Kevin Smith ... Not doing music just for the gospel crowd
... Not doing music just
for the gospel crowd
Kevin Smith has been an active member of the gospel music community for the past eight years. He attributes his longevity in the business to his willingness to accept that gospel music is not just 'churchy'.
Even though gospel is always assumed to have a particular praise and worship sound, Smith argued that all genres of music are God's creation.
"I believe that God created all genres of music," Smith told THE WEEKEND STAR, who included reggae and dancehall despite its reputation of being vulgar and inappropriate.
"This is our culture. It's not about the sound or the look, but what is coming from the music itself."
"I'm not doing music just for the gospel crowd, but that's the first target," Smith told The WEEKEND STAR.
"If you target the gospel crowd, and you have a song that is really good, it will circulate, and the secular people will try to catch on."
His career began with the hit single, Back Weh, a high-energy reggae-styled song, which catapulted Smith into the league of influential gospel artistes.
"Back in the days the music that used to come out it was just for church," Smith said.
He pointed, however, the decades-old practice of selectors dropping gospel songs into their sets to "bless up the place."
"If you want to make the music deliberate, you'll be missing the point. Our mission is to put the word out there and not dilute it. It is not that the way your grandmother used to do it is wrong, but what a young person would relate to in 1960 is not the same in 2016."
"We can talk about the young girl who get pregnant in high school, or the young guy on the street - whatever is going on in society. We are the ones that supposed to talk about these things," he said emphatically.
"Even now, a secular crowd will draw to a 'churchy' song. They are learned and cultured in that way, that church songs sound a certain way," he said.
But Smith is of the view that gospel can penetrate secular spaces without being 'churchy'.
"My experience is that gospel does not move as fast as secular. With the gospel, you can't give them too much things one time. They need to digest." Smith told The Weekend Star.
keep releasing music
Smith has decided to steer his career in the consumers who seem to be more responsive, that is, one at a time.
"I am not doing an album for this year. I'm taking my time," the Back Weh singer told The WEEKEND STAR. And although he doesn't plan to release an album this year, he intends to keep releasing music.
The gospel singer released his last single, Lift Your Praise Up, featuring Triciana Simpson, on July 4 and will promote the song until the release of his follow-up single called My God featuring gospel singer Omari.
"Now we see the same music changing people's lives. Now we're seeing gospel going into places gospel music cannot normally go," he said.