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4 You Say You Want a REVOLOTION
28 Teachings of His Majesty
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Chief Editor: Mark Mohr / Editors: Mark Mohr, Kristin Morris, Edward Mohr, Margaret Mohr and Kevin McIntyre / Contributers: Mark Mohr, Kristin Morris, Bryan Kemper and Aimee Herd / Layout & Graphic Design: Solomon Jabby for GR Designs and Mark Mohr / Printed in the USA by: Jay Press for pressgraphix.com / Cover: Photograph of Jennifer Howland by Avion Blackman / Contributing photographers: Avion Blackman, Mark Mohr, Jessi Marri, Waldyr Oliveira Jr. and Obie Obien / Marketing, Distribution and Advertising: Kevin McIntyre for GospelReggae.com
YOU SAY YOU WANT A
gospel reggae is currently stronger than its secular counterpart.
Welcome to Reggae Revolution Magazine! Back in the summer of ʻ94 I recall visiting a Southern California Bible bookstore and finding a delightful surprise on the music shelf: Christafari's “Reggae Worship” cassette. At the time, gospel reggae was such a unique concept and only a few artists like Scaterd Few and Amarachi were dabbling in island sounds and releasing them to an international audience. Eventually, I learned of Jamaican artists like Change and Lester Lewis, Floridaʼs DJ Stereoman and Bermudaʼs Geneman. I am sure that many initially thought Gospel Reggae was a novelty that would eventually go the way of Christian grunge, ska, or techno. They were wrong. Over fifteen years later the genre is not only surviving, itʼs thriving! In fact many would argue that the burgeoning sound of gospel reggae is currently stronger than its secular counterpart. With around a thousand gospel reggae artists worldwide, it may even be the fastest growing subgenre of Christian music. Over the years more and more secular artists and producers like Papa San, Stitchie, Junior Tucker, Carlene Davis, Judy Mowatt, Twiggi, Danny Brownie, Tommy Cowan, Mr. Vegas and Chevelle Franklyn have switched over to the gospel side. Many mainstream artists like Luciano, Sanchez and Elephant Man are also trying to ride the gospel bandwagon while maintaining their secular careers. However, Gospel reggae is far more than just reggae music with a positive
message. This vibrant musical genre marries native Caribbean sounds with the good news of Jesus Christ. Gospel reggae invites participation, not just passivity; it demands a response. Through percolating rhythms, bouncy beats and inspired lyrics, these songs present a distinct clarion call to action -- an outcry of international artists challenging you to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, the true King of all Kings and beckoning you to worship before His throne. This is why weʼve started this publication. In these pages lie far more than mere articles on Caribbean music, culture, food and lifestyle. This magazine contains stories of lives that have been forever transformed by God and music that has the power to change. For this isnʼt just your typical run-of-the-mill Reggae, Itʼs Gospel Reggae and we are starting a Reggae Revolution. The dictionary defines “Revolution” as “a drastic and radical change in ways of thinking and behaving.” So buckle your seatbelt, hold on tight and get ready for the revolution!
Once upon a time, on the small Caribbean Isle of Jamaica, studio engineer Osbourne Ruddock (AKA King Tubby), sat behind the mixing board and dared to stretch the limits of reggae music. It was an era when there were no rules, no formulas, and no corporate deadlines--just musical creativity in its purest form. Dub was born and reggae has never been the same since. To a novice, dub is simply instrumental reggae music with little or no lyrics – but to an aficionado itʼs so much more.
Classic dub makes extensive use of analog studio gear like tube powered preamps, spring reverb units, tape echoes, reel to reel decks and analog phasers to explore and highlight the sonic possibilities of any given record. In this genre, the producer (with knobs and fader in hand) actually becomes the artist.
The dub sound was pioneered in the 1970's (the golden age of dub) by the likes of King Tubby, Scientist, Prince Jammy, Augustus Pablo, Bunny Lee and the outrageous Lee “Scratch” Perry. Interestingly, these primarily instrumental recordings were actually ambient reworkings of crucial roots tracks from the best singers of the day, with an occasional vocal line thrown in thatʼs drenched in delay. Given this, Rastafari ideology and pro-ganja (marijuana) lyrics are still pervasive in mainstream dub.
A DUB REVOLUTION
The first gospel reggae group to explore the realms of sanctified dub was Christafari. From their inaugural album “Reggae Worship” in the early nineties, the band began dabbling in dub with instrumental sections on some of their recordings. The first full-fledged gospel dub album was arguably Christafariʼs “Dub Sound & Power.” The CD contains creative & ambient stripped down instrumental mixes of songs found on the bandʼs critically acclaimed "WordSound&Power" album plus a few bonus tracks. It was mixed by Jim Fox, who has dubbed legendary albums for the likes of Black Uhuru,
Israel Vibration, Yellow Man, Big Mountain, Gregory Isaacs and Culture.
Following the success of “Dub Sound & Power,” Christafari brought us “Gravitational Dub.” Produced by Mark Mohr, it is an imaginative reworking of the bandʼs award winning “Gravity” CD. Rumor has it that Mark is currently in the studio working on Christafariʼs third Dub offering.
In 2001 Solomon Jabby came on the scene with “Rootical Revelations.” He earned notoriety as the first gospel reggae artist thatʼs strictly dub. Not only did Jabby record and dub the songs himself, but he also played every single instrument! Since then heʼs released two more dub CDs, “Zion Gates” and “Firmly Planted in Dub.” The latter was a follow-up to “Firmly Planted,” Solomonʼs first full vocal album.
Gospel Dub is on the rise as more and more roots artists like ʻImisi, Zema, Nengo Vieira and Edward Holland Junior continue to include dub versions of tracks on their releases. Other artists to record full-length Dub albums include the Daily Bread Dub Band, Mention, Jah Servant and Rogé Abergel and Kingdom Culture. Rogéʼs initial War EP included 3 dubs, and his most recent release “Dubs of Glory” contains 13 glorious dubs mixed by Mark Mohr and Solomon Jabby.
In dub albums the virtual absence of vocals creates the perfect empty canvas providing a way for the listener to meditate on God, sing the lyrics to the song as they remember them or let their imaginations flow and create new lyrics and melodies over the music. Dub is also great listening music for driving long distances, chilling out/winding down or background/atmosphere music at parties. Gospel dub takes you on a journey thatʼs not for the weak-of-heart, with very few staccato like injections of vocals and other elements. Each unique mix is dominated by in-your-face drums and bass, heavy reverb and eternal echoing delays forever proclaiming the goodness of the Lord.
IN DUB ALBUMS THE VIRTUAL ABSENCE OF VOCALS CREATES THE PERFECT EMPTY CANVAS PROVIDING A WAY FOR THE LISTENER TO MEDITATE ON GOD.
