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#FaithBased — Christianity on trend in Entertainment

Published:Saturday | August 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small/Gleaner Writer
Bounty Killer
Gussie Clarke
Marion Hall
Agent Sasco

"Behold I do a new thing; now it shall spring forth," reads part of Isaiah 43:19. Singer Alaine quoted the verse under the Instagram post in which she announced that she had been baptised. In the image, she stands gleefully along a seashore beside Pastor Ryan Mark, who evidently led the sacred ceremony.

As stated in the verse, there seems to be a movement of public figures towards the gospel.

After a few years of virtual musical silence, Wayne Marshall has returned to blaze the dancehall trail again. Currently, selectors have Marshall's new hit gospel song Glory To God among their highlight spins for any event.

Dancehall icon Bounty Killer endorses the Go Hard singer's apparent about-turn. Now available for pre-order is a collaboration by the two deejays called Thank Yuh Fi The Blessing produced by Danny Brownie.

Several years ago, Brownie got 'saved'. He is among a string of industry players who did so, including Junior Tucker, Chevelle Franklyn and Papa San.

"I thought at the time it was a move of the Spirit over the nation. As for where we are as a country - we're in turmoil right now. As a matter of fact, internationally," Brownie told The Gleaner.

"The reality is that people are now open to what we could consider an 'alternate'. People have been thinking of the best routes for when they run out of options. But still, I think there's a genuine belief because most Jamaicans do have a foundation of that belief. Many have indicated their acceptance of that. People are just becoming more vocal, and they're not ashamed to declare," Brownie added.




Gussie Clarke believes it may not be a drastic reaction to international dismay. "People just naturally find their calling. Many reasons can lead them to their calling. We are just noticing that the ones who are getting the calling are more notable figures. I don't think it's a lot. I think it's just normal, but when a person have a certain noteworthiness, it seems to be more highlighted," Clarke said.

Brownie and Marshall have been acquainted for years. According to Brownie, meeting up in the studio, sometimes in the company of Pastor Mark, has become common. "As artistes, we have discussions about God and Jesus. We developed a new-found relationship in which we realised we're speaking the same language. It just happened in the studio right there," he explained.

According to Brownie, it was Marshall's suggestion to feature Bounty Killer on the upcoming track. Though the release date has not yet been announced, Thank Yuh Fi The Blessing is now available for pre-order on digital platforms.

Earlier this year, Sister Marion Hall (formerly known as Lady Saw) started along the path of the righteous. Similarly, the image of model and TV personality Yendi Phillipps re-emerging from the baptismal pool made the rounds on social media a few weeks ago. The photographs affirmed onlookers' previous observations that the Christian faith has become a major part of the life of many public figures.

In 2017, Phillipps launched her faith-based merchandise brand - Odyssey by Yendi-centred on the motivational verse - Philippians 4:13. The outlet offers graphic tees, journals, candles, pens and phone cases - many of them stencilled or printed with the quote "I can do all things".

Even reggae artiste Agent Sasco has made some moves that niggle at curious minds. The artiste recently revealed the tracklist for his upcoming studio album, Hope River.

While it is interesting that he has combined the talents of Chevaughn, Tony Rebel, Bay C, Jah Vinchi, Queen Ifrica, Tosh Alexander, Tessanne Chin, Romain Virgo, Wayne Marshall and Majah Hype for the album's closing song, All Aboard, it is perhaps more interesting to note the fourth track, called Mama Prayed, featuring evangelist Glacia Robinson, and the ninth track, called Journey, featuring Wayne Marshall.

Sasco said: "This album is a representation of where I am musically, mentally, and spiritually."