Jamaican Music Music Interviews

A Chat with Nadine Blair, Jamaica’s Radio & TV Personality (Love 101 FM & Love TV)

Written by Debbie Campbell

Nadine was born in the parish of Hanover…. in her grandparents’ front room – literally! Her father is Bishop Reverend Dr. Ronald Blair and her mother is Reverend Evon Blair“they are absolutely awesome” she commented. Jamaica’s Political Ombudsman, Bishop Herro Blair, is Nadine’s paternal uncle. She maintains that she ‘wants to be like him when she grows up‘.

Nadine attended Pembroke Hall Primary and Immaculate Conception High. She moved on to Lee College (now University), Cleveland, Tennessee USA, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications. 

Before graduating from High School, Nadine was employed as a secretary at the Jamaica/Western New York Partners of the Americas in Kingston, Jamaica. She also worked as a Consular Assistant at the US Embassy in Kingston. She went on to college and completed her one year internship at WDRZ 103.1 in Cleveland.  She also worked at the School of Theology in Tennessee for about a year. 

A spiritually motivated radio and television personality with a passion for solo and choral performances at Church and Gospel concerts, Nadine attends and emcees concerts and events globally. Nadine started Allowed to Shine Ministries – the umbrella organization for Perpetual Praise- The Praise Continues; Singled Out Singles Ministry; When the Ministers Meet To Pray and Praise in da Streets.

Nadine is the founder and lead singer of Perpetual Praise (www.perpetualpraise.tv), a praise and worship ministry she started six years ago in March 2002, and which is heavily demanded for worship sessions across Jamaica and have also appeared overseas.  “I got tired of the short worship sessions in church on Sunday mornings. So I told the Lord and He led me to start an extended praise and worship session, interspersed with the Word. We just worship for 2 to 3 hours – non stop, and in the midst souls are saved, the sick healed and the broken restored. That’s what happens in His presence. It’s absolutely amazing”.  In 2006, Chosen Vessel (www.myspace.com/chosenvesselmuzik) became praise partners of the vision and has been on the road with the team since. The two teams started “Taking the praise pan di road in da streets of….” – every parish square in Jamaica.  Nadine commented she does not have any biological children, but she considers Perpetual Praise her “babies” and her adopted praise partners – Chosen Vessel (they call her Mother Hen).

In response to her marital status, Nadine jokingly initially stated she is currently single “and wondering”. With a note of seriousness, she expresses that she is single and ‘looking forward‘. In 2006, God led Nadine to start Singled Out – a Singles conference. The success has proved that the need is there to discuss issues, feelings and concerns that singles face every day. *This year’s Singled Out Singles Conference for Men and Women is entitled, “Move Me Out Of My Way!” On Friday, October 3, 2008, “SINGLES IN PRAISE” 7pm – FREE and open to all @ UTECH Auditorium. The CONFERENCE event is Saturday, October 4, 8am-6pm; @ Fellowship Tabernacle*

The call of God on her life is simply summed up in her passion for praise and worship, and her passion for Jamaican artistes to shine. With this passion, Nadine started “When the Ministers Meet to Pray” – providing room for gospel artistes and musicians to meet together to pray one for another. This ministry has since joined with Chosen Vessel’s C.A.R.E. (Christian Artistes Rejuvenating Each other) and Danny Brownie’s passion for industry development, taking it to another level – One Lord! One Purpose! One for Another!

She often tells people that she’s not a preacher, but God often uses her during Perpetual Praise to “drop a word“. She knows that her place at Love 101 is a part of God’s plan for her. It’s another awesome opportunity to tell someone about Jesus!. She is amazed at His willingness to use her, as sometimes she doesn’t feel worthy, but thanks be to God! He has made her able to reach thousands for Him. Still, she somehow feels that the preaching side may develop…all under Perpetual Praise ministry. She has always loved singing and started her singing ministry at the age of 10 – “Celestial Gems“, another group she started with her friend, Lorna Perry. God gave her the gift of song, and she loves to be in His presence. Nadine continues to say it simply makes sense for her to sing praise and usher individuals into the presence of the Lord.