JAMAICAN MUSIC TERMINOLOGY:
Before you hit the studio or jump on stage with a reggae band, you may want to brush up on some key Jamaican music phrases:
RIDDIM: 1. A musical instrumental that a host of artists ride. In reggae it is very common for a producer to record a riddim and have hundreds of different artists sing/deejay their own original lyrics and melodies over this version. It is also common for entire albums to be devoted to various artists riding the same riddim (i.e. Riddim Invasion, Riddim Driven). The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sleng Teng" riddim, (dancehall's first digital hit) is by far the most recycled instrumental to date as lit erally thousands of original songs have been sung over it. 2. Usually a command given by the lead vocalist of a reggae band. "Riddim!" is when the band breaks down into a section that just has keys and guitar hitting the song chords on the two and the four.
DUBPLATE: A one-of-a-kind recording performed by a reggae/dancehall artist for a sound (soundsystem). On a dubplate (or "special" as it is also called), a singer/deejay voices a brand new recording of one of his original songs over the instrumental (or version) while incorporating adlibs that boast about the specific sound that he is representing. A soundsystem usually wins a soundclash if they have the best dubplates by the biggest artists singing the most popular songs.
DUBWISE: A musical section that is heavy on drum and bass and dub effects with very sparse rhythm (keys and guitar).
ONE DROP: 1. Mellow and sparse style of roots reggae with a snare/side-stick accent on the three. Note: all "one drop" is "reggae", but not all "reggae" is "one drop". 2. A simple mix hit on the one performed by a live band when backing a dancehall deejay so that the audience can clearly hear the artist's lyrics.
PULL-UP: Most commonly found in the Jamaican phrase, "Haul and pull up!!" A reggae deejay/vocalist calls this out to his band (or deejay) in a live performance situation as a cue to abruptly stop the music in a free-jazz sort of way. The song is usually started again from the top. This is done either because the song did not start right in the first place, or because they want to give the tune to the audience once more. "Wheel!" or "Wheel and come again!" are also phrases used to accomplish the same musical response.
CRUCIAL DUB PICKS
RogĂŠ Abergel & Kingdom Culture
Dubs of Glory
Firmly Planted in Dub
Christafari Gravitational Dub
Solomon Jabby Zion Gates
Solomon Jabby Rootical Revelations
ESSENTIAL ROOTS RELEASES
Geneman Long Time
Solomon Jabby Firmly Planted
Edward Holland Jr. Edward Holland Jr. Virtual Reality I & I Tunes
It始s been mixtape mania lately at GospelReggae.com. Get in the mix with these 12 essential mixtapes:
King Of The Jungle 2
Streetlight Mixtape Vol. 4
Streetlight Mixtape Vol. 3
All Out Mixtape
King Of The Jungle
St. Matthew Streetz Disciple Mixtape Vol.2
Trilogy Mixtape Vol. 3
Readyback Mixtape Vol. 1
No Stoppin始 Mixtape Danger Zone Mixtape
Streetlight Mixtape Vol. 2
Streetlight Mixtape Vol. 1
Check out these 12 essential dancehall releases available now at GospelReggae.com:
Trodding Dis Road
Monty G Revolution
Sherwin Gardner Borderless
Tiko & Gitta
Sherwin Gardner Leaning
To The King
Dancehall Baptism Vol. 1
Dancehall Baptism Vol. 2
MUSIC WITH A MISSION
IN THE LAST SEVEN MONTHS WE’VE HAD THE HONOR OF SEEING OVER 3,500 GIVE THEIR LIVES TO CHRIST AT OUR CONCERTS! 12
CHRISTAFARI are trailblazers, continually pioneering the genre of Gospel reggae in the U.S. and throughout the world. They have performed in 46 states, 50 nations, at two Olympic Games and even before the President of the United States of America. This multicultural 9-member group is lead by vocalist and founder, pastor Mark Mohr. With their blend of traditional roots and contemporary dancehall reggae, they proclaim an uncompromising message of hope and salvation to a lost generation. After two decades, the band is going stronger than ever with a new album and a relentless tour schedule. We caught up with Mark as he was about to depart for the 2010 Marlin Awards in Nassau, Bahamas (where he is a nominee for multiple projects).
RR: Mark, can you give us a little background on Christafari, for those who are unfamiliar with it, how did you get started? MM: Christafari started at a talent show back in 1989, just two weeks after I truly surrendered my life to Christ. It was at a Christian camp and the Lord gave me a song during my devotional time. I asked the worship team if they could back me for a reggae song and they said “Sure, so youʼre not a Rastafarian anymore, youʼre a Christafarian.” The name stuck and I eventually formed my own band.
RR: You started Christafari over 21 years ago, Iʼm sure a lot has changed since then. MM: Yeah, a whole lot has changed. It used to cost $70,000 to cut a record and we used to track everything in whole takes to analog tape with only 24 tracks. The giant tape machine has been replaced by a computer. I own my own studio and the possibilities are endless. Touring was also very different before the age of the GPS and the cell phone.
RR: How have you changed? MM: Iʼve grown up a lot. As I get older and start to see a few grey hairs, I am reminded of the Proverb that says they are a sign of wisdom. I wouldnʼt change that wisdom for anything. The seventeen-year old Mark of 1989 was an arrogant, impatient and zealous punk. I guess I felt like I had to be that way because at the time, I was leading a band full of guys that were much older than me. Things have changed over the years. Now everyone in my band is younger than me. Obie (guitar) was four when I started the band! Iʼve learned to lead in a different way. I try and trust in the Lord and not wrestle with Him when I canʼt have things the way I want them. After all, the Father does know best. RR: What has remained the same? MM. My love for Jesus. The calling on my life. My mission, passion and love for reggae music burn just as bright two decades later.
RR: Last year when you released “No Compromise” you gave away the entire CD and all artwork for free for the first 3 months—what inspired this? MM: Keith Green, hence the title. After twenty years I wanted to bless our fans and try something different.
THE SECR ET TO CHRISTAFARI’S BIG LIVE BASS SOUND
Reggae is all about bass! Avion tours with a Steinberger Synapse XS15FPA Custom 5-String Bass. She uses flat wound strings and EQʼs the bass and cabinet just right to get that round FAT sound. Standard reggae bass EQing involves rolling off the top (hiʼs), boosting the midʼs and pumping up the low end. Add some tube drive to an active bass and youʼll get that big sound thatʼll rattle your momʼs China cabinet and break a few sound ordinances. “Most of it is in the technique, EQing and laidback delivery.” Says Avion Blackman, “With reggae itʼs all about relaxing and fitting into the groove. If it were a car, the bassist would be in the trunk or hanging off the back bumper!”
