Born to sing: The Triciana Simpson story
Triciana Simpson is a finalist in this year's staging of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC) gospel song competition. She decided to enter after receiving her calling a little over a year ago.
"While teaching in Colombia, I recognised that my voice was not only created to instruct young people to take the right path, but was also made to release melodies of healing, revival and restoration to a broken generation," she said, adding that her motivation came from a need to do what God has called her to do.
"Returning to Jamaica after eight years in Colombia was not easy, knowing I was walking away from a stable and safe life. I battled for months with confusion, and fear tried to cripple me, but I knew God was calling me. I had sleepless nights, I had many unanswered questions, but I moved out in faith. Now, I have no regrets," Simpson told Family and Religion. That experience, she said, has inspired her entry song, When You Call.
Saved for 17 years, she is now a member of the praise and worship team at the Pure in Heart Ministries International in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew.
Simpson said one of her greatest dreams has been to spend her birthday with her father, as she has not done so since she was about eight years old.
"My dad plays a significant role in my life, but due to various circumstances, we grew apart. Since then, distance was always an issue. We would always communicate by phone, but that was not enough, and I would get upset when it came to special days because I wanted to see him, embrace him, and express how grateful I am for all that he has done for me," she told Family and Religion.
Simpson added: "I told God, last year, while celebrating my birthday in Colombia, that the next birthday, I will be with my dad, and all the years that we have been separated will be restored and our love for each other will be rekindled."
That dream was made a reality this year. "On my birthday, I was greeted with a spontaneous and heartfelt hug while he gently whispered some sweet words in my ear. My face was lit up with profound joy. My eyes welled with tears. What a blissful moment!" she exclaimed as if she was reliving the moment.
She said: "God does pay attention to our deepest dreams and desires. They probably will not happen in our timing, but He is faithful to ensure they come to pass. Just continue to trust Him unwaveringly."
After pursuing a bachelor's of arts degree in Spanish and international relations at the University of the West Indies, Simpson went to Colombia as a teaching assistant for nine months and, before she knew it, she had already spent eight years. "During my time there, I participated in many singing events and became a praise and worship leader at a local church. Singing and worshipping God in another language is an unexplainable feeling," said Simpson.
"I am a very passionate, determined, jovial, cheerful and loving individual who has a heart for people. Many would describe me as encouraging, genuine and supportive, and I love to stand out with my sense of style and elaborate hairstyles," she said with great pride.
Simpson added: "I am hoping to accomplish growth, exposure, networking, and, most important, to get to hone and fall in love with my craft. I would also use the JCDC gospel song competition as a platform to start working on my music career."