GOSPEL WARRIOR: Ryan Mark armed for the spiritual war.
“God didn’t send us for the church, but for the sinners,” remarks reggae/dancehall gospel star Ryan Mark by way of explaining his bold new thrust to woo young Jamaicans to the Christian flock.
Addressing the forceful new phase of his recording career and ministry in an interview with CVM’s Onstage over the weekend, Mark said his goal to appeal to Jamaica’s youth has led to huge changes in his own life and his approach to his career, including but not limited to a striking new image (he’s now growing locks) and a fresh, vibrant sound that finds the entertainer incorporating greater dancehall elements in many of his recordings like “Touch Di Road,” his latest single which boasts a powerful accompanying music video. “[This time around] we’re appealing more to the street than the church,” he says.
Mark, who put out his third solo album, Israel, in early July, chalks up the switch in the texture of his musical output to his ongoing evolution as an artist. “The sound just came over time, and it’s just a part of me maturing as a youth and a Christian.”
If there is a specific demographic that he is primarily aiming to reach, Mark observes, “When I see the kind of youths that Vybz Kartel and Mavado reach [through their music], I say to myself that those are the same youths that I want to reach out to.”