RR: How was the response? MM: Overwhelming! It crashed our server two times and brought us about 150 shows in around 20 countries. Initially it was a daunting task to give 6 months worth of work away for free just 24 hours after the recording was finished. And we took a major financial hit for it. But I am confident that itʼs what the Lord was calling us to do. The gospel is free and this album needed to be free as well.
RR: What have you done since then? MM: Immediately after tracking “No Compromise” we toured Europe for a month with Dominic Balli and then South America for thirty days with Nengo Vieira. It was a blast! You gotta see some of the video blogs from that tour on our YouTube channel (ChristafariBand). Two major things happened in Colombia during that tour: Jabby met his wife Jacquie (the sax player for the gospel reggae band Ziudad Real) and I resolved to record another Spanish album. Six months after returning from that tour “Reggae De Redención” was complete and we started touring again. Since then weʼve been all over the world singing in both English and Spanish. In between these tours three of our band members have gotten married, (Carlos, Jabby and Dannie), I produced Genemanʼs “Long Time” CD and we just finished Jennifer Howlandʼs solo debut, “Daughter of the King.” Weʼre currently working on some new music videos, and dubbing the next Christafari album. Then we gotta tour these albums!
RR: Wow, thatʼs incredible! It sounds exhausting. You go nonstop and never seem to lose your drive or focus, concert to concert, nation to nation; what verse strengthens you most when you weaken and tire physically? MM: Yeah, just watch my video blogs and youʼll get exhausted! Itʼs insane operat ing on only two hours of sleep with all the flights, driving, six-hour sound checks and three-hour concerts. When times are tough, which they usually are, I rely on 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
RR: What are your shows like? MM: High energy and a whole lot of fun. But I am an evangelist first and an artist second. So at every single show I give a clear presentation of the Gospel of Christ without stopping the music. In the last 7 months weʼve had the honor of seeing over 3,500 give their lives to Christ at our concerts!
RR: Can we expect another worship album any time soon? MM: Iʼm not sure how long it will take, but our next studio project is going to be a reggae worship CD. Weʼll have some original stuff in there, but I also plan to do some roots reggae interpretations of todayʼs hottest worship anthems. Iʼm sure people are going to flip out when they hear this insane one-drop reggae groove with thunderous bass only to realize that itʼs a Hillsong cover!
RR: Have you had any unique worship experiences on tour? MM: Yeah, weʼve seen some incredible things over the years. I remember during one worship service that we played at in Holland, a deaf girl received her hearing back from the Lord. It was just a typical service for us, and after we played our band had a group Bible study. During the study we were reasoning over whether the Lord still does miracles like Christ did in the Gospels. The next day we were approached by the girl who had received her hearing and our eyes welled up with tears as she shared her story of how the Lord healed her during the worship service. God is still in the miracle business!
RR: How have you managed to deal with opposition to your music ministry by Christians who should've been supportive? MM: I keep my focus and try not to get distracted. In most cases, our detractors are not who we are trying to reach anyways. I donʼt believe I am called to argue with modern day Pharisees or convince an old traditional bloke to like reggae—theyʼre not our core audience.
RR: I think sometimes people have trouble distinguishing Christian Reggae from the Rastafari movement...can you talk about that a little? MM: While reggae may now be known for its association with the Rastafari faith and promotion of Ganja (Marijuana), its true foundation is the Christian church in Jamaica. The first reggae artists began in the church singing popular hymns in this infectious style. Listen to early Marley and youʼll hear it plain and clear. Virtually every single secular reggae artist today started singing in the church. The problem is that back in the day, Jamaican churches rejected the musical style and insisted on sticking with their traditions (regrettably this is still the case in many churches). When this happened, the artists were not welcome in their own congregations. In search of a new spiritual fellowship they found the all-embracing Rastafari faith.
In short, many Rastas believe that Emperor Haile Selassie was Christ incarnate. They worship him as the King of Kings and believe that Ethiopia is Zion and often use marijuana as a holy sacrament. In contrast, Christian reggae artists use the Word of God to bring the light of Christ to Rastas and the rest of the world over heavy drum and bass. Gospel reggae is growing fast. At my last count there are over 1,000 Christian reggae artists now singing redemption songs for the Lord! Gospel reggae is the fastest growing style of reggae. We are truly starting a reggae revolution!
W W W. C H R I S TA FA R I . C O M
Reggae De Redenci贸n
To The Foundation
No Compromise Dub, Sound & Power
Reggae Sunday School
Word, Sound & Power
Palabra, Sonido Y Poder
Reggae Worship First Fruits
Valley of Decision
AVAILABLE AT WWW.GOSPELREGGAE.COM!
Back in the 80's Reggae music
was all about “freeing Mandela” and “abolishing Apartheid.” Of all the musical genres in the world, reggae has the longest history of raising a voice for the voiceless, exposing social injustices and fighting for the downtrodden. As things settle in the wake of hurricane Katrina and the earthquakes in Haiti, the crime of indifference to human suffering continues.
What if I told you that there was a massacre taking place on each continent that is far worse than Darfur, the Congo or the killing fields of Caracas? “Where is this genocide taking place?” You may ask. In the womb. It's abortion, one of the most common surgical procedures in the world. This atrocity has claimed even more lives than the Jewish Holocaust of WWII.
The gas chambers of Auschwitz were known for their “efficiency” when it came to the destruction of innocent people. A similar “efficiency” occurs in clinics and hospitals that claim (just like the Nazis did), that such killings are in the best interest of society. Every day, approximately 4,000 innocent human beings are killed in the worst genocide this planet has ever seen.
In Psalm 82:4 we are commanded to “Rescue the weak and needy” and “deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.” Will you join us in taking a stand?
“This is a silent holocaust. Who is gonna mourn the loss of 50 million innocent gone?” (Protesters, Christafari & the Gospel Reggae All-Stars)
In the Spring of last year, 30 gospel reggae artists united to speak
out through music for these innocent victims. The song was called “Protesters,” (released on Christafari's “No Compromise” album) and it featured many of the top names in gospel reggae. We chose to use this song as an anthem for the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity. This event (that takes place every October) is not your typical rally with picket signs or a Sunday concert in the park.
The concept for this day is simple: People from all over the world take a vow of silence for a day to stand up for these children. Red armbands and duct tape identify them as taking part in the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity. They carry fliers explaining why they are silent and educate others about the plight of the innocent children we are losing every day.
When asked about the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity, one participant said “I spoke to about 6 or 7 pregnant girls and 4 of them told me that they were thinking about getting abortions but after we talked they changed their minds. It was just an awesome day.” Each year, an average of 250,000 students participate on over 4,700 campuses in 25 countries. In the last seven years over 400 lives have been saved!
