Aita put together a recording in 1989 and sent it to producers in Liberia, where it was lost amid the unrest.
He gave up on a musical career, but after a health scare last year decided to return to music. His gospel-inflected reggae debut, “Fear No Evil,” was released last month.
The Hyattsville Wire interviewed Aita recently by email.
When did you first start listening to reggae? Which artists were your favorites?
I first listened to reggae music in the early 1980s. However, Bob Marley was my favorite then but as time went by, I began to like and love others, like the late Gregory Isaac and Don Carlos because their style of reggae was kind of cool and soothing to the soul.
You recorded an album in 1989 that was lost. How different was that from your current album?
My first recording was secular in nature and has nothing in it that edifies God. It is somewhat of a blessing that it didn’t see the light of day because of the war in Liberia and also because it made me give up and 24 years after, I have one! I believe God was preparing me for a season to use reggae as a weapon to win souls for Christ instead of the regular revolutionary stuff it is commonly known for. Now I sing to edify God and His goodness.
For a long time, reggae music has been used to expose or fight society ills yet the ills still take firm root in our daily lives at the end of the day, I believe it makes one a deviant with a tendency to want to fight society at all times. So instead of focusing on the ills, I prefer to sing of God’s praise and bring to light His beauty and hope for mankind; I am a gospel reggae artist!
How will you promote the new album? Are you going on tour? Where can it be purchased?
I am working in conjunction with Tate Music Group based in Oklahoma. They are my recording label and own the exclusive rights to market my album worldwide. Also I am looking to secure a good promoter who will handle the tour aspect; however, I am open to invitations to churches, conventions and other concerts that add value to life.
You produced the first song on your album with Bastian Brouwer. How do you know him?
The Title track, “Fear No Evil” was actually produced by him with additional input from my producer, Bright Erebor also known as “Brisoul.”
Bright produced seven tracks: “God’s Beauty,” “No One Be Like You,” “A New Life,” “No Shackles,” “The Last Day,” “Take Your Problems” and “Letter To My Wife.”
I got to know Bastian Brouwer who is based in Den Haag, The Netherlands, online; he kindly gave permission for the beat to be used.
When did you move to Hyattsville? What drew you to the area?
I moved to Hyattsville in December of 2010 and was drawn to it because of its accessibility to other towns like Washington, D.C. Also, I am fascinated by its Arts and Crafts and it is arguably an area with the best Victorian houses.