Mon | Feb 19, 2018

Voice of 'Ministry': The Adiel Thomas Story

Published:Monday | June 27, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Music Producer, Songwriter and Vocal Coach, Adiel Thomas is serious when on the work of God.
Adiel Thomas (front centre) and (from left) Wayneche' Watson, Janielle Smith-Golbourne and Toyin Olaye, the voices of vision and inspiration.
Adiel Thomas feeling blessed.

American actress Whoopi Goldberg said in the movie Sister Act, "If you want to be somebody, if you want to go somewhere, you've got to wake up and pay attention." This insight led 26-year-old Adiel Thomas to change his life and the lives of others through music.

From the age of two, Thomas showed a love for music. While growing up, he taught himself to play the keyboard, and today he can play several instruments. Singing, however, is his true love.

Thomas recalled a conversation he had with his mother, Elena, when he was only 10 years old.

"I remember getting ready for GSAT and being very concerned about what I wanted to do with my life. One day, I asked my mother what she wanted me to do and gave her a few suggestions that I heard other kids saying, like becoming a doctor or lawyer. She responded by telling me to be anything I wanted to be. Then I asked her, suppose I want to be a garbage man? She looked at me and said, 'If you're going to be a garbage man, be the best garbage man in the world'."

Thomas played the keyboard at church, sang in a cappella groups in high school and progressed further when he joined the Shahaye and Chamber choir at Northern Caribbean University (NCU).

"Joining the choirs at NCU, I was amazed by how beautifully the members could sing, and being around them motivated me to practise and to get better at it. Furthermore, being under the directorship of Andrew Marshall, I was able to really develop my voice," he said.

At the age of 12, Thomas was writing his own music. Though he has the ability to perform, write and produce, he shared that writing and producing are his favourite parts of working in music.

"The process of putting my feelings to paper and on to melody and then performing it or allowing someone else to sing it is a beautiful process," he said.

Thomas recalled working overseas as a housekeeper on a work and study programme and using the time to train his voice. After returning home, he went solo as he believed he had the vocal strength to perform his own songs.

Transforming to 'Ministry'

In 2009, Thomas did some introspection and was not pleased with how he was progressing on his Christian journey. He set out to showcase his renewed commitment to his spiritual calling and as part of this effort, 'Adiel Thomas & Ministry' was formed from a group of Thomas' family and friends from NCU.

The group was passionate about the music they sang which was often produced and written by Thomas himself.

"Often I write music to comfort myself from the struggles I face and my music in turn helps others who are going through the same," he said.

Graduating in 2010 and in need of employment, Thomas started working in the mass communication department at the university as an adjunct radio lecturer, while at the same time being a music teacher and choir director at Manchester High School. Under his direction, the high school won the All Together Sing competition in 2012.

After three years, Thomas moved on to focus on his own music full time, creating the Ministry Music Label. On this label he produced songs like, God Knows; Little Mercies; He'll work it Out; and Growing in Grace.

Adiel & Ministry eventually disbanded, with members moving on to pursue personal goals.

"Every two years I had to replace people and now after six years, I'm very disappointed that Ministry is no more. I would have wanted to record another album with the group, but that's life," Thomas said.

Thomas noted that the music industry can be hard but with proper time management and the help of his team which includes Wilton James and Richard Spencer, he is confident that he will accomplish his goals.

"In 2017, I'm going to start releasing everything I have inside my head. My music will sound a little bit different from what everyone is used to from me, but that's what I'm most excited for. The world will be introduced to Adiel in a brand new, but most transparent and authentic way," he said.