When Christafariʼs Mark Mohr talked to me about writing a song for the Prolife Day of Silent Solidarity, I was ecstatic! Christafari had first become involved with me in 1993 for a Rock for Life concert that was featured on MTV News. Since then, many bands who were once unashamedly pro-life have shied away from this message because itʼs just too controversial. But Christafari has never once been afraid to lend a voice against this evil that is killing almost 4,000 innocent human persons every day in America alone.
I was happy to see that Mark and so many other Reggae artists recognize that abortion is truly an act of homicide; they are willing to take a stand when so many others cannot see the truth. Allowing abortion to fall into a more “politically correct” category is akin to Nazi powers calling their mass genocide a “Final Solution,” rather than simple murder. We have done the same thing. Calling abortion a “choice” or a “private matter” is simply giving homicide a less offensive name. Abortion is not a different act; it is a different method of committing homicide. It is one person killing another person.
So many of us are compelled to take action to stop acts of homicide such as those in Darfur, the Congo or anywhere else; shouldn't we Bryan Kemper, speaker & author of also take action to stop the homicide that “Social Justice Begins In The Womb.” takes place in abortion clinics?
Abortion is the killing of an innocent person. It is up to the living to speak out against this modern-day holocaust that has already taken the lives of over 52 millions babies in America alone. Find out how you can be a voice at StandTrue.com
Three things you can do to make a difference:
1. Educate yourself. If you contact info@StandTrue.com and mention this article, theyʼll send you a free starter-pack of pro-life literature.
2. Wear a pro-life T-shirt from prolifeworld.com or donate to a pro-life
ministry like StandTrue.com
3. Pray for change and ask God for opportunities to share with others
“Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ʻBehold, we did not know this,ʼ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay each man according to his work?” (Proverbs 24:11-12)
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RR: To some youʼre new on the scene, but youʼve been doing gospel reggae for years. Give us an idea of who Jennifer Howland is? JH: Iʼm from Louisville, Kentucky, and was raised in a typical African American family. I learned how to sing from my dad and was raised in the Church, so I grew up around gospel music. When I was 24, I had the opportunity to move to California where I eventually joined Christafari, and Iʼve been on the road ever since.
RR: Musically, what does this album sound like? JH: The foundation of the album is roots reggae and loverʼs rock. It also has some dancehall vibes with elements of hip-hop where I both deejay and sing-jay. Thereʼs even one Brazilian acoustic song where I sing in Portuguese! So much fun! RR: Tell us about the lyrics on this project. JH: On this album I take the listener on a journey through the eyes of a misdirected young girl and follow her transformation to become a Daughter of the King. This project is my opportunity to give an honest testimony about my experiences as an unbeliever and share the changes that have taken place in my life since I came to the Lord.
RR: Are there any themes on the album? JH: The main theme for the album is knowing your true identity in Christ. We chose the title “Daughter of the King” not to say that Iʼm royalty, but to bring attention to the fact that we are all children of the Most High God. If every believer recognized their true identity in Christ, the world would be a very different place.
RR: Any guest appearances? JH: Several gospel reggae all-stars have blessed the album including Christafari, Sherwin Gardner, Monty G, Lynette White, Solomon Jabby, Avion Blackman, Geneman, BenJah and Dillavou (Lovʼd Ones).
RR: Of course all your bandmates Mark, Avion and Solomon are on it and the band backed you. What has it been like touring with Christafari for the last three years? JH: Touring with the guys has been such an amazing experience. We are really a family and I love seeing the world with the band. There are some restless nights and long days but we really pull together as a team and get the job done.
RR: What was the recording process like for you? JH: The Song writing process was the most difficult for me. I wanted the songs to be my personal testimony. My goal was to address many issues that I struggled with in the past. I believe that we shouldnʼt forget where we come from, and should use our experiences to help others get out of similar situations. One of my favorite parts of the recording process was working with the talented musicians of Christafari. Each of the guys has an amazing talent and really came through with professional skill.
RR: In your debut single, “No Other Man” you talk about how there is no other man that compares to Jesus. What is your message to single women? JH: I would just like to encourage single women, no matter what age, to trust the Lord. One of the most important things in a Christianʼs life is learning to walk with the Lord on His terms, not ours. He wants us to seek after Him with our whole heart. Often times I repeat the beginning of the 23rd Psalm to myself, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” It helps me to remember that the Lord is the only One Who makes me whole.
RR: Amen! Tell us an experience in your life that you know without a doubt the Lordʼs hand was moving. JH: There was a time in my life where I was into very self-destructive behavior. Drugs and other things had such a hold on me, I was literally enslaved to sin. But when I was about 24 years old, I got the opportunity to move to California and I didnʼt know it at that time, but this was an “appointment” by the Holy Spirit. The Lord called me out of my hometown and called me unto Himself. When I arrived in California, thatʼs when my life of faith really began. Thatʼs a time in my life where I can look back and say that the Lordʼs hand was moving and making plans for me and I didnʼt even know it.
RR: What does BEING a Christian mean to you? JH: Being a Christian means being a follower of Jesus Christ. We learn how to live by looking at Jesusʼ life and ministry, no matter the cost, obeying Godʼs word and keeping a close communion with our Father in heaven.
RR: Describe your relationship with the Lord? JH: Everyday I am learning how to love the Lord with my whole heart. There is a daily renewal process that must occur in the life of a believer. For me, the most important thing is to withhold nothing from Him. I pour out my heart daily before the Lord. In doing this, I believe it builds an intimacy that I take with me everywhere that I go.
SHARES ABOUT MUSIC, FAITH, FAMILY & FOOD
Hailing from the twin-island Caribbean Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Avion Blackman was raised in the jungle by her mother Claudette Blackman and father Ras Shorty I, the inventor of Soca Music (an original beat was borrowed by dancehall and Reggaeton). Avion was brought up in a very large musical family with 24 brothers and sisters! Every single one of them is a musician and most have recorded albums (including her youngest brother Isaac Blackman). They were all raised on a healthy diet of world music and the Word of God. Avion is now living in California and married to Christafari front-man Mark Mohr. In addition to her solo work, she plays bass and sings with Christafari. We caught up with Avion in San Diego to ask her some questions about her upbringing, her father, music, fashion and food.
RR: You have a very famous father. Tell us a little bit about his career. AB: In the 60s and 70s, his singing name was Lord Shorty. He was a famous Calypso singer; he used to travel all around the world doing music. Around 1978 major changes started taking place in his life. During that time he began to do a lot of soul searching. It was a long journey. He went into Buddhism looking for God. He didnʼt find the Lord there. He went to Hinduism, he tried Islam, philosophy, Rastafarianism and then he finally found Christ in Christianity.
