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JMG INTERVIEW’S JAMAICAN GOSPEL GREAT- KEVIN DOWNSWELL

Kevin Downswell

Hi how are you?
Hi Princess Queen, I’m great.
Please introduce yourself to the JMG massive; name:
My name is Kevin Downswell

First I want to thank The Most High for bestowing on you such a talent, your voice is beautiful, and thank you for dedicating it to God and using it to bless the Lord

How long have you been singing?

I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. My mom is a great singer, so I think I got it from her. She was always singing since I was a child.

When did you decide to use your voice for God?

I’m glad you said “use your voice for God,” because it didn’t start out that way. I used to love to thrill the young girls with my voice when I was a teenager Haha, but I eventually realized that my gift was really given to me for God’s purpose. I sang a lot in my church choir. But professionally, it really began about 11years ago.

Is it easy to stay afloat as a Jamaican gospel artist, my reason for asking is that many regular Jamaican artistes want to cross over but are afraid, what has kept you in the line of gospel?
Let me put it like this, the same way my Mentor Dr. Henley Morgan would phrase it- “I am a Minister who sings, not a singer who Ministers”. That means, before the singing, my heart is really centered on being a vessel for God, in being all He has called me to be. Whatever he would want to use me to do, it’s my heart to be at that place. So whether cheered on or not; whether the millions come or not, my true focus is giving my all to God in every way possible.

When God called you, what was it like?

For the lack of a better phrase, it was tough. What I wanted to do was Medicine. So after I received my second option to do Biochemistry at U.W.I, I completed 4 years and subsequently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree. I was then accepted into medicine, and was getting ready to begin when God stepped in and shifted everything. I eventually realized that I wasn’t cut out to be a doctor; Singing was really my first love. After surrendering to God’s call on my life, it all gradually came together. God is truly amazing, and it’s important to trust Him even when we don’t understand where He is taking us to.

My favorite song on your album, is ‘If it’s not you’ I have dreamed of myself going on my knees worshipping God and singing this song, did you write it, if so, how did you come by the words?
Haha, I’ve also asked myself that same question at times. My tongue is always the pen of a ready writer. If God called us to do something, he will equip us with the tools required to get the job done. So, I take no credit for these songs, He speaks, I write, and that is how lives are transformed for His glory. Sometimes it’s when I am going through some tough times, that I write the most, or when I am just meditating in His presence.
But I am truly humbled and thankful that so many lives are being touched by these songs. To Him be all the Honor and praise. This song really was my private expression to God in a time when I was going through much. He asked me to sing to Him and express my heart to Him in the midst of it all, and these are the words that came. Now this is no longer an expression of my heart but the expression of thousands of hearts out there. This is a blessing.

Are you married, if so for how long?
Yes, for 6 amazing years to my wife and best friend Marsha.

Is there such a thing as a perfect Christian, and what would you say who use the actions of non- perfect Christians to not have a relationship with God?

The Bible says that we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. It also states that our righteousness are like filthy rags…so even though it’s important for us to strive for perfection, none of us are. When persons use the mistakes of other Christians to hinder their walk with God, they’re missing one important truth, and that is we are all on our way to becoming like Christ, but we are not there as yet. Also, we need to be careful not deify men, but if we’re gonna serve God, let’s focus on Him, who makes no mistakes, and carries no flaws.

What is your favorite book in the bible and why?
That’s a tough one. I really don’t have a favorite book. Every word of the Bible is important to me for my earthly walk and relationship with God.

Who is your most motivating bible prophet?
I must say Daniel.

There is an air of revival looming over Jamaica, a feeling that God is ready to restore Jamaica by putting gospel at the forefront of our music; do you think the Jamaica Gospel Fraternity is ready for such a journey?

If there is one thing I know about God is that he will never give someone anything they’re not ready for. So I believe a great change is taking place, but for us to get to that place, it’s going to take a process, one that will get us ready for such responsibility. We all would have to submit in full to God’s mandate, because ultimately, he is the one who causes the impact and gets all the glory.

What would you want someone to take from your music?

My music is God- focused, hence it’s my desire that whoever hears it, no matter what is happening in their lives, will shift their attention from off the physical limitations and affix their eyes and hearts on God. It’s not about walking in unrealistic euphoria, but it’s about intimacy with God and as a result making more sense of what goes on in our everyday lives. When we see God in our circumstances, everything changes- Real People, Experiencing Real Change.

A lot of times people find God when they are faced with a situation where everyone and everything has failed, what is the danger of finding God only when you need him, although he has always been there?
The danger in this is that it can be very short-lived, as so many times we’ve seen people call on God out of their desperation and make God all kinds of promises only to renege on those promises after God came through for them. So my encouragement is to seek God in and out of every season. Establish a relationship with Him, not a religious cycle. In addition, if we ever get to a place where we think we’re so successful that we don’t need God, it can be a very dangerous place.

Do you think it is possible to find God, after knowing him and then choosing the devil?
To be honest, It’s normally the other way around, because when one comes to truly know God, I mean not just to experience Him on a surface level, but to have God permeate their lives,it’s the hardest thing to reverse. This is simply because God fills you in a way that there’s absolutely no substitute. He fills every void, and meets every need. I must say however, that most persons who decide to walk without God after giving their lives to Him are normally those who are not really disappointed by God Himself, but by people who say they follow God. When people who you count on and expect to act in the Image of God or even ones you feel you can trust operate completely outside of this realm, the impact can be devastating to the receiver. So as a result of hurt and deep disappointment, many become angry with God and angry at everybody who says they’re a Christian. It’s important for us when we commit our lives God to commit it solely to Him. People will always be people, and will always make mistakes, but God, will never disappoint us, or leave us high and dry. He will never go back on his word and His desire for intimacy is not to leave us heart-broken. It’s to have life more abundantly. It is to discover who we are in Him. It is real and the safest place you could ever be.

