ENERGETIC PRAISE - Rolando Blake looks to stimulate new energy within worshippers

January 15, 2021
Rolando Blake
Rolando Blake

When self-made producer and audio engineer Rolando Blake presented gospel singer Minister Godartiste with the groovy dancehall-flow rhythm, it was no coincidence.

"After listening to it a few times I had a few persons in mind, and on the gospel circuit, I could hear Godartiste's writing, performance style and sound combine with it," Blake said.

Minister Godartiste has released his latest single, Help Me, on the rhythm.

Since embarking on a career in music production Blake has worked with recording artistes in both the secular and gospel genres, but says he makes sure not to mix the two.

"I don't have that mindset either to record secular artistes and musical ministers on the same rhythms. It would have to be some extreme idea for me to consider it and I haven't had any of those just yet," Blake said.

Blake is also a nine-year veteran of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. He says that takes a lot of mental strength, but he's also realised the challenges are almost similar with the music industry.


"A friend of mine, Shenko Nashinal, who died from about two years ago, was the one who first took me to a studio and introduced me to the music business. We grew up together in Waterhouse. The artiste thing was definitely challenging; I couldn't get producers to give me a chance. He told me no matter what, not to give up," Blake said.

"I learned how to make rhythms, and to mix and master. I started with secular music then when I got saved, I knew I had to stop doing that hardcore dancehall writing, and I even forced myself to do gospel but I wasn't moved by the spirit so to speak," Blake said. "Trust me, gospel should be different but the politics and mentality of the industry is the same. But I didn't give up there, I went more behind the scenes."

Blake says that with the rhythms he has set aside for gospel artistes, he is trying to bring a new type of energy that people in the church can enjoy and not feel like they are doing something against their beliefs.

"Gospel is heavily reliant on the message, but people must be able to enjoy the rhythm of what they are hearing - whether slow-paced or up-tempo - and of late it seems like the religious artistes are losing the energy or it is watered down. This song with Godartiste, Help Me, will help with changing that," Blake said.

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