Gospel artiste defends reggae switch
It is not an easy thing trying to exist in two worlds at once, but gospel artiste The Messenger feels that he can.
The artiste, who now dabbles with reggae music, is following the footsteps of veteran artiste Prodigal Son who switched to reggae in 2013 and was met with strong backlash by the Christian community.
However, he believes the practice does not breach the ethics of Christianity.
"Nothing is wrong with doing gospel and cultural reggae at the same time. After all, reggae and Christianity are two rich aspects of Jamaican culture and most, if not all Christians, do listen to clean cultural reggae music," the artiste, whose real name is Glendon Marvin Henningham, said.
He first jumped into the spotlight with the release of his first album, My Desire in November 2015.
The album featured radio songs as Run Out The Devil', Thank You Jah Jah and Crooked Ways.
The album landed him on several reggae gospel shows along the eastern coast of the United States. He was also a featured artiste on the Jamaican Jerk Fest in Florida in 2015.
However, with the new EP called The 1, the singer wants to spread his wings to a new audience.
"My desire is to spread the love of Jesus across the nations while still embracing my roots which is reggae music. The songs address socio-political issues that affect the society," he said. One of them, Single Mother was done because of the high number of single parent households in Jamaica because of delinquent fathers.
"The song Message In My Heart speaks on domestic violence and when you see the senseless killing of woman and children around the world, not just Jamaica, it's just crazy. So we have to realise that it's our responsibility as artistes to do songs that's going to steer the youth and get them thinking in the right direction; I am a messenger," he said.
He said music is an art form which should be used as a tool of inspiration.
"I know that my purpose on this earth is big, and my aim is to help people in as many areas as possible, not just with my music," he said.