How often do you pray and how often do you think a person should pray daily?
Prayer to me is not some religious exercise; prayer to me is conversation with God. So with me and Him, it never ceases. I’m always communicating with Him. Asking for guidance in one thing, or asking what His thoughts are in another.

How important do you feel it is to make covenants with God and have you yourself made any?
A covenant is an agreement between two or more individuals. The thing is, we make covenantal agreements all the time. For example, in marriages, we make a promise to our spouse, but a covenant to God, and there are a plethora of other scenarios, but what really keep us in line regarding all these relationships is not really how well or how perfect we have been, but it’s God’s grace. Thank God for His grace. Because if it had not been for God’s grace, the promises behind all these covenants would have all been forfeited. We again thank God for His grace.

There was a ban on preaching on buses, how do you feel about this and do you feel that Jamaica has drifted from the positive aspects of its culture?
I felt it could have been regularized, bringing more order to it. The Gospel of Jesus, however, will be preached one way or another. Yes, we as a nation have drifted, but if we can see beyond the “mist”, we’ll be able to see that something good is happening, great change is unfolding. You see with God, it’s never too late. .

There are times when dancehall or reggae artistes sing or write music, endorsing things that they or may not have done. How important do you feel it is to live your music and what do you think has happened when someone sings about something they haven’t done but happens after they have made a song about that which they did not do?

I’ve always heard especially secular singers express the need for proper parental supervision of their children, trying to make it appear that it’s really the parents fault if their children listen to these derogative and demeaning songs are being released these days. But that’s not the whole truth, because my grandmother used to say that it takes the whole village to raise a child. This means, therefore, that no matter how much an artiste is being paid to sing certain songs, we must understand that we have a tremendous responsibility to do our part in positively guiding our young people. I’ve personally experienced the weight of this position as so many young people have approached me expressing how they use words of my songs to get them through certain situations. Now if they can use my songs to inspire them to be strong or stay focused, then it’s also possible that others use some of these negative songs on the road to inspire them to do wrong. It is in my opinion, therefore, that we live what we sing, since others do.

Your new album, what inspired it and where can people get it to buy?
“The Search Continues” is the result of years after years of spending time with God. Many songs were produced out of serious trials that would have taken the wind out of my sail, if it hadn’t been for God. I’ve been through much, but it’s these tests that have helped me to relate even better with the things people are facing today. To be honest though, when I was finished with the album, and I began to seek God on which song should be the title track, He made it quite clear to me that none of the songs would get that privilege to carry the title of the album, but God took me down a path where He revealed how much, even though we are seeking Him daily, He too seeks after us. His word declares that “His eyes run to and fro across the earth seeking a heart that is right before Him to whom He can show his might.” So “The Search Continues” involves us seeking after God daily, endlessly, knowing we can’t survive a second without Him. It doesn’t end there however, for the creator of the ends of the earth seeks us out, to show Himself toward us.

Where are you booked to do shows and when?
My schedule for this year is heavy, but I’m not complaining, God has been faithful. I have events every weekend, and sometimes in the week, both in Jamaica and abroad. One of my next major events in Jamaica is Fun In The Son, July 12. Some of my International events are Dominica on June 8, Antigua, August 2, St. Vincent August 1, Orlando, Florida July 11.

What message do you have for people who feel that they have a calling to return to the Lord but keep ignoring the call or messages?
Respond, and do it now. We don’t have much time left, and the longer you wait the harder it will get for you to return.

What temptations have you had to resist in your walk with God?
Temptations, or should I say the enemy, is no discriminator. He does not tempt one and leave the other, we all go through it. I have gone through many, from depression to oppression, from sexual to financial, you name it, been there, but God has always made for me a way out. We as a people need to know that it’s not the temptation that is sin; we all will be tempted, even Jesus was, but it’s when we choose to respond to that temptation. The more we submit our will to that of God, the better we are able to make the right choices. Plus, God has given us his ability to do what we can’t do by ourselves.

If you were to give my audience a message through a bible verse, what would it be?
That would be two verses:
John 3:16 -For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 16:33- “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

What has God done for you that he will do for us?

Everything and more, if we all only trust Him. God is truly amazing, and it is my desire that the whole world will see and experience the awesomeness of His love.

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10 comments to this article

  1. mifedupadealmshouse

    on May 7, 2014 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Thank you Lord for making me stronger. You are my strength and song, and my salvation. Amen !!

    • Met

      on May 7, 2014 at 10:14 am - Reply

      :thumbup

  2. Tweet

    on May 7, 2014 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Great interview Met! I always like his songs, they always anointed!

    • Met

      on May 7, 2014 at 11:25 am - Reply

      Yes he is and I like the fact that he said he didnt start out as a gospel singer

  3. Tweet

    on May 7, 2014 at 11:34 am - Reply

    yes, he’s honest and seems so humble.

  4. PhantomPhoenix

    on May 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Met, yu interview skills a shot. The quality of the person you interviewing make all the difference as well.

    • Met

      on May 7, 2014 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      thank you Phantom :thumbup

  5. Pookie

    on May 7, 2014 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    I loveeeeeee Kevin Downswell!!!! Like really love his work!!!! “If it’s not you” is one amazingly powerful song!!!!! “Chosen” is also another great one. “I want more of you” brings tears to my eyes everrrrytime!!! I am so proud of Kevin persevering through it all.

    Jamaica’s BEST artiste!!!! :)

    • Met

      on May 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      he is

  6. TRUE

    on May 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    GOOD SONG GOOD VOICE

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