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Top reggae, dancehall and gospel acts unite on ‘Street Gospel’ EP

Published:Tuesday | August 15, 2023 | 12:08 AMAnthony Turner/Gleaner Writer
Singer Sanchez (second from left) belts out a few bars from the single ‘He Lives’ at the Street Gospel video launch in Kingston recently. Looking on from left are Bounty Killer, Richie Stephens and Nitty Kutchie
Singer Sanchez (second from left) belts out a few bars from the single ‘He Lives’ at the Street Gospel video launch in Kingston recently. Looking on from left are Bounty Killer, Richie Stephens and Nitty Kutchie

The newly minted Street Gospel rhythm, which was released on the Pot of Gold/VPAL imprints, features a collection of some of Jamaica’s biggest and most accomplished gospel and secular artistes on a six-song EP.

Among the acts are Kevin Downswell and Bounty Killer ( Call Him); Nitty Kutchie and Buju Banton ( Lord I Thank You); Richie Stephens and Kukudoo ( Pray That Away); and Sanchez and Busy Signal ( He Lives). Singer Richie Stephens is credited as a producer on the project. A medley video with all the artistes was officially released at a private reception in Kingston recently.

The Poor People’s Governor, Bounty Killer, who attended the video launch, spoke about working with Stephens and Kevin Downswell on the project.

“We always do gospel music, but Richard decided that he wanted to make a juggling rhythm this time with several big heavyweights, and he decided he wanted me to sing with Minister Downswell. When he mentioned the idea, I was very excited because I love to sing about God, and he mentioned the situation that we are going through, with people starting to seek refuge in other kingdoms. Some a sey the guzu man and the guard ring ... we have to remind them that the true almighty God is real,’’ Bounty declared.

Singer Sanchez said that he was “happy to be a part of this project” while Nitty Kutchie raved about working with Buju Banton on the single Lord I Thank You.

“I must thank you, Richie, for believing in my talent and for giving me the opportunity to showcase it on this important project. I must also thank Buju for delivering such a heartfelt performance.”

Stephens shared that he is encouraged by the success he is having as a producer.

“A lot of people have reached out to me privately to say they love the project. Some are encouraging me to keep on going, and I plan to do that,” he shared.

The Street Gospel rhythm is just one of many projects Stephens has been involved in that has captured attention. He kicked off 2022 with the single Valley, which inspired a spunky Afrobeats remix with Nigeria’s Commissioner DJ Wysei. That was followed by Reverse The Curse, which struck a responsive cord with faith-based persons who embraced its message. He then dropped Born Blessed, featuring Gambian singer, songwriter, and producer Good Boy Elliot and US-based hip hop-reggae artiste Mario Cheef.

The Live Your Life singer has also been busy on stage, performing at two Jamaica 61 celebrations this summer - The Seville Heritage Jubilee in Priory, St Ann, and the Jamaica Festival Queen finals at the National Arena in Kingston.

Later this week he will trek to the USA for a performance at a private reception in Washington, DC, on August 20 before he heads to New Jersey on August 26 to headline the Jamaica Organisation of New Jersey 25th Anniversary Independence & Awards of Excellence Gala.