MAN ON FIRE: "What you get in Jamaica, you can't get anywhere else," says the deejay, below with fan Jodi-Ann McKenley at the CD launch. (Photos: Gospel LinkUp.)
Among the living legends of Jamaican gospel, few can rock the house as powerfully as Papa San, whose stellar new album, One Blood, hits shelves next January. With a multi-talented supporting cast, including Ryan Mark, Goddy Goddy and Kevin Downswell, the multi-award-winning deejay (currently in his 40s), launched the new project (and performed a string of hits old and new) before a feverishly receptive young crowd at Jamaica College on Saturday night. After the pulsating show, TALLAWAH went one-on-one with the stage vet to hear about the new record and why Jamaica will always have a place in his heart.
TALLAWAH: You always manage to ignite the crowd whenever I see you in concert in Jamaica. What are the high points of performing before a home crowd?
Papa San: It's always special because Jamaica is home, and there is no place like Jamaica. I've travelled all over the world, and Jamaica is just different. This is our roots and culture, and we're just praising Jesus in the midst of it. And what you get in Jamaica, the feeling and the vibe, you can't get anywhere else. We praise the Lord with a high energy.
What makes this new album, One Blood, different from your previous work?
This album is different because it's with different artistes from the four corners of the world. We have Israel [Haughton], Fred Hammond, DJ Nicholas and Ryan Mark from Jamaica, Lt. Stitchie. So it's a great album featuring other artistes ministering in their own right. All of us collaborating together is amazing.
You're always on the go. What's next for you career-wise?
For this album, we plan to promote it and put together a One Blood tour down the line, so the plan is just to go forth and do what God called us to do.
Last time we spoke, your kids were at the height of adolescence. How's the family these days?
The family is great, we're doing well. My kids are grown. My wife and I are still solid after 28 years, and we're still doing great things for God.
You're heading back to the States in the morning, but we hope to see you here in concert again soon.
Jamaica is home, so I'm always gonna be doing shows and concerts and visiting friends. No matter where you go or live in the world, Jamaica is just always home.