Amid criticism, DJ Nicholas takes tips from dancehall
Dancehall has always been identifiable by the accelerating rate at which acts unleash new music. Observing this, gospel artiste DJ Nicholas is trying a new musical approach, already releasing three singles over the past three weeks.
The tracks, Prayer Closet, Like This (featuring Chris Black), and Mercy have racked up thousands in views, with music lovers commending the deejay for staying true to his hard-core style, melting different genres as he toasts the gospel. A fourth single, This World, is also teased on his YouTube channel, and fans are speculating if an album is in the works.
Speaking to The Gleaner, DJ Nicholas said that he might compile the best singles to compose an album but said that that was not his focus.
“I think I’ve been a little passive with my approach. Yes, I do my events and travel for shows every month, but when I look at the other end of the spectrum, the Mavados, and whosoevers, put out songs by the week, but we as gospel artistes put out one album every couple years,” he said. “I said, let me try a different approach this year, so I’m writing and producing some good songs. Plus, I have a lot of unreleased songs, too.”
Though his musical perspective has shifted, his ministerial style is resolute. Despite being a staple in Jamaican gospel for the past 15 years, DJ Nicholas shared that he is still criticised for his appearance and elements of his evangelism. Taking to Instagram this week, he encouraged Christians to embrace their uniqueness and reminded followers that everyone would not have the same method of ministry.
“I understand that everybody won’t appreciate and understand, my type of ministry, but there are many who do, and I get a lot of testimonies, so I know what I am doing is effective,” he said. “The songs that I recently put out are Biblical, but yet you still have the traditional and religious folk who think that gospel musn’t sound like that when gospel doesn’t have a sound. Jesus didn’t even speak English, if you want to go there, but yet we’ve become comfortable with a particular sound and say that is gospel when gospel is really a message.”
He added that his approach helps to attract the unsaved.
“I am far from perfect, but I have portrayed for my entire life that I am serious about Christianity, marriage, the word ... it’s like you give somebody every proof that you are really about what you are doing and they still question you,” he said. “It’s what it is. Some people will never admit that you are truly a man of God. It’s sad, but it is what religion has done to us. People still talk about the hair thing, like on my most recent post on Facebook, and they were even talking about the US$10 bracelet weh mi have on. I intentionally try to look and sound different because if all of us look and sound the same, we’re going to be boring and there won’t be anything in Christianity to attract people. People can be shallow-minded and fail to see the bigger picture. I just continue to put out my songs and encourage people.”