Ryan Mark holds church at album launch

Observer writer

Monday, July 30, 2018

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Celebration Church proved the ideal venue for the launch of Ryan Mark's fourth album, Your Grace, in Portmore, St Catherine, on Friday night.

The occasion was a 'Jesus party' celebrating Mark's 12-track body of work following his seven-year musical hiatus.

The gospel deejay adapted to the ministerial role in 2014 when he established his non-denominational church, Pure in Heart Ministries International.

Mark's return to the stage was a two-hour set including songs from his wide-ranging catalogue, singles from Your Grace — which was released on Wednesday — and an altar call.

The album, produced by Chosen Records, showcases a diverse set comprising tracks like Forgive Me, Fire, and the title track. In an emotional performance of the last, Mark brought on singer Alaine, whom he baptised last week, to share in the song's chorus.

Mark invited Wayne Marshall on stage to perform Follow You, which caused a dance frenzy. Marshall, who was also featured on Mark's 2008 Tabernacle album, performed his current hit Glory to God.

The gospel deejay said he felt a bit “rusty” at the start of his performance but eased into it.

“Just stepping out on stage like that...I haven't done that in a long time, oh gosh, but mi warm up and mi good,” he told the Jamaica Observer. “Tonight was good for me just being on the stage. When I just came out with the older songs, some of the songs dem mi a fumble over the words, mi d'even memba because dem so old. But I think by the time I went into the acoustic session going straight down it's like mi seh 'okay'. You know like dem seh, Stella find back her groove? It's like mi find back mi groove, so it was a great experience,” he continued.

In the second half of his performance, hard-core music lovers got their share when he performed dancehall-flavoured tunes Mi Papa and Soar Wi A Soar. Other tracks from the album include the pop-flavoured track I Trust You, the one drop joint Speak to Me and Love of My Life.

“At the end of the day, the young people are there and we don't want to lose them, so we still have the Mi Papa and Wi A Soar and stuff. But at the same time, we still have the mature songs, so the good thing about it is the whole pastoral enables me to be way more versatile and that's good,” he said.

The night also included lively performances from Goddy Goddy, Jermaine Edwards, Jason Mighty, Lucas Musiq, Kevin Smith, and Ariana Whyte.

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