RR: So what happened after he came to Christ? AB: Major transfomation. He went through a drastic change, from being rich with all these things, then all of a sudden he just didnʼt want any more of it. He took all of his earthly riches, fancy jewelry and stuff and threw it into the sea! He just gave away all of his nice clothes and started wearing sackcloth. He was walking with bare feet in the streets of Port of Spain and everybody thought he was crazy! It took a lot of Trinidadians years to realize he wasnʼt. He was just an extremist. We were living in a big house in the city and he suddenly moved us all out into the jungle. He ripped us out of the school system and we were home schooled from then on. Life was tough for us because we basically lived off the land.
RR: What was it like being raised in the Jungle? I canʼt imagine what it would be like living without electricity, television, a phone and all the other creature comforts that weʼve grown accustomed to. AB: At times it was peaceful without the distractions of city life. When I became a teenager it drove me crazy because we were so isolated. When my dad needed to make a phone call heʼd climb to the top of a mango tree with his cell phone. There was always an instrument being played or a song being sung. We used to connect our radio to a car battery and rock out to the hits when our parents werenʼt around. Weʼd swim in the river every day, and truly lived off the land, growing almost everything that we ate.
RR: When would you say you became a Christian in the real sense? AB: At 12 years old. Thatʼs when I personally said this was my decision and I took Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
RR: How did you get into music? AB: During the change that my father went through he said, “You know what, Iʼm going to spend time with my family and teach everybody music.” It was a lot of work. We practiced every day, but we had a lot of fun. We performed as a family band called “The Love Circle” and my dad had me singing solos on stage before thousands by the age of 4. We used to perform all over Trinidad and the Caribbean and then started going to Europe and some parts of America.
RR: What are you trying to communicate in your solo albums? AB: Some people might think there is a whole lot of Jesus in it. And Iʼm like “Well, thatʼs how I feel about God: I love Him and if I love somebody, I talk about them a whole lot.” There are certain parts of my albums where I talk about struggles and disappointments that we all face in life. Then there are songs where I sing about love and my relationship with my husband and how much I love him. RR: You've lived quite an eventful life, based on your bio; are your songs still influenced by your childhood spent in the jungle? AB: Definitely, I had such a rich upbringing. Though we had little (no running water, electricity, etc…), with 24 brothers and sisters, all playing music, the fun never ended. It still continues in my life today, and I often draw from my earlier relationships and heartbreak when writing tracks such as “You.”
RR: How did your music end up being used for General Hospital, One Life to Live and other TV shows? AB: My friend who produces a bunch of songs for ABC called me out of the blue one day. He had heard my first album and thought of me when ABC requested something “romantic.” Since then, theyʼve been very receptive to our work and picked up over a dozen songs so far. I was even featured in Soap Opera Digest. Theyʼve given us complete creative freedom to write from our hearts--Itʼs a great relationship!
RR: Tell us something that we donʼt already know about Avion. AB: I am actually a pretty quiet person and very shy. I donʼt like public speaking-who does)? I am uncomfortable in most interviews. I spend most of my free time on fashion. I love collecting images of cool outfits like the “Sartorialist,” sketching ideas, then cutting and sewing my own designs.
RR: So you sew your own outfits for stage from scratch? AB: Yeah, most everything that I wear on stage and in videos is my original design. Back in Trinidad I used to have my own clothing line and shop called “Jamoo Designs.” Iʼd clothe my whole family, other artists and even held regular fashion shows.
RR: Wow, you sound like a real “Proverbs 31” woman -- sewing outfits for the whole family. Did you do any cooking also? AB: Yeah, sometimes I used to feel like Cinderella with all the sewing, cleaning, laundry and cooking that I did as a kid. I started helping in the kitchen before my
teens. By the time I was 14, I was cooking most of the meals myself. It was a whole lot of mouths to feed—a never ending cycle!
RR: Do you still cook much now that youʼre living with your husband in LA? AB: Yes, I love to cook; it is one of the few ways that I can ensure that we are eating healthily. We also have a juicer and I love making my own natural juices. I've always enjoyed eating fresh and healthy foods. When I was a kid I loved eating tomatoes right off the vine. If you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would say “A vegetable!” When my dad would go out on tour and ask “What do you want me to bring home for you Avi?” I would answer “A Tomato.” I usually got a doll instead.
RR: Thatʼs hilarious! Would you be so kind as to share your favorite recipe with the readers of Reggae Revolution? AB: Sure. Iʼd love to show you how to make some proper Trinidadian Curry Chicken. Itʼs my husbandʼs favorite recipe and a hit at band practices and our private parties.
AVIONʼS TRINIDADIAN CURRY CHICKEN
YOU'LL NEED... 10 boneless chicken thighs 1 tbsp. minced garlic 3 tbsp. green seasoning (If you can't find it in a store near you, order it on Amazon.com or make it from scratch with this recipe: http://caribbeanpot.com/tag/trinidad-green-seasoning
1 tsp salt (or to taste) 1/2 tsp. of hot pepper (black pepper) or (Caribbean pepper) 2 tbsp. vegetable oil 4 tbsp. curry powder (preferably Chief Curry Powder. Order online at: Amazon.com 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup hot water
DIRECTIONS... 1. Cut chicken into small pieces and season with garlic, green seasoning, salt and pepper. 2. Marinate for 30 minutes or longer. 3. Heat oil in skillet or deep non-stick pot. 4. Mix curry powder with 1/4 cup of water until smooth; add to hot oil and cook for 2-3 minutes. 5. Add chicken and stir to coat in curry; allow all water to dry out; stir well about 10 minutes). 6. Add tomatoes and onion, cook for a minute; stir in 1/2 cup of hot water. 7. Lower heat to medium; Cover and cook until meat is tender; Add more water if you want more sauce. 8. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Rice and roti/naan bread
Since its inception, Reggae music has been the primary medium for spreading the message of the Rastafari faith worldwide. While there is no set belief system that all rastas share in common, the veneration of Haile Selassie I (Ras Tafari) is one point that all believers of the faith can agree on. Many see Selassie as God on the Throne, others as Christ returned and some view him as the personage of Christ (or Christ in His kingly character). If you consider yourself Rastafarian, the name alone implies that you are a follower of Ras Tafari. And if you truly follow someone, it stands to reason that you would study their teachings, words and actions and make sure that your life aligns with their precepts. The same way that Muslims study the writings of Muhammad, or a Buddhists adhere to the teachings of the Buddha, it only makes sense that a true follower of Haile Selassie would carefully dissect his speeches, interviews and autobiography. Thankfully Selassie left us a plethora of teachings to follow. Here are just a few of his statements of faith...
