Gospel Spotlight: Johnmark educates through song
Johnmark Wiggan is an emerging gospel artiste who incorporates hybrid elements of music genres from rock and roll to reggae and dancehall into his music. Encouraged to share a message, he uses his passion to expose and educate others about the love of Jesus Christ.
He describes himself as a simple country boy from St Thomas, even though he grew up and did most of his schooling in Antigua.
“That exposure to both cultures – the dialect, style, food and the norms – has shaped me to be who I am today, a believer in Christ that is hard-working, funny and energetic,” Wiggan toldTHE WEEKEND STAR.
“When I realised that there was a natural gifting around music and how that simply impacted the people around me, the spiritual healing, comfort and clean entertainment that makes them happy, I decided to do music. Most importantly, I can educate in song what I can’t by just speaking,” he said.
He has returned to Jamaica to study at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and perfect his musical style.
The singer already has four original singles and has done covers, but he says, “The best production will always be my last because as musicians, we should always continue to seek out ways by which we can make the music improve and climb higher in excellence.”
In this case, Wiggan’s last release wasSomething Good, which turned into a collaboration with another rising vocalist of the new generation of contemporary gospel artistes, Flavia Beswick. The song highlights reggae and gospel as both feel, good genres.
“The song is an expression stemming from the relationship with God and the situations he reveals himself to me in,” he said, “Reflecting on certain disappointments, I realised that all those things were working together for my good, and so, Flavia Beswick and I joined forces in an effort to compass that idea around Christ.”
This is not Wiggan’s first time in the spotlight, having entered one of Antigua’s top competitions, the Emerge Gospel Challenge, in 2016, where he emerged as the first runner-up. It provided him a contract with Sherwin Gardner, a pioneer in Caribbean gospel music.
“The competition was a great push and platform. The experience and the resulting contract and opportunities to work with Sherwin, as well as record music, helped me to transition into the industry,” he said. He remains signed to Gardner’s label in Antigua, which he visits annually, but has the creative freedom to work with producers and other recording artistes.