Remember when one of Rap and Hip Hop’s finest, Kanye West shut it down- laid down a full track about Jesus Christ and gave radio and club DJs the guilt trip that essentially forced their hand? That track was called ‘Jesus Walks” and it was released in 2004. Powerful to say the least, there’s no doubt that if that song comes on anywhere today, your’e guaranteed to hear people singing along.
Well, nowadays they may label Kanye as mentally unstable among other things, but delivering an all-out gospel-rap single and getting it played in the club and on urban radio, is something he’ll always be credited for. A little like West, a young record producer in Trinidad and Tobago’s on his way to doing major things musically, when it comes to the gospel genre. He’s just 24-years-old.
Jabari Bowman’s got a thing for music and in a chat with Ebuzztt recently, he explained that it started at a really young age. The former St. Mary’s College student, told us he grew up in the Pentecostal church, however, spirituality wasn’t something that was forced onto him by his parents. “My parents weren’t very strict when it came to going to church. That was really left up to us. I had the support of my sister and we made the decision, on our own, to be a part of church,” he said.
Jabari says his parents’ Christian foundation saw him and his sister being taught strong, positive values. “They raised us the best way they knew, as Christians, but it wasn’t very strict- just really good values and it never felt forced,” he said. Like any regular child exposed to the rollercoaster that is life, Jabari says he was privy to everything, including all that comes along with the secular world. “My dad introduced me to everything- Rastafarian music, Hip Hop, Soca – so I wasn’t sheltered. My parents just gave us the information and with the values instilled in us, we chose our paths.”
Stuck in a pandemic in the prime of his life, Jabari admitted, “the world at present is a lot to deal with.” He however said he reminds himself that his spirit is stronger than any physical force.
Eleven years ago, the young, gifted creative visualised his business, calling his production house, JSB Productions and envisioning a music label of the same name. “My identity isn’t entirely about gospel music, although gospel is my preferred genre to work with, but my main focus is positive music- anything that is driven by positive thoughts and can influence positive behaviour,” he affirmed. He says he would do any of the popular genres of music, but he will only be aligned with music that is positive. “The way I do my business, I don’t put my production out into the market widely or in the hands of any label and let them choose which artistes they want on the beat. I always have a personal conversation with the artistes who are interested – and most times I have someone in mind that I’d like to work with,” he explained.
Clearly, for Jabari- music is more than just a paycheque. He’s invested in the effect his music could have on those who eventually consume it. “When I started making beats- it was just making music, but eventually I got to the point where I wanted my music – anything that had my name on it- I wanted it to touch a person’s soul and speak to them in a positive manner,” he said.
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