GOSPEL SPOTLIGHT: Katalys Crew - Promoting peace, love, unity and justice with music
"There is a great demand for inspirational, uplifting, spiritual, soothing, praise and worship music.
So says the band leader Paul Barclay of Katalys Crew, a group which defines its music as contemporary Christian or reggae gospel.
Katalys Crew, however, stressed that its musical expressions are limited to Christian music only. According to Barclay, the 1993 release of Luciano The Messenjah's album titled Where There Is Life garnered an incredible amount of attention within the gospel community.
"Many of his songs are covered by Christian artistes such as Shirley Willis from the Grace Thrillers, even Seventh-day Adventist groups that one would consider conservative."
Still, Barclay explained that while Luciano may not be considered a gospel artiste, major hit songs like Lord Give Me Strength and Jah Is My Navigator were highly regarded and utilised by the Jamaican gospel
"The messages on that album fit
squarely in what we would categorise 'gospel'," Barclay told The WEEKEND STAR. "It is important to note that you may never find the category reggae gospel on most of the established distribution networks internationally. The gospel entertainment sub-sector is extremely saturated especially from a Jamaican/Caribbean standpoint."
Lines between reggae
and gospel blurring
Highlighting that there seems to be a demand for music that addresses social issues, Barclay suggests that the lines between reggae as a genre and gospel as a genre exists, with some blurring.
Barclay believes that gospel music fits comfortably among the demand for inspirational, uplifting, spiritual, and soothing' music. "However, it is not strictly limited to our notion of gospel music. Fundamental Christian beliefs is a large part of the gospel music sector. The love that is being expressed especially in praise and worship is predominantly the vertical love that one has for God."
The 13-year-old music group, refers to themselves as agents of change, after diminishing from an impressive 14 members to the current five. "We started with a lot of young members who, after a while, would naturally move on to individual careers," Barclay told The WEEKEND STAR. It's the nature of bands to experience changes so it's an opportunity for us as a catalyst. We would like to see more love being written about and produced. We are not ashamed to be Christians, but our music extends to current world affairs addressing matters of peace, love, unity, and justice."