Her favorite Jamaican dish is ‘oxtail, which she cannot do without—‘it’s wicked!’ ..mmm mmm good!‘, she added. She says she is so busy working, but her favorite ‘Jamaican’ pastime is climbing Dunns’ River Falls (she loves the beach!). Nadine encourages everyone to try it! She also enjoys hanging out with friends, attending concerts, watching movies and Jamaican plays. When she does have the time, she enjoys locking herself away at Jencare Skin Farm Day Spa because that is her ‘ME’ time.

Meet Nadine ……Up close and personal…….. 
Welcome to Jamaicans.com  Nadine!

1. Your father is a renowned pastor and most (if not all) of your uncles are in ministry. Tell us what it’s like being a PK, growing up in the ‘Blair’ household. *(interviewer’s note: PK-Pastor’s Kid) *
Not easy – any PK will tell you that. You will end up living to please people and that’s not an easy ‘pill to swallow’ growing up. However…there are benefits – (smile). You can get favors and people are sometimes happy to serve because they have been blessed by the ministry. But overall it is indeed an honor. My family bears a name that is respected in the country especially through the ministries, crusades and input over the years from my uncles – Herro, Wellesley, Delbert….should I name them all – and of course my dad, Ronald.

2. So Nadine, how did you get started in your current choice of career ? What was your inspiration? My dad…I was going into my third year in College and didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. He suggested media. And due to my training in church, and I spoke proper English and was not afraid of the stage nor the mic – it was an easy choice. It seems like the right choice as I feel a sense of completeness – always more to do, but what keeps me going too is when listeners, patrons and viewers share how they are blessed by the ministries I’m involved in. God is sooooo good!

3. What would be considered your most memorable moment in your career journey? Well that could be so many…mmm let’s see – I know one – definitely when I got the MAJA Award for “Media Personality of the Year” – That’s an honor!.

4. How did you come to be a part of the crew at Love 101 FM and Love Television? I took the right turn and made the right moves…I heard about the station while working in the U.S. at School of Theology in Tennessee and packed my bags, came home on Thursday and went to interview on Friday and started working on Sunday, February 14, 2003…it’s been a great ride – lots of ups and and a whole heap of “downs” but God has been good!.

5. Tell us a little bit about the other radio personalities on LOVE 101 FM. Do you all get along (laugh)?
I hate them all – NAWWWWWW – I co-host with Nigel Wilkinson on “Love in the Morning – 6am-11am” Monday to Friday – he’s a trip but I love him. We get along pretty well. Colleen Beckles – host of Footprints – 11am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (Auntie Colleen) She believes in herself and doesn’t let anything or anyone break her stride…positive energy – She also hosts “Small People” another children’s programme on Love; Olecia Wedderburn – host of “The Innerglo” – can you believe she weighs like 2 lbs (I don’t really know – maybe 90 lbs) and she’s scared that she’s getting fat – lol – another confident young one – very innovative; Vivian Bonner – host of Shades of Glory – 11pm to 5am – smooth talking, velvety voice…then you have Derval Graham and Julia Ben-Nyah who work on the weekends – we are a family – fun days – crazy days and those days you just wished you stayed home

6. What makes Love 101 FM different from other Jamaican radio stations-aside from the obvious religious/Christian aspect? I’ve just said it – we’re family – and as you so rightly said – having the religious/Christian aspect makes the biggest difference. Outreach and ministry are very important ingredients for me. Persons will call from time to time to say how their lives have been changed, lives saved (some who may have been contemplating ending their lives). God has used LOVE to make a difference for the better, in so many persons lives – why not be a part of that vision?

 7. Humor is definitely the main ‘thread’ of our culture. What is the strangest or funniest thing that occurred while you are on Radio or T.V.? Oh there are so many – try being on air and something happening in studio like- me falling off the chair while Nigel is talking on air! Di place mash up wid laughter!!!

