Kevin Downswell realises writing talent, releases book
During preparations prior to the release of his last album, gospel artiste Kevin Downswell thought it a brilliant idea to do a pamphlet to help promote the musical compilation. However, the five-page pamphlet he had in mind turned into a 100-page book that is today gaining wide attention across the island.
Launched late last month, the inspirational work, titled The Search Continues: The journey, has received several endorsements from a number of popular Jamaicans, including media personality Miss Kitty and Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna.
The book tells the tale of the song, literally, as Downswell pens the inspiration behind some of his most popular hits to date. In an interview with The Gleaner, Minister Downswell said that his fans were his biggest inspiration for the book. "Since releasing the album, persons have always approached me asking how I wrote a particular song or what was I thinking when I wrote another, so I felt like persons out there at least deserved a little peek into the spiritual background of some of their favorite songs," he said. "My true inspiration was the very ones I wrote the book for, the people."
Did not like writing
Downswell explained that writing was never something he liked. In fact, the You Make Me Stronger singer said he only wrote when he had to. "I really didn't like writing," he said. "I wrote only when I had to, but as I grew and matured, I realised that I had more gifts than I had originally perceived and writing was one." He went on to explain that though he came to realise that he had many talents, writing a book proved to be very challenging. "I always knew writing books would be a challenge because it wasn't one that came naturally. I had to push pass some feelings and some internal discomforts until it became easier."
The completed project, Downswell explained, came together through team work. "My wife and mother were very influential and kept me moving even when I felt like stopping," he said. "My mentor, Dr Henley Morgan, was also vital in helping me see the potential of my writing and helped me find key persons to bring professionalism and a high standard to the completed work. Also, my editor, Lena Rose of Minna Press, worked tirelessly with me to ensure that we got it right."
Downswell said, based on the responses since the book launch, it seems he and his team indeed got it right. "It (the response) has been very good. People who have already received their copy, are responding on how the book has blessed them, and so many who have not got their copies have expressed that they will be getting their copy soon. I'm truly grateful. To God be all the glory."
The book is available for purchase online and is also on sale at the Back to the Bible book store in Hagley Park Plaza. Minister Downswell further disclosed that he and his team are currently working on getting the book into more bookstores locally, including the Kingston Bookshop.
Downswell also told The Gleaner that amid working on his next studio album, he has already begun writing his second book. "A whole lot is happening right now," he said. "I'm wrapping up my third album, so that will be released in the near future and I just released my latest single called One Day, plus I have already started writing my second book, so there is much more to come."
He also encouraged persons to always go after what they want no matter what, as he says, "Just like me, anybody out there can be what they desire no matter what the 'Jericho Walls' or obstacles are. With the strength and grace of God, we can become greater than we are now."