Creatively blending gospel lyrics with reggae and dancehall influences, Jason Mighty (his birth name) is doing what he loves best and having a blast. Blessed with larger-than-life vocal and lyrical skills, the gospel singer, 27, possesses the uncanny ability to touch people with his artistry and life-changing ministry.
And, as his many fans and well-wishers would agree, he has all the talking points to promote his highly-anticipated debut album, Cornerstone, which offers tracks that will make you dance and others to make you stop and think as you follow him on his musical journey across the diverse landscape of life and love. And, as he makes it clear to Splash, he is as long on style as he is on substance.
SPLASH: Congrats on your debut album, Cornerstone, which I understand is being launched today. What are you most excited about with regard to the record? Mighty: Well, I'm excited that it's coming out (Laughs). I've been working on it for quite some time now and I am very happy that it is finally in my hands. I think people will really enjoy this album.
SPLASH: You've been in the gospel game for over five years now. What took you so long to drop an album for the fans? Mighty: Two things. I believe in putting out strong singles first to climb the charts not just in Jamaica but overseas. I wanted to ensure that my music was established first because good music is important to people. So I wanted to wait for the right moment to release an album and I believe now is definitely the right time.
SPLASH: What do you hope listeners take away after hearing the 17 tracks on Cornerstone? Mighty: I want them to be inspired by the Jason Mighty story because this album is about how I grew up. Most of the songs on the album are dealing with encouragement and people are definitely going to be encouraged after hearing this album. Of course, there is some praise and worship and dancehall praise on the album as well.
SPLASH: Are you satisfied with the current state of the gospel music industry in Jamaica? Mighty: It's not where I want to see it at the moment. I want to see our gospel artistes being booked for more secular shows and to be able to reach more people. We need more airplay from disc jockeys and more overall promotion. Our Jamaican gospel artistes are getting a lot of respect overseas, but we deserve more locally as well.
SPLASH: Gospel artistes like yourself, Ryan Mark and your brother Prodigal Son are noted for your strong fashion sense. What is it about male gospel artistes and fashion? Mighty: (Laughs) We are just taking it to another level. Before I got saved, I was very fashionable. It is not a sin, as some people would make it seem, to wear something that looks good on you because you are a Christian. We are entertainers and people want the full package from their entertainers. People want to be entertained and our fashion is a part of the whole package.
SPLASH: I spoke to your wife, Nicole, over the telephone yesterday. She sounds lovely. Mighty: Yes, she is. Two weeks ago was our anniversary. She's the one who travels with me as my manager and she represents me well. She's a wonderful person. She even helps put my clothes together sometimes (Laughs). She is a wife, friend and business partner. I couldn't have asked for anyone better.
SPLASH: What question do you hate being asked? Mighty: I hate when people ask me if I think I am a tougher artiste than Prodigal Son. I am not into the comparison thing because people should be praising the work Jesus is doing through us instead of worrying about who is the better artiste.
SPLASH: Do you take criticism personally? Mighty: It depends. Right now I am learning not to take it personally because people talk a lot about the way I dress and I don't want people to judge me because of what I wear. So I am learning to get over things like that.
SPLASH: Looking back on your life, if you could apologise to one person today, who would it be and what would you say? Mighty: My mother. She is senile at the moment so she no longer knows who I am. When I was growing up I used to talk back to her and stomp my foot. I was rude at times growing so I would definitely apologise for that.
SPLASH: What would you do if one day you woke up and you were a white man? Mighty: (Laughs) I would beg God for a miracle to change me back. Or I would probably turn to plastic surgery to get back my colour. I love my colour.
SPLASH: How do you stay focused? Mighty: I always reminisce on where I'm coming from - the days when I couldn't read or write and was not saved. It keeps me humble because sometimes if you're not careful, fame can get to your head. You have to always remember that God is the reason why you are where you are in life.
SPLASH: Describe your worst haircut. Mighty: (Laughs) Ryan Mark and I were running late for a show so he carried me to his barber shop and the barber that I got put a 'Z' in my hair front and because we didn't have much time, I had to perform with it in my hair. For days, I was so upset that I didn't come out of the house. Ryan laughed at me the whole time.
SPLASH: Do you remember where you were when you first heard your song on the radio? Mighty: I was at home and somebody called me and told me that my song Recharge was playing on the radio. I nearly bruk my neck to turn on the radio (Laughs). It was an overwhelming joy.
SPLASH: What are your long-term hopes for the local gospel music industry? Mighty: I would love to see more unity between the church and the gospel music arena. We also need more professionalism in the industry