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.
DJ Lila Gives Miami Carnival Experience A Perfect 10!
The next generation’s being groomed to take over. Trinidad and Tobago’s DJ Lila is one of the prospects who’s been making a name for herself in the entertainment industry in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean but the young, female DJ and artist who is now a resident DJ at Next 99.1FM in Trinidad, isn’t being held back by geographic location.
Born in the US, Lila has always understood her mission. She’s under the guidance of her father, artist and multimedia specialist, Ziggy Rankin and they just completed the Miami Carnival circuit.
Grateful for the opportunity to represent and showcase her DJing skills in the carnival, Lila showed mad love for Giselle The Wassi One. “I wouldn’t have made it up there without Aunty Wassi. She organized the entire thing. I really want to thank her,” said the teen. The Miami opportunity brought her into the eyes of major promoters and artistes no doubt, and will essentially prove to be a springboard for her budding career.
Having really enjoyed the experience, Lila said as a TriniBad vocalist and representative for that sub-genre, she foresees more opportunity for the sometimes controversial music, which is prevalent in the Caribbean, to be included and collaborated in significant ways with Soca. “Everybody in Miami knew the music so I know we can continue to grow and become bigger,” she said.
On the matter of COVID-19 precautions and execution of the festival in Miami, Lila said she was impressed by the mask and testing rules, which had been implemented by the Miami Broward Festival committee, and the fact that the patrons followed those protocols. “Everything was well controlled,” said the young DJ, adding that in her view, experience was a perfect ten.
Lila, like many Caribbean youths, is eager to build her brand and represent her peers on global circuits. She says her goal was to get the experience this time around and for that, she is grateful.
This is Wild! TriniZuela Manager Turned Artist Morphs Into Kick A$$ Alter Ego, Gustavo.
A world without entertainment would be so dull. In the past two years, Trinidad and Tobago in particular, has experienced an entertainment drought as Covid-19 restrictions forced the abrupt and strongly enforced government shut down of an industry that fuels economic livelihood for countless people.
David Adams, the elder brother of entertainer, Mr. Renzo, says, much like everyone else, he too has been affected. He’s been an artist manager for some time, managing his brother’s career since 2000. Now, having embarked on a music career of his own a few years ago, the Venezuela born act, who’s created the perfect character alias in Gustavo, is bent on infiltrating the global entertainment scene in a way that others may not have thought of.
“This is music for the world,” said David on the release of his new single, ‘Straight Forward’. The track comes complete with a spanking new music video and is collaboratively sung with reggaeton artist, Jeico- a fellow Venezuelan. “He doesn’t speak English; this is pure reggaeton,” said Adams. This fact adds to the undiluted authenticity of the track. For Adams, the creation of a stage and digital character was necessary, since, off stage, in business mode, his personality is somewhat rigid. “This character, Gustavo, is full of himself,” admits Adams, as he speaks of the alter ego he shares his image with. Gustavo, according to the team behind Adams, is suave and chilled,but so sure of himself that he is undeterred by anything that may take place around him. “He’s truly something to see,” said Adams with a smirk.
Alter-egos aren’t uncommon in the entertainment industry, after all, right here in the Caribbean we’ve been met with Destra’s Lucy and Fay Ann Lyon’s Silver Surfer characters. In the United States, Sasha Fierce often makes her presence felt when Beyonce hits the stage. For David Adams, Gustavo is the stage personality he sometimes wishes he could be on a daily basis.
A national of Venezuela who migrated to Trinidad at a young age, Adams understands the tumultuous situation that Venezuelans continue to grapple with. He says there is no economy there and with that comes spiraling crime that has proven uncontrollable. Trinidad his home, he says he does not feel the same will take place in the twin island nation, explaining that once relations with the United States are maintained and there are no trade embargos placed on a country, it is highly unlikely that citizens of that country will see anything remotely close to what has been playing out in Venezuela. Adams is not ignorant to problems faced by people around the world and believes music is very important amid the current climate that everyone is now facing. “Music is part of our happiness and it’s very necessary. When you have stress, you have ailments and so music is really important. I pray for us to come out of this situation. In the US events are going on now, and I believe vaccination is a personal choice that we all, as individuals, have to decide upon,” he said.
The new single, ‘Straight Forward’, was produced by Prince Pronto of Tyrpp Records and written collaboratively by Pronto, RheoneElbourne, Jazeel Christopher, Gustavo and Jeico. Visuals for the track are now available on YouTube, with streaming accessible via all streaming platforms.
Press Release courtesy Etcetera The Company.
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