Jamaican Music Music Interviews

11 Questions with Jamaican Gospel recording artiste Carlene Davis

Carlene Davis

Internationally acclaimed Gospel recording artiste Carlene Davis is one of the most dynamic music ministers coming out of Jamaica. As this Caribbean Hall of Fame Awardee testifies in song, the powerful message of God’s love flows through her, bringing hope and healing to the heart of the listener. God has truly anointed and appointed her to affect this generation and her mission is to bring deliverance and transformation to a hurting world through the ministry of music.

1. When and where did you get started in the actual music business? 1st show/recording?
I started while in high school in England.  A friend of my dad told him of this band called  ‘The Torreodors’ that was looking for a vocalist, my dad took me to the audition and I got the job. This was how I earned my pocket money while in high school, doing the local pubs, weddings, and birthday parties on weekends.  After migrating to Canada from England, I met producer Joe Richards and he took me to the studios to voice a few reggae do-overs on the G Cleft label, a song by Peter Paul and Mary called “Leaving On A Jet Plane” and Carole King’s “Will You Still Love me Tomorrow.”  These singles went over well on Canadian radio.  Bear in mind, reggae was not really happening in Canada but because they were familiar songs with a country flavour and the new sound of reggae they were well received.

2. Who were your early influences?
I listened to a lot of Aretha Franklin, early Tina Turner, The Beatles, Bee Gees, a lot of what my parents were listening to such as Brook Benton, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five, Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations (most of the Motown acts).  Also, our own Jamaican acts, Jimmy Cliff, The Wailers, music from the Rocksteady era, such as the Paragons, Desmond Dekker and the Aces, The Jamaicans, and Millie Small.

3. What is your current project? Or what do you have planned? A. My current project is a praise and worship album, True Worship, consisting of 13 tracks on our label Glory Music and distributed by VP Records.  It’s also on retailers such
as ITunes, Amazon, and Zojok.  Released video of track #8 “Blue Waters” and presently working on 2nd video from track # 6 “Threshing Floor” to be released in mid-February.

4. Where is your largest fan base located, and why?
My largest fan base is widespread between the Caribbean, Canada, the reggae markets in the USA, England, and parts of Europe and Africa.  Reason for this is because of where I’m coming from, the early days of my career in the music industry. Although I am now in Gospel that fan base has not changed, as a matter of fact it has increased. When I travel and see the very young and older people responding to my music I am amazed.

5. What has been your most memorable career moment and why?
Meeting and singing for President Nelson Mandela at Jamaica’s National Stadium when he visited Jamaica, along with his previous wife, Winnie Mandela.  I sang the song written in tribute to his release from prison “Welcome Home Mr. Mandela” and to his wife “Winnie Mandela.”

6. What has been your biggest challenge professionally?
I believe our biggest challenge is getting the music played on major mainstream radios worldwide.

7. If you could collaborate with any artist, of any genre, who would it be and why?
Donnie MacClurkin (gospel).  I really love Donnie’s style and delivery; he has the anointing to freely worship without any apology.  Paul McCartney, great songwriter, and his music cuts across all boundaries. And Beres Hammond, reason – he is a great vocalist, and we had done a lot of studio background vocals in our earlier years, and he is fine singer/songwriter, one of reggae’s best.

8. If you only had time left to perform one last song, what would it be and why? “Threshing Floor,” 6th track from my latest album True Worship.  This is a song that speaks of healing and restoration. It takes you from a place of fear to a place of freedom.

9. If you could change one thing in the reggae music business, what would it be and why?
– Establish an organization like Motown Records, where young and upcoming talents, singers, musicians, dancers and songwriters can be professionally trained and nurtured and set them in place for greater exposure and opportunities.
-To see radio stations get back to playing more conscious and melodic music. Right now the sound that is out there is very angry, there is a lack of respect for women.

10. Here’s your chance to thank someone who has been instrumental in your career, who would that be and why? My husband, friend and manager, Tommy ‘Yes Indeed’ Cowan. He is the wind beneath my wings in many ways, as you can imagine, but also when it comes to keeping me musically on track.  As my manager, he is one of the best in the industry and I trust his judgment and decisions.  As an artiste and songwriter, he is also instrumental in writing several of my #1 songs such as “Winnie Mandela,” and “Santa Claus Do You Ever Come To The Ghetto.”

11. Tell us one thing about yourself that your fans do not know.
Whenever I go on tour, I really enjoy experiencing and learning about other cultures, their history, trying out new foods, and their music.

About the Author:
M. Peggy Quattro, Reggae Report founder and publisher, celebrates 30 years in the Reggae business in 2011.  As head of RRI Media Corp., she manages  ReggaeReport.com Reggae Report on Facebook, performs freelance writing, editing and PR, public speaker from a personal reggae perspective on Reggae history, and is a Certified Social Media Strategist and consultant.  –  Reggae Report/Facebook    ReggaeReport.com  Blog- www.mpeggyq.com ReggaeReport Twitter    [email protected]


About the author

M Peggy Quattro