Herad Howell: self-taught teen musician
MAY PEN, Clarendon:
He can easily be described as a budding self-taught musician who has a passion for life. Herad Howell is 19 years old and already, he has taught himself to play several pieces of musical instruments, including the keyboard, bass, acoustic and electric guitars, as well as the drums.
"I tried the violin once, too, but I didn't like it," he told Rural Xpress. Howell grew up in church and was baptised at the age of 16 at the Sunbury United Church.
"Initially, I was just a regular churchgoer, then I became a part of the junior choir. Apart from singing in the choir, I also wrote songs for, and directed (the choir), and from there, I moved on to playing music. So I'm no longer in the choir, but I play the instruments full-time.
"I was just at church one night and there, persons in the 'candidate class' were giving their names to be baptised, and I just ran up and gave my name, too, and that was it," he said with a smile.
no problem with beliefs
The upper sixth-form Edwin Allen High student said he does not feel burdened by his faith, as it coincides well with school life. Unlike many other young people his age, he is not subject to the rigours of peer pressure of being a Christian and wanting to engage in the other 'worldly niceties'. "I don't see it as a problem where balancing both aspects of my life is concerned. I start my day with God, and I end it with Him. So everything else is secondary."
Apart from simply playing music, Howell wants to be a professional musician, a singer and an actor. "I also want to become a soldier and a journalist, but a soldier first because of this undying love I have for the JDF (Jamaica Defence Force). Even if I don't get to realise any of the other life goals, I must become a member of the Jamaica Defence Force. I just have this passion that I can't seem to explain."
There is also the hope of moving on to university, which, he says, he will work towards after becoming a member of the JDF.
Jenoia Francis, Howell's best friend, described him as a fun-loving, jovial and talkative person. "Herad is an awesome friend, he likes to talk and run jokes, but he has his time when its just on to business, straight schoolwork and no play. I know he is big on technology, loves his laptop and will read stuff on the Internet like life science, animal science and facts about the Bible on the Internet," said Francis.
She agreed that he is a carefree person who is not easily phased by petty things. "The main thing I like about our friendship is that he is a confidential person. He is a good listener and, wherever the conversation ends, that's where it stays. He is also a good listener and he is always willing to give good advice," she told Rural Xpress.
Herad said he will continue on the path of righteousness and is aiming to live a life that he thinks God will be pleased with. "I just want to be a good person. I want to be good and pure, that's what I want."