Gospel Spotlight: Olaide Banks reaches out to Caribbean musicians with the gospel
Gospel recording artiste Olaide Banks is convinced that there is an untapped market for veteran artistes and producers in the Caribbean to collaborate with Christian artistes in the US who are looking to incorporate authentic reggae into their sound.
As the son of the reggae musician who was dubbed the ‘Anguillan Bob Dylan’, Olaide says that he has made it his duty to reach out to persons who share his Caribbean heritage to not only work on productions, but provide outlets for them to share their talents.
“My father is Bankie Banx, and he shares in the legacy of bringing reggae music to the Eastern Caribbean back in the 1970s. So I wouldn’t feel comfortable making music that is like a parody of Caribbean music. I respect it too much. For my family’s legacy in music, I think it would be a big letdown and disappointment,” Olaide toldTHE WEEKEND STAR.
Olaide has remained relatively low-key on the creative side of the business, co-writing with other recording artistes over the years.
But in 2018, he recorded and released a project that spoke authentically to where he is from.
“In terms of my faith experience, it incorporates the soundtrack of my life — reggae music. So we haveThe Story EP blending reggae with sounds of worship, and the lead track,Story of My Life, is very introspective and real to me, whileI’m Blessed (produced by noted lovers’ rock singer Benjy Myaz and mixed by Steven Stanley) is 100 per cent reggae,” he said.
The Story, released last October, is a prelude toOne Worship, Olaide’s full album, which is scheduled for release this summer.
The remaining songs will combine with the existing tracks to add a little more diversity to the sound, with contemporary gospel and contemporary worship sounds, which he plans to achieve by working with local talents.
“I think, especially where it concerns the variety of sounds in the industry right now, it is all about how as a musician, you access some of these markets. There is great amount of talent in Jamaica, enough to collaborate with people all over the world,” said Olaide.
Born and raised in Anguilla, Olaide began singing at age six in choirs and talent showcases but moved to Houston, USA, as a teenager to attend college. He established roots in Houston’s community as a legal advocate, volunteer, and Christian servant while maintaining a firm connection to his home and culture in the Caribbean as a promoter of the Moonsplash Music Festival.
“The gospel and my faith have played a huge role in my development,” he said. “As a lawyer, it influences the respect I have for my clients, regardless of their station in life, and as a minister/recording artiste, the gospel gives me to courage to speak and sing in front of people without fear. It inspires my lyrics and pushes me to improve every day.”