Gospel Spotlight: Diel talks love, hope in new EP
Spreading the gospel musically is usually interpreted as a Christian sharing their faith in a song. Adiel Thomas established a gospel ministry group with four other students while attending Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Mandeville, and they set about making their mark in the gospel music industry.
The group soon performed as Adiel Thomas and the Ministry.
The group lasted for approximately five years, and after touring the US and releasing a single 12-track album in 2015 titled College Days, the five members agreed to a split.
Thomas accepted the fate of the group, and decided too that it was time for him to focus on other things.
"Even though our music had just started to build traction, all of us realised that not everybody wanted to do music, yet alone gospel music, while others wanted to take their education further and pursue a master's degree," he said.
"It became really hard to keep it together, especially with at least two members of the group mostly residing overseas."
All these changes manifested while he too was occupied with a teaching career. He taught music at the Manchester High School, and also assumed the role of part-time lecturer of mass communications. Notably, his expertise in choir directing at church aided in the high school winning the TVJ All Together Sing competition in 2012.
MOVING On FROM TEACHING
"I had always had a plan that included not teaching for more than two years. So when I acquired the teaching positions, I saved enough money to fund a music career, even though I ended up teaching for one more year than I originally wanted."
As a teacher, he formed an uncommon connection with the students, who, just like his friends, fondly called him Diel, which is actually the stage name he uses now, as his solo career is on the horizon.
Diel is currently promoting three of the six tracks on his 98% EP released in December. The tracks are not of the gospel genre. As Diel, he is shedding the religious content while retaining its fervour. With many substyles of spiritual music bearing the same messages of love, hope, and optimism, Diel thinks it's OK.
The upbeat R&B and reggae flavours could remind the listener of Grammy award-winning gospel artiste, Kirk Franklin, and Grammy-nominated singer Chronixx. He lists the two artistes as musical influences.
The artiste said that his dedication to the gospel and the Church overall is by virtue of his parents. His father has been a pastor for 18 years and his mother a devout Christian, both Seventh-day Adventists.