"We in Ethiopia have one of the oldest versions of the Bible, but however old the version may be, in whatever language it might be written, the Word remains the same, It transcends all boundaries of empires and all conceptions of race. It is eternal... from early childhood I was taught to appreciate the Bible, and my love for it increases with the passage of time... Today man sees all his hopes and aspirations crumbling before him. He is perplexed and knows not whither he is drifting. But he must realize that the Bible is his refuge and the rallying point for all humanity. In it man will find the solution to his present difficulties and guidance for this future action, and unless he accepts with clear conscience the Bible and its great message, he cannot hope for salvation. For my part I glory in the Bible." Haile Selassie I (The Bible Speech)
"Man cannot worship man." Haile Selassie I (Interview with Bishop Yesehaq)
"I met certain Rastafarians. I told them clearly that 'I am a man,' that 'I am Mortal,' and that 'I would be replaced by the oncoming generation, and that they should never make a mistake in assuming or pretending that
the human being is emanated from a deity." Haile Selassie I (Interview with Bill Mc Neil)
CHRIST & CHRISTIANITY
"With the birth of the Son of God an unprecedented, an unrepeatable, and a long-anticipated phenomenon occurred. He was born in a stable instead of a palace, in a manger instead of a crib. The hearts of the wise men were struck by fear and wonder due to His majestic humbleness. The kings prostrated themselves before Him and worshipped Him. "Peace be to those who have good will." This became the first message. When He sacrificed Himself at Golgotha for the atonement of our sin, He prayed with his last breath for the forgiveness of those who had tortured Him, saying, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Shame on those of us who are Christians and do not follow the way of the Savior of the world, Whose life was filled with kindness, humility, and martyrdom!" Haile Selassie I (Tradition of Roots Christianity)
When Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, from that time on He lived an exemplary life, a life which men everywhere must emulate. This life and the faith which He has taught us assures us of salvation, assures us also of harmony and good life upon earth. Because of the exemplary character of the life of Jesus Christ it is necessary that all men do their maximum in their human efforts to see to it that they approximate as much as they can the good example that has been set by Him.... From time to time we make mistakes. We do commit sins, but even as we do that, deep in our hearts as Christians we know we have a chance of forgiveness from the Almighty. He taught us that all men are equal regardless of sex, their national origin, and tribe. And He also taught us all who seek Him shall find Him. To live in this healthy life, a Christian life, is what makes me follow Jesus Christ." Haile Selassie I (Interview with Dr. Oswald Hoffman, 1968)
"I would tell a person who was considering the claim of Christ for the first time that it is necessary to have faith in the Almighty, that it is necessary to have love, and that it is necessary to conduct oneself in a manner that we have been taught to do in the Bible." Haile Selassie I (Interview with Dr. Oswald Hoffman, 1968)
"However wise or however mighty a person may be, he is like a ship without a rudder if he is without God. A rudderless ship is at the mercy of the waves and the wind, drifts wherever they take it and if there arises a whirlwind it is smashed against the rocks and becomes as if it has never existed. It is our firm belief that a soul without Christ is bound to meet with no better fate. The love shown by our God to mankind should constrain all of us who are followers and disciples of Christ, to do all in our power to see to it that the message of salvation is carried to those of our fellows who have not had the benefit of hearing the good news." Haile Selassie I (Address to the World Evangelical Congress, 1966)
"The propagation of the Christian Faith among the nations has become a task of paramount importance in this age.... We have labored that the Holy Scriptures and the books left to us by the Church Fathers be multiplied by means of modern printing techniques and be distributed to all.... We have helped and will continue to help the missionaries who are sent from other lands to preach the Gospel to those of our people who have not come to the knowledge of God's saving grace.... [T]his age above all ages is a period in history when it should be our prime duty to preach the Gospel of grace to all our fellow men and women. The love shown in Christ by our God to mankind should constrain all of us who are followers and disciples of Christ to do all in our power to see to it that the Message of Salvation is carried to those of our fellows for whom Christ our Savior was sacrificed but who have not had the benefit of hearing the Good News... Therefore, O Christians, let us arise and, with the spiritual zeal and earnestness which characterized the Apostles and early Christians, let us labor to lead out brothers and sisters to our Savior Jesus Christ, Who only can give life in its fullest sense!" Haile Selassie I (Address to the World Evangelical Congress, 1966) Haile Selassie was a godly man-but according to his own testimony he was not God. He was a Christian man, but denied being Christ. By his own admission he was a sinner who heavily relied on the grace and forgiveness of his Savior Jesus Christ. Selassie was an avid Bible reader and devout follower Jesus Christ.
If you consider yourself a Rastafarian I implore you to follow whom he followed and pray to whom he prayed. For the Bible clearly states that Christ is Lord, and the only One that can save you. "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:10-11)
"Which He exerted in Christ when He raised him from the dead and seated Him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church..." (Ephesians 1:20-22)
The Bible also states that God loves you. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) The Word of God further declares that you are a sinner and this sin separates you from God. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
The punishment that you have earned for the sin you have committed is death and hell, "For the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23). But God loves you so much that He took your place, and died for you. He paid your price as a substitute. "But
‘Imisi’s New EP
Available Now at iTunes & GospelReggae.com!
Soothing gospel roots and loverʼs rock straight from the South Pacific
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
As sure as the Wages of sin are death, the FREE, yes, I said FREE gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23). You cannot earn this gift, or work to receive it in any way. You need only to receive it and believe in His name.
"That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." (Romans 10:9-10)
TODAY IS THE DAY FOR YOUR SALVATION
Do you desire to be saved from the punishment of your sin? Do you wish to have all of your sins forgiven and cleansed? Do you believe in Jesus and wish to make Him the Lord and Savior of your life? Do you desire to follow Him for all eternity? If so please pray the following prayer with your heart focused on Jesus:
Jesus Christ, I realize that I am a sinner. I thank You Lord for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me of all my sins, and cleanse me of my unrighteousness. I thank You for raising from the dead three days later. In that same way please give me new life. Holy Spirit come inside. Take control of every aspect of my life. Jesus I make You Lord and Savior, help me to follow you all the days of my life. I love You Lord, Amen. If you just prayed this prayer please let us know! We would love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org
All CDs available in stores and online at www.GospelReggae.com
Daughter of the King While Jen has been described as “Beyonce meets Bob Marley,” her sound is far more versatile than this. Her “Daughter of the King” album is a multi-faceted recording that adds elements of dancehall, hip-hop, R&B, Gospel, acoustic and Samba to its roots reggae foundation. Over percolating rhythms and bouncy beats, the spunky Howland is genuinely captivating. Whether she softly sings, raps (in Jamaican Patois) or passionately wails, Jen is both sweetness and power in one beautiful package.
This CD Features a lively reggae version of Amy Grant's #1 Mega Hit, “Baby Baby” and guest appearances by Benjah, Christafari, Avion Blackman, Sherwin Gardner, Tiago Costa, Monty G and Solomon Jabby. Overall, Jen is a powerhouse and her sound is best described as ʻreggae got soulʼ thatʼs sure to win souls for the Kingdom. One thing that separates this project from others is Jenʼs candid testimony that peppers the songs. On “No Other Man” she raps; “I used to pop pills and then Iʼd smoke weed… but out of ashes He made beauty. He gave me some love and some self esteem—And now I am a daughter of the King.”
