04 | The Tribune | Weekend
Friday, May 10, 2019
After surviving a brain tumour as a child, this Grand Bahama native was told he was meant for greater things. After dabbling briefly in secular music, the singer/songwriter has found his calling in gospel. He tells Cara Hunt how his songs are now being played on some of the biggest international radio shows.
ntonio Rolle hopes that his new album, “Another Level”, will encourage listeners to realise their purpose and that life is a gift to be treasured. It is a lesson that he and his family learned very early after he faced a near death experience at birth. “I am the youngest of seven children and I was the only one who was born with a problem. I had a brain tumour and had to be rushed State-side as a baby for treatment,” the Grand Bahama native told Tribune Weekend. Thankfully, the surgery to remove the tumour was successful and he made a full recovery. Antonio’s mother was told by a local priest that her son had recovered from his illness so he could go on to do great things. Antonio said he feels like this prediction has proven true, as he has grown up to follow is passion of making music. “When I was growing up I always had a passion for singing. I used to sing at Mount Tabor Baptist Church and I led the children’s choir. We would appear on Mount Tabor’s television show, ‘Power of the Blood’.” Over the years, his skills as a performer grew and he would often be asked to preform at local events, like singing the National Anthem at the Hugh Campbell Basketball Tournament, at boxing matches and track meets. In addition to singing, he also discovered a love of songwriting, and today he uses his lyrics to encourage his listeners.
“I had an opportunity to sing with Baha Men...but honestly I just was not comfortable.. I then I started hearing God telling me, ‘I didn’t call you to sing that’.” As Antonio got his start in church, he said there was never a question that he would pursue a career in gospel music rather than focus on making a name for himself in the secular arena. “From the time I was a little baby I was raised in the church and in a Christian home, and so gospel has always been a part of my life. When I knew that singing was going to be my life, being a secular singer just never even crossed my mind. In 1999, I had an opportunity to sing with Baha Men and I was starting to learn their songs, but honestly I just was not comfortable. I didn’t think that it was for me. I prayed about it for a while and I then I started hearing God telling me, ‘I didn’t call you to sing that’, and this