Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
PORT ANTONIO, Portland:
PAUL ATKINSON, a physician's assistant in the United States (US) and a former school teacher at Titchfield High School in Portland, has returned to the land of his birth to pursue a lifelong dream in music.
Atkinson, who works at a health facility in Long Island, New York, where he practises medicine under the supervision of a medical doctor, is now shooting his first music video titled Garvey Philosophy in the eastern parish of pristine beauty.
"Music was always in my blood. I left Jamaica for the US about 20 years ago and pursued a career in saving people's lives," said Atkinson. "While I was a teenager in Jamaica (Portland), I was always involved in singing on sound systems where I entertained people just for the love of it. My occupation in medicine is a very successful one, however, for years now, I have been battling the desire to resume my music career, which is really my passion."
Atkinson explained that his decision to pursue music more vigorously at this time was partly influenced by family members, friends, and those who had the opportunity of hearing him singing on a local disco in New York.
According to Atkinson, since 2003, he has recorded several singles in the US including "Blood stained Hands and Heart, Just because I Look Like You, Feel like Running Away, Hard Road to Travel, and Pretty woman", which he claimed, received a fair amount of airplay and favourable response from nightclubs and reggae listeners across a number of US states
Atkinson, who attended the College of Agriculture, Science and Education, started a teaching career at Titchfield High in 1989 as a history and agriculture science teacher, but later left for the US where he successfully pursued a career in medicine.
The reggae singer/medical practitioner, who goes by the stage name 'Di Truth', explained that the message from his music is simply to raise awareness among people and to provide them with inspiration and solutions to day-to-day problems and occurrences.
Continuing, Atkinson said: "Reggae music has lost its way, and every attempt has to be made to restore this part of our unique and beloved culture. Music should be about love, education, inspiration, and unity. Anything short of that is flawed."
Atkinson, who has written more than 20 songs, is yet to produce an album. He revealed that before the end of the year, his debut album would be released.
The singer will be spending time in Portland developing new tracks for the album before returning to the US.