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10 questions for successful Reggae Gospel singer Jah Pickney

Written by Phil Dinham

Jah Pickney was born, Tim Linnard, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada on June 27, 1982. He presently resides in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. From his popular sophomore release From the Heart, Jah Pickney in July released his highly anticipated third album entitled Ghetto Redemption. 15 tracks of soulful dancehall reggae music with elements of roots, lover’s rock, dub, hip-hop and Soca. Ghetto Redemption brings Jah Pickney alive as he showcase a new passionate spirit for gospel reggae. The dancehall is rougher, the roots is more rootsy, and the entire project gives off more of a holy spirit revival making this album Jah Pickney’s best venture in reggae music.

1. Tim how many years have you spent ministering in performance to lost souls and what has been the meaning behind your mission ?

I have been involved in the professional music ministry for 5 years now. However, I have been involved in other ministries as well including working with missionaries in Jamaica. With them I helped build a Christian school, worked with orphanages and had a back-stage ministry at Reggae Sumfest 1997. The main focus of my ministry is to communicate faith, morality and the gospel of Jesus Christ in every aspect of my life from my music to my personal life and business. I strive to provide biblical answers to life’s hardest questions, and to clearly share the love of God and His saving grace through quality music. I desire to change the world through dancehall reggae music

2. Your Father is a Christian minister how has he impact your christian music ministry ?

My Father was a pastor for 5 years, but focused more on a family ministry while my brothers and I were growing up. During this time he passed on everything to us. Today he still has teaching ministries. I have learned a lot from him and his teachings. Many of my songs go right along with his classes and we enjoy putting them together to emphasize each others messages.

3. You have been to Jamaica, what events have you performed and how did you enjoy the experience? Is Jamaica one of the countries which you have made your ungoing Christian mission field?

When I went to Jamaica in 1997 I was not a professional musician at the time. I was involved in other ministries while in Jamaica and later felt called to start a musical ministry. This August I will be in Jamaica for 2 weeks sharing my music and also doing other ministries with YWAM in Mandeville and Montego Bay. Jamaica is the main focus of my ministry although the message in my music is for everyone who hears it and enjoys reggae music.

4. What is your advice to young persons who have a similar dream as yours, that of partaking and getting involved in the Christian music ministry and what would you say are the pitfalls of Christian music ministry?

My advice is look to God always. Listen to His still small voice. Go where He leads and do what you tells you to do. Pray non-stop and read and study your bible. Do not be ashamed of the Gospel, and be grounded in your faith. The music industry is not a bed of roses. It can often get ruthless, stressful and trials and temptations will come, but don’t give up and don’t give in. Put God first in all aspects of life, for if God is for you, who can be against you?

5. What has been your most successful music project to date?

My third album Ghetto Redemption comes out July 26, 2005 and is already creating a buzz. The single Trinity Divinity which is featured on the album was nominated for two awards, and having guests artists including Bless (aka Prodigal Son) is getting people interested. I have great faith that this album will make a difference as God is directing it. It is my truest venture in reggae music and I hope and pray that it impacts people and touches them spiritually. My second album From the Heart also did well earning two award nominations for Top International CD an Top International song for a track I sang with Stitchie.

6. Was it your love for reggae music that got you involved in Reggae Gospel?

Originally my interest in Jamaica started with a love for reggae music, but as I studied the culture and got to know some Jamaican people it grew to be more of a love for the people. When I decided to start a reggae ministry it was mostly due to my love for Jamaican people and the reggae community. Of course I also love the music and strive to give the people high quality authentic slamming reggae music with messages of truth, faith, morality, grace and redemption.

7. Who are some of the artists who you have been work with recently and who do you look forward in working with?

I have recorded with many artists including Bless (aka Prodigal Son), Stitchie, Christafari, Dunamis, DJ Frost for Lion of Judah Sounds, Kay Morris and more. I have also performed with artists such as Bless (aka Prodigal Son), Stitchie, Christafari, Carlene Davis, Monty G, Junior Tucker, Kay Morris and many others. I look forward to working with these good friends again and also working with Papa San, Sherwin Gardner, Chevelle Franklyn, Degree, Tony Rebel and others.

8. How did you come up with the name Jah Pickney?

I was called Jah Pickney a number of years before my musical ministry had developed. Mark Mohr from Christafari had surprised me with an answer to a fan letter I wrote the band at the age of 12, and due to my young age he called me “Jah Pickney.” This was the beginning of a strong friendship and the name stuck with me.

9. At the age of 13 you had your own reggae show in Belleville, Canada on CJLX 92.3 FM. What was it like and do you still look forward in hosting radio programs?

My radio programme Reggaesplash is still going strong after 10 years. It is a two hour programme that plays the best of the best in reggae music. The first hour is an all request hour and the second hour is dedicated to strictly gospel reggae. I still host the show and plan to continue to as long as I can, although lately with my schedule filling up I have had to pre-record the show many times. I enjoy it as it is a good time to just relax, settle down and listen to music.

10. As we face the future are you confident that christian gospel music is developing in a manner which is in keeping with standards of spiritual and professional integrity or is there cause for concern?

As far as Reggae goes, I believe that the Christian side is becoming stronger both spiritually and professionally. I hope that Christian artists continue to strive to give a professional quality sound. We are here to represent Christ not just through our words but also the production itself and our lives and business ethics. If we are doing it for God then we need to give our absolute best. Many of the artists that I have had the pleasure of working with and getting to know are very strong, spiritual people and I believe that they want to represent Christ in every aspect of their business and ministry.

http://www.jahpickney.com/index2.html

About the author

Phil Dinham