I-MARA [The Truth Defender]
Born in Roaring River, St. Thomas, on the beautiful island of Jamaica, I-Mara, “The truth defender,” at birth, was given the name Courtney Mark Anthony Stewart.
Realizing his strength and true purpose in life, this Songwriter/Recording Artiste adopted this new name I-Mara, which means “Solid and Firm.” In his pursuits in life, I-Mara is ever conscious of the challenges that may face him, consequently, his guiding words are, “Let love and truth be the foundation of your heart.” This resilient brother has relied on his strong spiritual awareness to direct the path of his career.
I-Mara received his training at the Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts (Music Department) specializing in Ear and Vocal techniques. He recorded his first single in 1989; “Iron Bars.”
During a stint as the lead-singer of the roots Reggae group ABBASANI, I-Mara toured Mexico in 1996, and released his first album with the group, entitled “Let I Go.” The group unfortunately broke up after returning home from Mexico, and a devastated, I-Mara was forced to place his career on hold for a while, weighing up all the options, as he contemplated on which direction he should take. After much personal deliberation, I-Mara decided to launch his solo career, and released a single and a music video entitled “Don’t Fight Yourself,” which received good rotation on both radio and television locally. This was followed up by a remake of his first single “Iron Bars,” and later by the single “Ten Feet Tall,” which both also received good rotation locally. I-Mara however went back into the studios and seriously got down to business, where he worked painstakingly to complete his new project; an album entitled “Don’t Take it Personal,” on the Roots Rock label.
Punctuality, hard work and dedication are major elements of this talented singer’s career. He also answers to the name Haile Maskel, given to him after his baptism in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which means Power of the Cross. This has further boosted I-Mara’s faith in the positive energy of life.
In addition to his tour of Mexico, I-Mara has made numerous personal appearances locally, and is currently performing across the island of Jamaica, promoting his new album.