Where are They Now?: JODIAN PANTRY RETURNS TO GOSPEL
Jodian Pantry has twice been like a bridesmaid in talent competition. In 2001, she placed second in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) gospel competition, and in 2007, she again finished second best - this time in the popular 'Digicel Rising Stars' talent competition.
"We always laugh about it because I entered two competitions and was second in both. Its just one of those things," she told THE WEEKEND STAR.
But the fact that she never won any major competition was not a barrier to the recording artiste, who used the platforms she got, particularly the 'Digicel Rising Stars' competition, as a springboard for a rewarding career.
Following that competition, Pantry embarked on several entertainment gigs alongside frequent collaborator Noddy Virtue. Powered by popular booking agency Headline Entertainment, the duo headlined several shows and released singles like Bed of Roses and Loving Feeling.
However, following a subtle split with Virtue, Jodian Pantry went on to release singles of her own like Struggling, which was produced by Gladstone Wright, and Big Dreams, which was produced by Israel productions.
Both songs are favourites during her live performances, but have failed to achieve steady rotation on local radio.
"When you send your songs to the disc jocks, they play it two times and then you don't hear it again. A lot of them don't come straight to you and say they want money to play your music, but based on their demeanor, you can tell what it all boils down to," she said.
The singer has moved her career to the north coast cabaret circuit, working at several notable hotels. She recently headlined her own concert at Chris Gayle's Triple Century and has redirected her focus to gospel music.
"I decided to return to gospel because that is where it all started for me. I have accepted the fact that I was born to inspire, minister and encourage people through music. I can still sing R&B songs at events and weddings, but I just don't do the type of music that jeopardises my values. I handle my own bookings now. People are always reaching out to me for shows from time to time - it hasn't declined. The interesting thing is also that with each show I do, I always get a follow-up show from that performance," she said.
In addition to releasing new music and performing at events, Pantry is also pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree in media and communication at the International University of the Caribbean in Kingston.
"I am somebody who values knowledge, and it does not hurt to further one's studies. It can help you later down the line," she reasoned.