Decades after leaving Bloodfiire Posse... Paul Blake returns to music

May 13, 2016
Patrick Planter/ Photographer Paul Blake
Patrick Planter/ Photographer Paul Blake
File Pastor Paul Blake performing his song 'Give Peace a Chance' in 2015.

Paul Blake walked through the doors of THE WEEKEND STAR, smiling with nostalgia. “I remember this place. I’m quite familiar with this place,” he chuckled. And familiar he was, having to pause and exchange salutations with long-time friends, even an old classmate. Some of this notoriety is as a result of his musical past as lead singer of Paul Blake and the Bloodfire Posse.

This musical past began when Blake was only a child, singing in front of his mirror. However, it was when he was about 13 or 14 years old that he made the conscious decision to start doing music. In 1979, he placed second in the Tastee Talent Competition, behind singer Nadine Sutherland.

“My first song, Rub A Dub Soldier, went to number one in 1983,” Blake told THE WEEKEND STAR, noting that the song was recorded with Danny Browne, co-founder of Bloodfire Posse. According to Blake, his second release, Every Posse Get Flat, outdid Rub A Dub Soldier. The steady success made him recall the covenant he had made years before to give him voice back to God if He made him a star. “I’m like God, you’re in a rush, because you’re making me a star very quickly," he said.

Paul Blake and the Bloodfire posse soon after signed a deal with CBS Records, now Sony Records in England. The deal took them on tour all over Europe. “UB40 had us opening for them. It was amazing,” said Blake, marking a performance at the Wembeley Arena in 1986 as one of the most memorable. “We had thousands of people getting flat!”

“At the end of that tour, things started happening. Some jealousy started taking place. People saying ‘boy, Paul Blake is getting all the feature’,” he said, adding that it was inevitable.

He continued, “We were taking reggae to a different level. Then all of a sudden, that was it. They voted and said they didn’t want me in the group anymore. I couldn’t believe it.”

In 1987, he announced to a member of the group that he was preparing to get married, and would require a few weeks off. At the end of those few weeks, he was met at the airport by the group’s management, carrying word that he has been sabotaging the group. “I thought, 'why would I do that?' If I’m sabotaging the group, I would be sabotaging myself,” he said

That night, the band and management had a meeting, and it was decided that the guys and Blake were going in different directions.

A few years later and things changed.

“When my father died in 1991, I decided to rededicate my life to the Lord. And God has worked it all out,” Blake told THE WEEKEND STAR, committed to fulfilling his covenant.

Today, Paul Blake and his wife, Donnett, and his children all involved in ministry. Residing in Mandeville, Blake and his wife lead the congregation of Acts of the Holy Spirit International. His son, Pastor Stephen, is responsible for the church in Montego Bay as well as the Street Church for the homeless.

Since being voted out of the Bloodfire Posse, Blake has not recorded any new music. His attachment to singing and performance has survived over the years through his participation in church as worship leader. This past January, Blake and his wife took on their annual 21-days fast.

"I decided that I’m not gonna ask Him about the stuff we had written down. I started pressing into my life," he said, noting that God spoke to him and told him to start recording again.

This has led to the release of Paul’s first song in decades called Can I Pray For You, and again he is ready to record more songs and looking forward to more time in the spotlight.

“I’ve reached out to Danny Browne, and he says he’s ready to go. I’ve reached out to a very good friend of mine, Handel Tucker, and he said he’s ready to go. In talking to God during this fast, He spoke to me and He said to me, 'with this song (Can I Pray For You), we are going to set up prayer networks around the world.' So I’m thinking global."

Paul Blake can be found on Facebook at 'Blake Land'.

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