By: Joseph Cunningham
Ziggy Soul sports dreadlocks, the main symbol of Rastafarianism, but he is a devoted Christian. What does he mean by devoted? He does not worship the Rastafarian god, but praises Jesus.
His behavioural pattern was recognized by the Jamaican society as very strange, and this resulted in various unpleasant experiences . It is arguable that Jamaica is one of the most vibrant Rastafarian communities in the world, and so when Ziggy Soul sought to settle in a Christian place of worship, he was met with fierce resistance.
"During the period when I was seeking a place of worship, there were occasions when I was attacked physically, because of my locks. Some people told me they did not want me in their church," he said.
While he acknowledged that a deadlocked person claiming to be a Christian would not have been readily accepted by Jamaicans, he was and is still adamant that the way he looks does not determine who he is.
All these negatives were ongoing while Ziggy was walking the walk and talking the Christian talk. He had established a non-profit organization in Trench Town, which served the academic and social needs of the community. "I was giving of my time as a form of worship." Undoubtedly the neglect he had been receiving from some church organizations had insulted his sincerity.
Fortunately for Ziggy, he met Pastor David Keane from Church on the Rock, who is widely known for his radical approach to the pastoral ministry. "I was living in Trench Town and Pastor Keane and his team of Evangelists came to the community to minister. Somehow he heard of my singing ability and asked for me. We met and he invited me to church."
Ziggy recalls being enrolled in Sunday School where he learned about Jesus deeply. His Gospel music career then began when famed Gospel music producer Tommy Cowan heard him singing in Sunday school. International recording artiste Carlene Davis also happened to have been in the audience, he said. They invited Ziggy to sign to their record label, "Glory Music".
The record deal took Ziggy to the forefront of Jamaican gospel music quickly, however, his new found fame was accompanied by controversy, this time with greater intensity as a public figure. "Acceptance from music patrons took a little while because they seemed uncertain what to believe about my stance regarding my locks." Nevertheless, he persevered, and today he has been widely accepted as a true Christian, especially after the release of the hit song "Sing It Out Loud". The song cemented his acceptance; the most famous line from it declaring that "Jesus Christ is King of Kings".He has since delivered the album titled, "Born Again", which featured the song "Sing It Out Loud".
It has been four years since the release of Born Again, and he is back with "Genesis", an album which is loaded with hot tracks, including "Jesus Is Trench Town", "Rescue Me", "Proverbs" and "Tell Me Who". It was produced by Tommy Cowan and features tracks with a number of his friends. My review is that this album is deep, soulful and Jamaican.