8. What are the some of the most profound challenges for a single young woman in radio/TV? How does it affect your Christian walk? Well – I don’t have a husband (YET) to say “honey, you can’t do overtime today”, so I sometimes have to work extra shifts. Well that has changed some. I think right now I’m the only single female working there – but in my time, I’ve learnt a lot from my peers. How does it affect my Christian walk? – Well I love what I do, I love to minister, I love music so it’s really good – I just see it as another opportunity to minister. Plus with the “Singled Out” Singles ministry God led me to start two years ago, you can’t believe the amount of singles God is using me to reach – wow – I get to share with them that if I can go through it – they can too.

9. Okay Nadine, here’s the serious part of the interview (smile)…what do you think of the current path the Jamaican culture is heading on? Do you think the Jamaican culture is being maintained for the enjoyment of future generations? Who remembers their past has a good handle on the future. You got to know your history to know where you want to go. My concern is that children and (unfortunately) some adults need to be reminded about “fi wi tings” and so be proud of who we are – eat ‘Jamaican‘, buy ‘Jamaican‘, ‘big up’ Jamaica by being honest, hardworking and proud; we know what to do…but we don’t – sometimes. And maybe it’s because we’ve lost that connection. There are efforts being made to preserve our culture. JCDC does an excellent job each year and schools have their own festival projects too. But I feel more should be done to keep it ‘in our faces‘. Some children now – don’t know who Louise Bennett was!!! What is that?!! They are more busy buying the ‘bling bling‘…and the adults too busy trying to ‘fix’ things – makes me wonder what will happen in 5 – 10 years time.

10. Do you think the Jamaican Church can contribute more to the socio-political future of Jamaica? What are some of the things you would consider a priority that the Church Body should focus on so that we can accomplish this goal, and how is LOVE FM/T.V. being a specific part of this accomplishment? We are getting involved. A move was made to include the church more in politics – the feeling is not mutual among some sectors of society – many feel the church should be the church and that we should not return to how things were in “them” days. I think it would be good to some extent, but on our part, the church would have to ensure consistency, transparency and dependability, which would be key in the makeup of our representatives to the world. Individuals like Bishop Herro Blair and Rev. Al Miller are two examples of quite a few men of the ‘cloth’ who have shown that the church does indeed have their part to play.
Some things the church should focus on– Well – let’s name a few – clean up what we’ve messed up. As with the church here and abroad, we need to ensure that our “lighthouse” is shining and doing so with clear ‘bulbs‘. We can’t be expecting the world to follow when we don’t even know where we are going nor how to lead. Just today an unsaved complained that there is hypocrisy in the church…not enough love – how can we say we are Christians and not have love for one another? Kirk Franklin’s song “The Last Jesus” says it – “We may be the only Jesus they (the world) see.”

Also, we are often accused of not doing “enough’ in our communities. That’s two sided for me. On one side, I do believe that the church in general is doing a lot to reach out to their immediate communities. The problem is we don’t always broadcast what we are doing, so often the world doesn’t know that there are many churches that are involved in community outreach activities – sports, teaching, training – you name it. The church is active. On the other side – we can always do more cause there is always more to do, more persons to know about God.
11. How do you find time for ‘Nadine’ between radio, television and the other commitments you have?
My co host, Nigel, is always telling me to take time to rest. He even makes that comment ‘on air’. However, yesterday I received a facial and I have an appointment with the Spa for a body massage. I must confess, I have not done this in a while, and this it is very much needed down time for me. I do need to do this more often. Oh yes, but I make sure I get my nails done every two weeks. Still gotta look good!.
12. Which person(s) (alive or deceased) do you admire/respect most in media and may have influenced you in your current career choice? Can you tell us why?
Oprah…I admire her because she knows what she wants and most of all she just simply loves to help people I think she is a great example of a single woman, who uses her power for good to aid the less fortunate. My mom…..Love her !and especially how she looks after dad. She is always making sure that he is ok, the food is perfect, the clothes are ready, the rooms are tidy etc. etc. and all with her busy schedule as preacher, evangelist, mom, wife and counselor and she loves to pray….excellent example mom!

