Wed | Jan 16, 2019

URIM 7 Gospel band storms music Industry

Published:Thursday | April 2, 2015 | 12:00 AM
From left: Oshane Mais, Thedesia Clarke, Geneva Ayre, Ruth Mason and Kemar Thomas Jezeel Martin (back) from the band URIM 7.
URIM7 Band and feature members: (From left): Joelle Robinson, Christopher Wright, Oshane Mais, Tamara Norman, Jamie Wilmott, Thadesia Clarke, Kemar Thomas, Ruth Mason, Christopher Campbell, Mark-Anthony Green, Evan Mason, Kemar Liking and Carlton Jarrett.

Soul thriller URIM 7 is a unique gospel band that hit the music industry by producing and promoting a diverse mixture of gospel, reggae R&B, jazz, and contemporary music.

The band was spearheaded by songwriter and executive producer Vivian Martin, who told The Gleaner that one of his visions was to create an album with high-quality songs, and so teamed up with some of the best in the music industry both locally and abroad. "The group's mandate, through which came the name URIM 7, is to bring light and revelation to transcend denominational walls, language barriers, and reveal the message of redemption to the world through music, to the lost and the outcast, by the grace and power of God," Martin disclosed.

"Urim and thummin, are precious stones worn on the garment of the high priest which radiate to indicate the presence of God. URIM in Hebrew means 'lights' and the number '7' represents thummim, which means perfection," he added.

Martin said they already have more than 20 original songs, all mixed and mastered, 15 of which are featured on the studio-recorded album. "The album is currently in rotation daily, not just on the top gospel local radio stations, but also on secular radio shows. In fact, the first track on the album, Messiah, an R&B gospel song otherwise called Never Gonna Stop in the streets, has become the anthem for many gospel radio programmes. Sample songs can be found on our website," he said.

The members were auditioned and handpicked by Martin, who has created a unique team of young singers and musicians, who have dedicated their lives to producing and promoting the gospel through music. "One of the unique and unusual features of the group is that of the approximately 20 members (core and feature combined), all go to different churches. With several denominations present, all work well together, sharing in the mutual activity of a desire for God, a love of music and a desire to serve," Martin explained.

"The team consists of core members, who are the permanent singers and musicians of the band, signed under a management/performing contract with JOSJOI productions label. These core members are from time to time joined by supporting featured vocalists and musicians and we do work with different bands," Martin added.

Local and

International tours

Last summer, Martin said, the group embarked on their first local tour with the Gospel Escape Concert team, which featured gospel artistes from Trinidad and Jamaica, collaborating on the tour which made stops in Montego Bay and Mandeville, before reaching its climax at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston.

"We recently performed at the Earth Hour concert at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre; the annual Jamaica Youth for Christ Genesis concert on New Year's Day; A Betta Tomorrow gospel concert in Mandela Park, Half-Way Tree; the Reggae Praise Gospel Concert; the Rainforest Seafood Family Fun Day and Concert and the 14-14-14 wedding reception in February," Martin outlined.

In spreading their wings and soothing voices, the band went on their first US tour in South Florida. "The tour commenced at one of South Florida's largest outdoor events - Family Fun Night, hosted by Christ on the Rock Community Church. We also ministered at several community concert performances at some of the local churches, and then culminated at the Grace Jamaica Jerk Festival held at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida," Martin said.

What's next?

The group is slated to perform at the internationally acclaimed Praise on The Beach and Praize Factor - People's Choice Award Weekend in Montego Bay from April 24-26.

Martin says they are now in the final stages of finalising

an invitation to perform and minister for at a week-long US, summer event.