Gospel acts providing mentorship to up-and-coming artistes

March 21, 2023

Local gospel entertainers are stepping up to ensure the continuity of the genre through mentorship that is aimed to enable the next generation of musical ministers to deliver truth to the masses.

During a press conference ahead of The Well Encounter gospel and charity concert, local acts Rondell Positive and Kevin Downswell shared that though it may not be highlighted, they continue to pour into various groups and talents to help them find their way in the space.

"It is important for us to embrace our own and not seek validity externally, and to recognise that we have it and we can do exactly what others can do. That is one of the things that I have been pouring into a lot of the artistes coming up, not to chase after what is beyond you, but to find you where you are at," Downswell shared.

The artiste, who emerged on the scene in 2003 after winning the Jamaica Gospel Festival, explained that through his work with younger folk in the business, they understand that they have what it takes.

"I won't tell you the details, but these are some of the things that I have been pouring into some of those who feel like if they are not connected to an American, or if you are not connected to an African, you have not been, or you are not necessarily, successful," he said.

His sentiments were shared by Rondell Positive, who continues to provide mentorship for smaller, underground musical groups.

"I think the first thing that we need to remove is the industry. We are supposed to be a government. Our role is to teach those who follow us how to apply the training. So we who are ahead, many of us never had that training. But we came into what is called mentorship. Our role is indeed to pour into those who are coming. I don't want us to be contaminating this thing with what is not the truth," he shared.

American gospel artiste Naomi Raine also shared some advice for up-and-coming gospel artistes.

"Don't try to be the next Maverick City or whatever. Try to be who you are; and you don't have to come to America to experience what we are doing, do it where you are. So I would encourage songwriters and artistes to get together and work together. We have seen what we have seen because of the process of collaboration. Each of us were individual artistes, but when we started to work together, we saw the Holy Spirit breathe on that and moved on that. So it was not just about what we do on our own, it's how we move together," she said.

Well Encounter took place at Sabina Park, Kingston, last Saturday.

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