Sounds Like: Tanya Stephens, Lady Saw, Rihanna, Diana King, Beyonce, Chevelle Franklyn and Lynette White 32
& Kingdom Culture Onward and Upward
When thinking of African reggae, the first artists that come to mind are Alpha Blonde, Majek Fashek and Lucky Dube, but this vast continent has so much more to offer. Born in Morocco (North Africa) and raised in the Ivory Coast (West Africa), Rogé Abergel (pronounced Row-jay Aber-jel) proves the old adage that you should never judge a book by its cover. While Rogé may not look like your typical reggae artist, his sound is undeniable. Onward and Upward is an organic offering of gospel reggae with a nostalgic sound reminiscent of Bob Marley and Burning Spear with a 21st century twist.
It is rustic roots reggae with a relevant message. Rogé isn't just a talented singer, he's also a pastor of a vibrant church in Van Nuys, CA. On the album this gifted artist draws inspiration from his genuine faith, echoing the cries for spiritual liberation often associated with the genre. Standout tracks include "Righteous Warrior," "Go Ye," and "Jerusalem." Backed by members of the Christafari crew and recorded by Mark Mohr and Solomon Jabby, this is soul shaking roots and dub at its best! For more info on Rogé, his CDs, MP3 downloads and everything else that is gospel reggae check out gospelreggae.com.
Sounds Like: Burning Spear, Alpha Blonde, Christafari, Solomon Jabby and Bob Marley
Avion Blackman Sweet Life
Sweet Life is a beautiful follow-up to Avion's award winning solo debut, Onyinye (ALBUM Of The YEAR). Unlike her previous album that was primarily acoustic, this time around this staple member of the group Christafari paid tribute to her Caribbean heritage. Sweet Life has been described as “A breezy blend of organic roots reggae with echoes of folk, worship, World, soca, R&B and neo-soul.” It's the Wailers meet Sade with an urban flare! In addition to reggae (thatʼs predominant throughout), there are touches of Neo Soul (Sweet Life), R&B (Strength to Strength), World Music (As We Tumble), and Worship (Yeshua).
Her soothing songs on love and relationships are truly inspirational and brimming with honesty. This is a gorgeous album that is sure to calm your mind and inspire your soul! Avion's smile and spirit shine through her music as she sings sunny songs of hope and faith over reggae infused soulful ballads.
Sounds Like: Ayo, Sade, Asa and
Christafari Reggae de Redencion
While theyʼve been described as "Bob Marley and Steel Pulse meets Sean Paul and Buju Banton," Christafari has truly carved
out their own signature sound over the last 21 years. "Reggae De Redención" is the band's 12th studio release and second Spanish album. It includes guest appearances from Rescate (Argentina), El Soldado (Costa Rica), Ziudad Real (Colombia), 'Imisi (Tonga), Rogé Abergel (West Africa) and S.O.G (California). Other noteworthy contributions come from Christafari members Solomon Jabby, Jennifer Howland and Avion Blackman. Avion (who plays bass and is married to Mohr) is featured on four tracks including the mega hit "Yeshua."
Themes on this album vary from passionate worship (Yeshua, Mesias and Brilla Sobre Mi) to powerful evangelism (A Puro Grito, Cualquiera and Prueba Su Amor). On "El Paso De La Libertad," Mohr sings of how the Lord set him free from drug addiction. The "El Prodigo" track alludes to his journey from living on the streets as a runaway youth to returning home.
The impetus for this project came in late 2009 while the band was touring Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Christafari front-man and founder Mark Mohr decided to transform 7 songs from the group's 20th Anniversary release "No Compromise," 5 songs from their top selling "To the Foundation" and add in Avion Blackman's "Yeshua" for good measure. The end result is an incredible collection of hits that range from roots to dancehall while touching on elements of loverʼs rock, niyabinghi, rock, hip hop and ska—All performed in Spanish.
Sounds Like: Bob Marley,
Gondwana, Cultura Profetica and Steel Pulse
Geneman Long Time
Hailing from the sunny Atlantic isle of Bermuda, Geneman is one of gospel reggae's original pioneers. His first international hit was on Christafari's award winning "Emancipation Proclamation", a song that galvanized him as one of the rootsiest vocalists in reggae. His first two albums were "Righteous in Christ" and "The Light." It's been a Long Time since his last studio recording and this time around he joined up with award winning producer Mark Mohr and transformed his digital soundscape into something far more organic. The end result is his most foundational project to date. Backed by the musicians of Christafari this CD contains only live instruments and is full of heart-pounding bass-lines and fullbodied horn melodies. It's primarily one-drop roots reggae with elements of loversʼ rock dancehall nyabinghi and dub. With the most animated and distinct voice in the genre, Geneman passionately sings about his love for the Lord and heart for the world through lyrics packed with the Word of God and full of the Spirit's power. One word to describe Geneman is genuine. He is the real article; an authentic soul with an unparalleled passion for the Lord. Geneman's love for Jesus bleeds through every single track on this album and undeniably ministers to everyone that he comes into contact with.
Sounds Like: Culture, Groundation, Eek-A-Mouse, John Brownʼs Body and Israel Vibration
Ask any Gospel Reggae fan to name some of their favorite artists, and Ramont “Monty G” Green is sure to top the list. Born in the cultural melting pot of Miami, Florida and raised in the sizzling Caribbean city of Freeport, Bahamas, Monty G is no stranger to the Gospel Reggae arena. In 2002, he connected with Christafariʼs record label, Lion of Zion Entertainment, to release “Revolution,” a truly revolutionary mixture of authentic dancehall, reggae, and hip-hop. Since then, Monty G has firmly established himself as one of the most fervent leaders in the Gospel Reggae movement, not only as a topselling artist, but as producer, engineer and head of his very own record label, Lion of Judah Sounds. Now, once again, Lion of Zion Entertainment is proud to re-connect with Monty G and his Lion of Judah imprint to release “World Domination.”
“World Domination,” finds Monty G continuing to refine his sound, mixing hardcore hip-hop, upbeat pop hooks and authentic dancehall into his very own signature sound. Itʼs clear that Monty is equally comfortable alongside the likes of Kanye West or Lil Wayne, as he is Beenie Man or Damian Marley. What, however, is the key defining factor? Song after song, Monty G is able to communicate his mature Christian faith through similes, metaphors and lyrics that are easily understood by todayʼs youth. Perhaps, thatʼs why “World Domination,” is such a fitting title: Monty Gʼs hybrid hip-
hop/reggae style is such that it transcends the reach of Gospel Reggae and can seamlessly cross over into the secular arena. Sounds Like: Lil Wayne, Sean Kingston, Kanye West, Nas and Damian Marley
Public Announcement With a signature flat-pick guitar line and a triumphant cry, singer extraordinaire Dominic Balli burst on the scene with "Rebel Movement," the militant cry of a revolutionary. This explosive song kicks off Public Announcement, a stunning solo debut by the Southern Californian native.
