Mikey Spice to put reggae gospel in the big league


By: Joseph Cunningham

mikey_spice.jpg"I'm born again and free from sin..." are in retrospect, prophetic words from former secular Reggae crooner, Mikey Spice. The song was released in 1996, and was a chart topper. However, an interview with the singer revealed that he is now a devout Christian. "I am not just singing spiritual songs anymore. I am now serving the lord," Mikey told YardFlex.

Without giving away too much, Mikey said he is currently in negotiations to be signed to a major international label as a bonafide Gospel musician.

He does not attribute his decision to fully commit to Jesus as anything more than, "submitting to his destiny."

Interestingly, Mikey's "new walk" is in accordance with his beginnings. Mikey attended his fathers' church, where he sang and became a dazzling multi-instrumentalist, learning guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, piano, saxophone, flute, harp and clarinet before age 13.

It was at age 20 that he decided on a reggae career and started working with several bands. Mikey began recording in 1991, and by 1993 he had a live performance at Reggae Sunsplash. A good showing at Sunsplash preceded hits such as "Happiness," "Born Again" and "Jah Lifted Me," released in 1997.

Blessed with a uniquely broad, rich and resonant voice, Mikey was raised on the rousing spiritual music of the Church of God, in Kingston, Jamaica, where his father served as bishop and "Practice What You Preach" was the name of his 2001 monster hit. Today, the song continues to receive enthusiastic airplay in Jamaica, the U.S., Canada and Europe.

As a singer/songwriter/musician, Mikey Spice is the embodiment of that rare musical phenomenon traditionally referred to as the "one man band." As a youth, Mikey picked up musical instruments the way other children picked up toys, and learned to play them one at a time. "From piano to banjo, saxophone, trumpet, guitar, harp, drums, bass, I had all the instruments to play around with, plus microphone and audience... all of it came about together."

Influenced by international singers like: Lou Rawls, Barry White and Teddy Prendergrast, Mikey became a studio musician and harmony singer for many of Jamaica's leading artistes, including Gregory Issacs, Dennis Brown, Toots Hibbert, Freddie McGregor, Frankie Paul and Tiger.

In early 1991 he teamed up with engineer/producer Barry O'Hare at Grove Music Studios in Ocho Rios, and began recording his own compositions. "I think my experience from singing other people's songs taught me how to write and structure a song. I had these words and they just flowed into place. The first time I ever put a song together, it was one of those thrilling moments".

Voted best new artiste in 1995, Mikey Spice also had the song of the year that same year. The track, "Showers Of Blessings" was also number one in Miami for three months.