Although Anthony Cruz (real name Rowan Smith) was raised in the same Mandeville neighborhood as his cousin Aaron Silk and uncle the late Garnet Silk, he moved to Miami in 1993 where he started to make a name for himself under the direction of Miami based musician/producer Willie Lindo. Convinced the world was ready for him, Lindo released Cruz’s debut single, ‘Tell Me What’s Up’ (an original), ‘Just Call My Name’ & his debut album titled ‘Where There Is Love’. The album featured the title track, ‘When You Get Lonely’ and ‘Love Will Never Die’.
In 1999, Cruz decided to return to Jamaica to claim his piece of the pie in the land of his birth and the home of reggae music. The first song he recorded back home, ‘Maria Maria’ (a cover of the Santana/Product R&B big hit), became a hit, and from then he continued to make hits after hits including ‘You Remind Me’, You Got It Bad”, ‘Mama’s Blessing’, the infectious ‘Halfway Tree’, ‘People Bawlin’ on Massive B’s ‘Truths & Rights’ riddim, ‘Lost In Love’ over Energy’s ‘Queen Of The Minstrel’ riddim, and the wicked combination tune with Buju Banton entitled ‘Place Too Bloody’.
Continuing on the path to take his career to the ultimate level, Anthony Cruz signed a management, booking and recording contract with 5th Element Records in the summer of 2000. His sophomore album ‘Mama Blessing’ and title track was released in December 2005. After five successful years with label mates Richie Spice & Chuck Fender, he departed in September 2005 and launched his independent recording label, Shanshan Music with popular singles such as ‘Never Too Much’ featuring BEENIE MAN, ‘Burn Dem’ featuring CAPLETON, ‘I Won’t Wait’ by LUCIANO and ‘Anthony Cruz & Friends Formula Riddim’ compilation cd featuring Luciano, Capleton, Richie Spice, Teflon, Spanner Banner, Mitch, Mr Perfect, Mitch & Symfoni.
Although Anthony Cruz is often labeled a lovers rock crooner, albums such as ‘Mama Blessing’, ‘Fight With All You Might’, ‘Inna Di Dance’, ‘Cruz Control’ and the ‘Cruzing EP’ showed that he’s also an artist who is able to deliver noteworthy culture and reality songs.
Anyone who has heard one of his songs or albums will affirm that Anthony Cruz is a fine singer. And that’s what he demonstrates once again throughout his latest studio album entitled ‘Elect Of Jah: Light Of The World’. The title of the album indicates what this collection of tunes is mainly about; a spiritual set with a special vibe in order to uplift, educate, and inspire people. It implies that there’s not much room for songs that deal with affairs of the heart (only ‘Hear, Mind And Soul’ and ‘In My Life’ touch the lovers theme).
Several tracks here make for compelling listening, starting with the tracks that form the great opening part; the Bobby Digital produced ‘Where Would I Be’ (‘Joe Frazier’ riddim), the Linval Thompson produced ‘Know Him For Yourself’, ‘Jah It’s Only You’, the awesome ‘One Boss’ (‘Drum Song’ riddim) and ‘All Riches’ (‘First Step’ riddim). Among the other highlights are the acoustic ‘Black Man Story’, which was produced by Christopher Hooper, the DJ Kat produced ‘Let It Burn’, and ‘Cold Blooded’, for which the soulful singer teamed with producer Christopher Knight. And then there’s ‘Shanice’, a tribute to his late daughter.
ANTHONY CRUZ is cruising his way to becoming one of Jamaica’s greatest singers; nominated for Best Male Reggae Artist in the British Reggae Industry Awards (B.R.I.A) 2012 and his ‘CRUZ CONTROL’ and ‘INNA DI DANCE’ album nominated for REGGAEVILLE.com album of the year in Europe! He is also the recipient of the 2006 Reggaesoca Music Award for Best Reggae Combination ‘Too Bloody’ featuring Grammy Winner Buju Banton in Florida.
He is a firm believer in supporting community development and charities. He teamed up with broadcaster Markland ‘Action’ Edwards and Kingston Bookshop to offer book vouchers worth $20,000 to help struggling Jamaican parents defray back to school expenses in 2014. He also joined NFL Players Corey Mays of the (Kansas City Chiefs) & Derrick Williams of the (Detroit Lions), the New Love Foundation, P DIDDY former assistant Fonzworth Bentley and actress Faune Chambers to help promote literacy in BELIZE 2011. They raised funds for a library and computer lab to help keep fifty children in ST MARYS school. Even thou Anthony Cruz does not celebrate Christmas, he still believes in giving back and took six-year-old Nadia ‘Hope’ Graham from the Waterhouse community for a shopping spree at Ammar’s clothing store at Sovereign Village Jamaica December 2018.
Anthony Cruz is now focusing on expanding his Shan Shan imprint, touring, increasing his music catalog and fanbase! His latest album “Elect Of Jah: Light Of The World” is available at iTunes. His 5th studio album ‘INNA DI DANCE’ featuring Luciano, Macka Diamond and Dean Fraser is available at Amazon and ITUNES! The 12 Track Album is a nice mix of lovers rock, spiritual and dancehall songs like the title track on the Banjo ‘riddim’ from Stone Love which is getting a buzz in the US, UK, Belize, Jamaica, Malawi and on demand streaming sites like Spotify, Deezer, Rhapsody.
Additionally, Anthony Cruz is now also promoting a brand new single titled “Leave The Door Open”, done in collaboration with Tad’s Record.