Public Announcement fuses reggae, rock, and hip-hop flavors to create a sound that is truly refreshing and inspirational. Full of soulful melodies, pounding bass lines, spitfire raps and infectious hooks, this album is captivating from top to bottom. The project is brimming with passion and authenticity as Dominic sings heartfelt songs of freedom, hope, love and salvation. With empowering lyrics, addicting hooks and brilliant arrangements, Public Announcement is a sonic perfection that is sure to stir your spirit! Sounds Like: 311, Matisyahu, Sublime and Wyclef Jean
Never Let Go
From the sunny Caribbean shores of Tobago comes the hottest new voice in gospel reggae. From his onset as an artist, Positive, (born Joel Murray), has seen unprecedented success in the genre. Every one of his singles has dominated the charts (on both Christian and secular stations) throughout the Caribbean. "Never Let Go" is 14 heartfelt songs of modern roots and lovers rock with a touch of niyabinghi. Guest appearances include top gospel reggae sellers like Monty G, Sherwin Gardner and Mr. Lynx. This album is a partnership between Lion of Zion (Christafari's label) and Monty G's Lion of Judah imprint. It embodies all there is to love about today's positive reggae. With crisp production by DJ Frost this stunning debut is sure to put the talented and sincere Positive on reggae's top shelf! One look at the song titles and you'll realize that these are songs of a survivor who even in the toughest of times has refused to give up hope. "In 2003 my only sister died from meningitis and in 2007 my mother died of cancer." Said Positive. "Through all this I've remained faithful to the ministry and have been able to find strength from God through the music He gave me." While many of his lyrics were penned from a place of pain and loss, Joel Murray insists on remaining Positive and recording uplifting anthems that encourage others to persevere.
Sounds like: Gyptian, Jah Cure, I Wayne and Gentleman
Firmly Planted in Dub
For well over a decade, roots/dub artist Solomon Jabby has been studying and perfecting his craft of classic dub and roots reggae. After releasing two full-length dub albums (Rootical Revelations and Zion Gates), Jabby took a bold step forward with 2007's "Firmly Planted," a full length vocal album that showcased the pinnacle of his artistic development: a resounding work of expert musicianship classic roots-centered vocal style and authentic spiritual depth.
With “Firmly Planted in Dub,” Jabby revisited this body of work with the task of creating something completely new; an album that invites the listener deep into the heart of the songs, highlighting each instrumental performance in true dub fashion. This exciting new work finds Solomon refining his old school dub talents and adding several new dubs that didn't make it onto the original Firmly Planted release.
Sounds Like: King Tubby, Prince Jammy and The Scientist
Sherwin Gardner, Trinidad and Tobago's favorite musical son, is about to electrify the Gospel music world again with the
highly anticipated release of his CD Borderless. Created as a testament to the vastness of God, Borderless is set to blaze a trail of glory for Christ. Though just in his early thirties, Gardner is a veteran in the music industry. According to GospelReggae.com, heʼs the 2nd best-selling Gospel Reggae artist in the history of the musical genre. Now with this newly intensified mission and ministry in hand, this multi-award winner is determined to use Borderless to cross all boundaries including age, class, economic status and race to share the message about the omnipotent power and authority of God.
This CD features artists like Damita Haddon, Jonathan Nelson and Marvin Winans, Jr. Its sound is an international fusion of Gospel, Reggae, Dancehall, Hip Hop, R&B and Reggaeton. Through each song, he reveals the layers of man's daily walk with God, and from it, the lessons of faith, perseverance, submission, redemption and revelation learned. Borderless is truly aligned with Sherwin Gardner's personal ministry. He believes this CD will "show today's youth the limitless power of God. No matter where they come from or what their present situation looks like, God can and will use them to impact lives in ways they canʼt even begin to imagine".
Sounds Like: Israel Houghton, Sanchez and Sizzla
All titles available at WWW.GOSPELREGGAE.COM
Seeds You Sow
Hailing from the Bahamas comes Mr. Lynx, a versatile vocalist with an animated sound and original flow. Ever since he exploded on the scene in 2001, he's been one of the most prominent voices in the genre and featured on over 30 albums. Mr. Lynx was given his name for his small size, prowess and amiability, as he is so easygoing. It's been said that he effortlessly "links" up with others." On "Seeds You Sow," Lynx gives us both his patented gruff DJ sound and smooth sailing vocals with meditative melodies. He has an uncanny ability to effortlessly switch from singer to deejay in the blink of an eye. The wealth of diversity that this gifted father of two brings to the table doesn't just stop at his vocal style.
Lyrically, the album addresses a host of subjects from love (I've Got Love) and loss (Not Forgotten) to encouragement (Live Your Life For Christ) and judgment (Put We Down). For 16 tracks Lynx is a distinguished wordsmith, cleverly syncopating his thick Bahamian patois lyrics over the kick and snare. Whether he is worshipping the Lord (Love You In Truth) or rebuking sin (Not Going Down, featuring Monty G), Mr. Lynx never ceases to captivate with every note and inspire with every word. The overall theme of the album is that the seeds we sow today we will reap on judgment day. This theme is apparent in his captivating choruses throughout as he chal-
lenges all listeners to "Choose this day whom you'll serve" and to "Live your life for Christ."
Sounds Like: Red Rat, Mr. Vegas and Capleton
Jermaine Edwards Destiny
Jermaine Edwards is one of Jamaicaʼs most beloved praise and worship artists. He has a soulful vocal tone similar to John Legend and his own distinct smooth gospel reggae sound that instantly puts the listener at ease. The best tracks are “Johnny,” a profound song to be penned by this pastorʼs kid, “Love and Devotion,” an intimate worship track and “Make You Smile,” the sweetest lyrics that a follower of Christ can sing at the end of the day.
Every time you play this album, in particular “Rain Down” and “Peace In My Soul”, your soul will be set on fire. Like the Prophet Jeremiah said "I feel like fire shot up in my bones." If you want to dance and praise you have songs like “Lift Jesus Higher” featuring DJ Nicholas and “Thank You” featuring Jason Mighty. Destiny is a divine album and a great addition to any collection. Sounds Like: John Legend, Wyclef Jean, Israel Houghton and Fred Hammond
resent mega Corp. p -O ir m A & m ic s re release fro o Ronakam Mu m o h p o s d ticipate the highly an
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