Gospel Reggae Music – A Spiritual Upliftment
Born in the UK in 1969, Denis has a twin sister and you can take a wild guess at her name [Denise]! Like many children, they grew up with little knowledge of The Almighty or the Bible, largely because they weren’t really listening when at Sunday School. Their mum became a Rastafarian and would take them to celebration ceremonies and meetings. As a teenager, Denis recalls being invited to Church by one of his friends. Whilst there, a young man spoke to him about Christianity but Denis let him know that he believed what the Rasta told him about Haile Selassie. His mother bought him a Bible and he sought to find out more as he was told that was where he would find the information. He came across the scripture Acts 4, Verse 12 that stated: ‘Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’. This scripture sent him on a journey through the Bible which, not only changed his life but, the life of his mother and other members of his family.
The Almighty also gave him the gift of song… Denis started to visit Prisons, Churches and Youth Centres delivering Bible based songs via Gospel Reggae music. In doing so, a dear brother based in Atlanta who had heard Denis sing at an event, asked him to minister on a Mix CD that he was giving out to the youth. He sent him the ‘Drop Leaf Riddim’ to which Denis wrote the ode ‘Nobody Told Me’, a song which spoke of people who know the Truth but, withhold that information for their own agenda, often to the detriment of followers. The song had gained international popularity and was being played on many a diverse Radio Station and on Sound Systems. Denis reminisces on being approached by a Church member to go into the Prisons to speak and sing to the young men and the first time he visited the Brixton jail…
“I nervously sat in the Chapel with around three hundred men sitting in front of me. I heard someone whisper ‘Denis’! It was an old friend of mine. Since then, I have seen many old school friends and people who I grew up with, sadly, inside the Prison system. I can also remember the first time I sang ‘Seek’ in the Prisons. Just as I finished the song, I saw three inmates standing with their fists in the air - a gesture to let me know the song had touched them. There are many more inmates who have encouraged me; even when I’d met them years later outside the Prisons”. Denis has also been invited to sing in the local schools. This is due to the fact that he has written the illustrated Children’s Book ‘Whatever You Plant’, a book that encourages children to consider the consequence of their actions. In the classrooms, he would speak to the children and teach them the songs that he had written for this book.
Currently, Denis has the 12-track Reggae Gospel album, ‘Seek’ on the market. Every track speaks of his spiritual journey, reflects on the Christian way of life and life in general. Many people have expressed that the songs on this set have been a blessing to them. The lyrics are uplifting and suited to anyone who loves Gospel Reggae music, Christian or secular. For this album, Denis received the Praizetec Award for Contribution to Gospel Music. He continues to give inspiring performances at various venues and events around the UK and maintains the Radio Stations’ interests including Jamaican Radio. His reputation spreads across Community Outreach and Schools to Corporate and Black Tie events. He is working on a second album, due for release early next year.
‘Queen of Jamrock Soul’
Out of the ‘concrete jungle’ of Kingston Jamaica, emerges the singing sensation Keisha Martin… the first lady of R&B, Reggae, Gospel & Soul. Born third in line of six children, Keisha (with her family) migrated to New York City at the age of nine. She got her start, like many others before her, singing in her Church Choir. Blessed with a naturally melodious voice, it didn’t take long for Keisha to start securing first place in Open Mic contests and talent shows, from high school productions to Amateur Night at the world famous ‘Apollo Theatre’ in Harlem. But Keisha is not only a phenomenal vocalist and writer, she’s also a great actress in the making having co-stared in the hilarious family play ‘2 Jezebels’ with Cleve ‘Chu Chu’ Warren from Jamaica who’s known for such works as ‘Crazy Landlord’, ‘Passa Passa’ and ‘More Passa Passa’.
What makes Keisha unique is her ability to deliver whatever the crowd wants to hear, from R&B to culturally uplifting Reggae to moving the crowd with a party tune. Whatever the genre, Keisha fits right in. More than a brick house vocalist and deejay, she is an accomplished songwriter and expert dance choreographer who has won dancehall competitions in Canada, Cleveland, New York and Jamaica. Having worked with world-renowned producers such as Todd Terry, Robert Livingston (Big Yard), DJ Big Kap, DeeNucka and Self, Keisha has managed to hone her craft well. She has a style that’s all her own and definitely possesses all it takes to make it to the top. She has graced the stage with industry greats such as Bushman, Dean Frazier, Wayne Wonder, Taurus Riley, I-Wayne, Gyptian, Ky-Mani Marley, Tanto Metro & Devonte, Spragga Benz, Twins of Twins and Screechy Dan.
Kevin Crown, New York City’s powerhouse DJ had presented her Mixed CD, a compilation that satisfied the most discriminating of musical tastes. Now that fans know what Keisha is about, her popularity is growing rapidly. The new single ‘Believe’ is a powerful and riveting Gospel ballad that floats over a simple one-drop Reggae riddim. Filled with emotion, sincerity and truth, the song will grab you by the hand, smack you across the face and have you inspired, ready to take on the world. With inspirations and musical role models such as Nina Simone, Patti Labelle, Billie Holiday and Bob Marley, it’s no wonder Keisha writes, sings and performs with the passion that she does. The spark that had ignited the fire inside the little girl from Kingston is now burning out of control and is musically unstoppable! So now, Keisha is ready to share a piece of herself with a global audience.
See HERE for a taste of Keisha’s music
BRIAN COURTNEY WILSON
This is a beautiful album! Brian’s vocals are excellent, reminiscent of Duane Hamilton from back in the day... a brawny, expressive voice that wraps around the lyrics in such a way that they almost outshine the instrumentation. In fact, a cappella versions would float just as smoothly if you were to omit the rhythms that, albeit, compliments the songs so harmoniously. Old skool Seventh Day Adventists will definitely know what I’m talking about as Hamilton’s albums were rinsed constantly and still hold court in certain Gospel circles! Brian’s prolific style also sounds similar to R&B/Jazz crooner Frank McComb, another excellent singer/songwriter. A fine debut from the Spirit Rising/Music World Entertainment (Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Solange, Trin-I-Tee 5:7) artist who will no doubt land himself instant praise from all those who can appreciate wonderfully crafted, R&B tinged Gospel songs! The album title says it all, Brian brings ‘just love’ on ALL the tracks, not to mention notable odes like ‘All I Need’, ‘Already Here’, ‘Monday’s Pain (The Bridge)’ and people will simply love this!