13. You started the singing group ‘Perpetual Praise‘. How did you come up with that name? Any albums?
Perpetual Praise was first established in 2002. I used to lead Praise and Worship at my church and I really got tired of leading worship for 10 minutes, and then it’s on to something else. I felt like people were not entering and enjoying the presence of God, as they should. I got frustrated. In sharing my concern, God led me to start this time of extended praise and worship sessions, interspersed with the WORD, in which people are able to worship for 2 to 3 hours – non-stop. (Perfected) Perpetual Praise was created and the first of its kind was held in March 2002. The response was overwhelming! The people’s response to worship was also awe-inspiring. There were people standing up for the entire time of 2 hours and 45 minutes! Perpetual Praise ministers in schools, on street corners, and churches. The challenge we do have is that we need sponsors to assist us with some of our expenses. There are times we have to pay part fees from the church contribution and out of pocket.

We travel a lot and we have GT Sound and Jessa Tours who work with us at a reduced rate. It is a not-for-profit business, but it helps when we do get sponsors. There are times when people want to join our group, but they do not understand that it is not for a show and for just “being on stage”. It’s more than that. It’s all out war-fare so we have to constantly cover ourselves and each other.

While ministering, we usually invite people to take what they have to give aid to the less fortunate in their community. It could be clothes, food or anything that can help a poor family. I also formed the ‘Allowed to Shine Ministries‘and underneath that is the ‘Singled Out Singles Conference‘. This event has been a success and will be held on an annual basis. I also started ‘When the Ministers meet to pray’. This is a time for musicians and artistes to pray for another, to have accountability for one another, encourage each other and ultimately, form a network of musicians and artistes. Staying connected is important!
14. Do you have any regrets?
Not going after my Masters. I am in the process of trying to fit ‘school’ in my schedule, but that is quite challenging. Even though this was not entirely a ‘regret’, I will mention that I was intended to be married a couple of years ago, but two weeks before the wedding, my fiancé and I both got together and decided to put off the wedding. We remain friends to this day, and in retrospect, it was the right thing to do. The decision was based upon a mutual agreement and we are glad we discontinued the wedding plans. For years I never spoke about it, but God led me to start sharing that experience for others to see that it is okay to put off, even for awhile and sort things out first before saying the “I do’s”.

15. What can Jamaicans expect from you in the future?
I am already doing it. I really want people to understand what worship is – obedience and indeed perpetual – not limited to on stage or few minutes at church. Worship is a lifestyle!   I want musicians and artistes to see themselves as more than just ‘entertainers‘, but understand their purpose and role in Kingdom building – taking the message of Christ – Jamaica style – to the world!

 Nadine, thank you so much for your willingness to participate in this interview. Do you have any final thoughts/message for the Jamaicans.com ‘reading’ audience?
Fall in love with Jesus….We do not have to succumb to any besetting sin. We need to take it to another level. Let’s spend more time listening to what God is saying and find our purpose in Him. A friend of mine, Christopher Johnson, says, and I quote “When He speaks, I listen, when I listen I obey, when I obey, my steps and actions are ordered”. 

You can tune in to LOVE FM internet radio, 24 hours a day, LIVE from Jamaica @ http://www.love101.org/

Visit: http://www.perpetualpraise.tv and also http://myspace.com/chosenvesselmuzik 

Nadine’s E-mail: [email protected]

About the author

Debbie Campbell

Debbie is a Mental Health Counselor, and has been working in the mental health field for over ten years. A native of Jamaica, she has resided in the United States for more than twenty years. Debbie is the (2nd) second child of (5) five children. She came to the United States at age 17 to pursue her education in the field of Computers. However, her education pursuits led her into the field of Mental Health/Psychology. She obtained her Bachelors in Psychology in Miami and her Masters in Counseling in Oklahoma. Debbie's first book, 'Writings of the Soul: The Journey Vol. I' is only the beginning and a taste of what is to come in her writing abilities.