The roused crowd at Sonfest 2018. (Picture by Lennox Devonish.)
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The Party Stand could not contain the powerhouse of talent at the 2018 Sonfest gospel concert held on Easter Monday.
The combination of uplifting Christian lyrics fused with infectious Caribbean beats and rhythm roused the audience and for the duration of the six-hour show, everyone, from toddlers to retired people, was compelled to move.
The Harbour Road, St Michael show featured Blessed Messenger and Jaron Nurse from Trinidad and Tobago, Samuel Medas from Guyana, Hee Haw and Gozzy from Barbados, Prodigal Son from Jamaica and Deslayah representing both Barbados and Guyana.
Each entertainer “lit up” the stage and sang popular songs that had the crowd worshipping fervently, but the highlight of the concert was Prodigal Son. The award-winning reggae artiste was the last performer and sang for over an hour and a half and was nothing short of energetic. Some of his hits he sang were Jesus Bigger, Catch A Fire and Blessings.
The event, which was held for the first time in seven years, was organised by Apostle Destiny Cadogan and her husband Bernard. They said the aim of the show was to denounce the myth that church was a boring place.
“The youth is locked into this music (reggae and soca)”, said Destiny. “They like the rhythm, the pulsating beat and like to feel the bass-line in their chest.
“So we think it is necessary to recover the notion that this is not a part of the church. When you become a member of the church, people expect that your music changes and you only listen to Beethoven-like music.”
The apostle added that when she and her husband began hosting Sonfest events, they were ridiculed because they did not showcase traditional art forms of gospel music.
“There is no need for Christians to live a drab, boring, dull and uninteresting life. Once the inner person changes, the format of music that changes are songs that affect the old man and cause him to wine, juck and skin-out.
“When God brings alive the other person we don’t change our rhythm, we change the lyrics.”
She added that that was part of the reason why a lot of young people drifted away from the church, as they were of the belief that nothing could be offered to them in a relatable way.
“If you realise there are no American artistes on our stage, we purposed that Sonfest would be built around regional artistes.
“I really despise that some people dislike our (regional) music and don’t appreciate the way how Caribbean people praise, jump and clap and move to gospel music.
“We want to dance like everybody else with their rhythm. It is impossible for a Caribbean person to hear music and not respond but as soon as we join the church that stops . . .,” she said. (SB)