(JAMAICA STAR) — If there was a line of Portmore/Gaza fans waiting to meet incarcerated deejay Vybz Kartel, Maestro Bravest would probably be at the front.
The conflict is that he is a gospel artiste and some folks are not happy about his public allegiance to the self-proclaimed ‘Worl’ Boss’.
“People seh mi cya really big up Kartel and serve God, but in due time, when God is ready, He’ll tell me, ‘Maestro you need to stop all of that now’,” he told THE STAR. “For now, mi still a seh ‘Free Worl’ Boss’. Mi still a seh Gaza and mi nuh see it as a problem because to me there is no greater artiste than Kartel. His songs have gotten me through a lot.”
Which explains why he had aspirations of forming part of the Gaza clique before he got baptised in 2014.
Maestro shared he was performing as a secular artiste prior to giving his life to God and found it challenging to neglect his love for hardcore dancehall music.
“Coming into church, mi couldn’t really listen to so much ‘praise and worship’ song cause it isn’t my style. Mi cya put down Kartel and Popcaan and jump straight to Kirk Franklin,” the 26-year-old said. “Mi know mi a nuh di only person with that predicament so mi decide fi try mek that link between dancehall and gospel and that’s why so many people gravitate to my music.”
He describes his music as “dancehall soul, with gospel content”, evident on tracks like Mi Nah Go, Satan Haffi Fall, 1 to 1000 and Church People.
His videos also channel dancehall vibes, with liquor in hand, swaggy outfits and an entourage that is never far behind. His message? Christians are humans too.
“Mi nuh fraid fi show seh there are some parts of me that need to be transformed,” he said. “I’m not the conventional gospel artiste who acts clean and holy. My favourite juice is rum and Boom, every video shoot mi do rum and Boom deh deh. A just my style that and I don’t drink to get drunk. People can relate to me because they do these things outside of church.”
Based in the United Kingdom, Maestro, given name Aaron Thomas, recalled singing at a young age and said his talent is innate as his father was a deejay.
He released his debut EP, Born Brave, in January, which he said showcased his versatility and reaped positive feedback.
He is currently working on his sophomore project which he hopes to release next year.
“This one a go be a bit more serious and real so more people a go can relate to it,” said Maestro.