Interviews

Interview with Audrey Gordon Jamaican Gospel singer, songwriter, based in Canada

Written by Phil Dinham

It is very rare that you find an artist that is an excellent writer and performer who commands and receives equal attention from both secular and non-secular audiences. A gospel artist that is unique, genuine, true to the music, spiritual, strong, yet very humble. Possessing and maintaining a godly character, a firm believer and upholder in all that is good and right – Audrey Gordon is all of these and more.

This Canadian based dynamic singer and songwriter is blessed with an anointing that leaves a song with you for days and weeks on end. Audrey Gordon, the youngest of six children, has three brothers, two sisters and an army of uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Audrey credits her mother for having brought her up in the church from an early age which has provided her a solid foundation.

Q: So Audrey, When did you start singing?

A: Actually I have been singing before I left Jamaica in 1990. The problem was that I could not find work for long periods with a band or anything because no sooner than I was hired I chose to leave as somebody always seem to want to take off my clothes and I’d run away form that situation. It was so frustrating at times that I just did not bother. The price was just too great even though it was what I really wanted to be doing. When I came to Canada I started singing seriously in 1999.

Q: How long now have you been producing gospel music for your Christian Ministry?

A: I started here in 1999. I had to make sure this was of God, so I waited.

Q: You are based in Canada, is the West Indian Caribbean audience as involved with gospel music as you would like to see them?

A: The West Indian audience is very much involved in gospel music. The majority of them are not leaning to Caribbean influenced music obviously. Another drawback is that in Canada you will find that patrons will flock to a concert that will include overseas artists, but if there are only Canadian artists on the billing, then there is not that much support unless you have your following.

Q: You have been nominated in the Hopeton Lewis Gospel Awards, in the top Caribbean/ International Gospel song and the national, the Toronto Reggae Music Awards, and Majaa Awards. How much of an honour has this been to you?

A: Well, considering that one out of every three persons that you meet can sing and has released a CD these days and they are very innovative too and on the cutting edge; it is indeed quite an great honor.

Q: How well in sales did your debut album “Still Waiting” do?

A: I currently work for a very reputable and successful company that has taught me many valuable and important things; one of them being, you must market yourself and product to be successful. Do not aim for short term goals only but look for long term results. I took on a business approach with the debut album and used most of the CDs for marketing purposes.

I am not too concerned about the sales for the moment. Getting me established and the gospel out there was more important and I am not a money hungry person anyways so that will NEVER become an issue. I had promised the Lord that I would manufacture CDs just for giving away. I still continue to do that. The rewards have been wonderful so much that money could not compare to the blessings. Doors of opportunities have opened that I still have yet to fulfill. Those doors will bring in revenue at later date. Reports from across the nations have been tremendous. Financially, I have the stage for the future and I am still no more broke that I was when I started. I am doing better financially and spiritually that is.

Q: How many tracks were on this album, and did you expect such an overwhelming support for this album from the community?

A: There were 17 tracks on this album. The response from the secular arena I did not expect. I knew there may have been a song or two that they might like but not in the way they did. I am still speechless and grateful to God for them. As good as God is, and we should not be surprised at his work because when he does anything it is the best, I am still shocked. The older church folk have not yet quite taken to the music, but that will come in time. If it does not happen I am not worried, the right people are hearing and loving the music. I feel excited and blessed about that and I am just hoping that my God is pleased and blessed.

Q: Your second CD comes out in a few months. What is its title and what are your expectations of it?

A: The title of the CD is “Mi Assignment”

I am expecting that people will feel the love of God through this release and be drawn to His light. The track, “None Like You”, was written from my heart to God. While some of my songs are just to be enjoyed, to rejoice along with, they’ll bear the message of hope and salvation thru Christ. There are also a few songs that are seriously cutting to the bone and marrow and intents of the heart.

Q: How long have you been a Christian?

A: Since 1992

Q: What sorts of credits are involved with this project?

A: God sent Mark Giles to me as a very anointed and gifted producer who tailors to my needs and is willing to work with me to bring the best forward.

One obstacle is that he has moved to another country. All the work is done via computer, sent via email or some other form of communication. Mark is truly sent by God to work on these songs. I give God glory and bless him for Mark.

Q: Do you think the track “Mi Assignment” will make it big in the Caribbean American market?

A: Everything we do as Christian and non-Christians is an act of faith. I did not know that the first album would have gone to the arenas that it did. I have to trust God in all that I do. When God places his hand on things, there is no telling what will happen. Expect great and mighty things from God because he is a great God, a big God. He uses the small, the based and the insignificant things to overpower the great and wise things.

It is for everyone to find their place and work in their assigned area. Do not go where God has not sent you, you will only frustrate yourself. If you go undercover and do someone else’s job, you are not the one that will be getting paid. My assignment among other things is to love everyone into the Kingdom of God.

Grub Cooper gave me permission to use one of his old tracks and I actually just wanted to do put out a single with it but while waiting for studio time and all that I wrote another song, then another, then another so it evolved into an EP. I have since written two more song that I wanted to put on the EP but time ran out as the release date is set for Oct. Hope I can make it. This is not counting the songs that I have written long ago that still need to be recorded. That’s another album right there.

Q: Name some of the other tracks on this new album?

A: Born Again Girl, Mi Assignment, You’re Good, None Like You and some extended mixes are among the tracks on this EP.

Q: You have performed with the likes of Papa San, Carlene Davis, Marvia Providence and the Toronto Mass Choir. How big a challenge is it to showcase your talent with these big acts?

A: It is an honor; it is good for the flesh. As you know the newer artists try to find a crutch and exposure alongside the established artists, which is now getting me sick to my stomach. As Christians we have done it the world’s way and we must change that. We have not trusted in God to take us where He wants to take us. Instead we are depending and flocking under the wings and shadows of others’ successes to have some light shine on us and I have promised myself to not do that anymore. The apostle Paul said in one of his writings,” I build on no other man’s foundation”. He went and started his own stuff. Yes yes I know there are benchmarking, networking and others helping others to make it, but there is a stench about it that bothers me lately.

Q: Apart from performing in the greater Toronto area where have you performed and what event do you look forward in participating in the future?

A: I have been going in around Canada and have been invited to tour the USA with the WomennNPower team. Nigeria has asked me to preach there also but I still have to don that mantle.

I would love to do Reggae Sumfest and the worldwide reggae fests and anywhere God opens the door for me. I lover reggae music but I sing just about anything that comes to mind.

Q: Who is your most famous gospel act of all time and who do you look up to as a mentor in the gospel music business?

A: My favorite singers are not gospel singers, they are secular (Tom Jones and Neil Diamond) but I love Caribbean gospel performer’s first and foremost, reggae music that is. Artists like Yolanda, Donnie McClurkin, Shirley Caesar, Cece and Bebe Winans, Ron Kenoly, John Starnes and, Krystal Lewis are some of the gospel singers that I listen and enjoy a lot, but there is not one for me that stands out above the rest.

Q: What advice would you give to the youth involved in their Church choir or who have a goal of becoming a gospel singer?

A: Seek the Lord to make sure it your assignment then depend and trust on God ALONE, not man or else you will fail. Everyone is looking out for self first and foremost so look to Jesus alone. From Him come all blessings. What he has planned for you, none can take if you are faithful to Him. He guards His own and His work MUST be accomplished in you.

Best of wishes to you and thank you for doing the interview…

Thank you Philip for the opportunity and the time you to took to speak with me and helping to send the message. God bless you…

About the author

Phil Dinham