It is very rare that you find an artist that is an excellent writer and performer that commands and receives equal attention from both secular and non-secular audiences; an artist that is unique, genuine, true to the music, spiritual, strong, yet very humble.
Possessing and maintaining a Godly character, a firm believer and upholder in all that is good and right... Audrey Gordon is all of these and more.
Out of Jamaica comes this prolific and exceptional songwriter who paints you a picture with words in her songs; coupled with a unique and anointing vocals that leaves a word in song with you for days and weeks on end…
If you sit and talk with ths young woman, she will tell you that her past life''s discography is not impressive in the least; there are no accolades, nothing to note, but today sitting with her, Audrey expresses only a love for her Savior Jesus Christ which surpasses accolades and accomplishments.
Every second word that proceeds from her has to do with ''Jesus''. That''s all I truly know and that''s all I can talk about.
Now that I am born again, it''s a different story. I am naturally a very shy person but now my shyness is overshadowed by the power of God. I am still very shy, but when it comes to Jesus, I am as brave as a lion...That''s the power of God.
Audrey expresses that there''s nothing great about her past life to speak about;
There''s nothing there to say "WOW!!!, she''s been there"... but it is ahead of me, she says.
"There''s been many obstacles, hills and mountains to climb and rivers and valleys to cross and each day I am getting there, closer to the dream.
I know that even though it tarries, it will come to pass. Patience is the virtue and I have been blessed to be able to take things in stride".
Audrey explains that she neither run or walked with the elite of society and her story remains the same, JESUS.
When you see me, sit and talk with me, you will hear about Jesus, that''s what my life basically consists of.
That''s where God has brought me to__HIM...and I am extremely happy and could not have planned it better myself if given the chance.
Before migrating to Canada in 1990, Audrey was in many ways active on the music scene in her native country. She has performed with and was a part of various bands.
She would seldom visit hotel sites and listen to the live bands play, dance and join in the cabarets.
From there Gordon met musicians, did auditions and end up being part of the bands, but it''s the music that held her fast.
She would even visit dancehalls as she had a passion for reggae music.
Unfortunatley that has not changed now.
I did go cold turkey when I just got saved, but it was not long after that the beat started in my head again.
I cannot seem to shake it. I just cannot seem to get away from it.
It''s like they say, ''Take the girl out of the country, but you can''t take the country out of the girl". That''s me, that''s me and reggae right there.
Some experiences were however not very favorable for me due to band members or band managers who Gordon reports would always try to hit on her, that''s normal I guess but she would quietly dismiss herself.
These were compromising and very uncomfortable situations that I encountered that I knew at the time as a young woman was not worth it for me to get ''ME'' into the music industry.
Others I am sure were more fortunate than I, but it is quite obvious that this was not the way for me. but it was all good, she chuckled, I just did not know how to handle it, so I would leave.
For many years I maintained a low profile doing different kinds of jobs;
I worked as Hotel Front Desk Clerks and Entertainment Coordinators for a while too after getting a degree in Hotel Front Office Management. I was always involved in some musical entertainment aspect of my jobs.
I was naturally drawn to that but I was very shy though, confidence I did not have, I am still working on that too and getting better at it.
There was no one to really encourage you and those days I do not even think I had ever heard the word, "self motivation".
I heard the word ''ambitious''...although I do not know if I truly knew what it meant or else I''d pres more.
I was just not "driven". I wanted it but I just did not know how to push for it. I was not hungry enough. Back then, I had many opportunities that just flew out the window.
Hotels that I''d work for would oftentimes have employee talent shows and I''d always enter these competitions and get involved with the cabarets too; it was so much fun for me. So my mind was always on the music and my jobs and hobbies always involved some form of musical entertainment.
I love the arts completely. I love dancing, I love drawing, I love to write, hate to read though, ha,ha,ha.
So while there''s nothing exciting to note of the past, the dream and call remained to sing.
"I did not see myself singing gospel music at the time, Gordon says, but God had his own plans and dreams for me".
Migrating to Canada in 1990, Gordon is from a family of three older brothers and two older sisters. She has an army of uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins.
She credits her mother for having brought them up in the church from an early age which has provided her a solid foundation.
Audrey''s idol at a very tender age was the late Evangelist Dunn whom she admired and wanted to be like.
She confesses that she never pursued that pathway but that God had already designed the wonderful life she now leads; a life she simply did and could not have dreamt about.
It was not until early 1992 after moving to Canada that she gave up total control to Jesus Christ.
How did this happen?
"It is a very long story which I will outline in my book but to make it brief; I had set sights on becoming a Christian once I get to Canada but I did not know that being a Christian was more than just escaping hell.
I did not know and could not even begin to see the whole picture of what it is to be called and live the true Christian life. All I can honestly say is that it is the most wonderful and profound experience to date. Really life changing; it''s like a light bulb going off in your head; it''s like waking from a terrible nightmare to reality; It is like finding hoards of gold; better than winning the Grammy; more than anything you could possibly imagine. Indescribable...
I could only try to tell you how it happened but I cannot make you understand or come even close to it. You must have your own experience to begin to fathom the awesomeness of being truly saved. When you walk along a buffet line at a banquet or in a restaurant, you can only view and maybe savour the food as it is being displayed. You will actually only know how good the food is when you taste it. Just looking at it or hearing people talk about it is no good to you until you try the food yourself.
So it is with God, you will never know what you are missing until you have tasted and seen that he is good".
Audrey presently serves as a worship and praise member in her local church when not on the road where her spiritual covering is Pastor N. D. Byfield.
Audrey is now pursuing her career as singer/sonwriter & Author. Her earlier stints included an appearance at the Lisle centre where the Hon. Jean Augustine, Minister of Multi-Culturalism in Canada was the guest speaker.
She opened for the Canada Christian Festival held at Mel Lastman''s Square; a two days fest which drew artists and audiences from the Canadian and American Latino communities both locally and internationally.
Audrey performed at the first Annual Dinner for the CHINDS Scholarship Foundation and was part of an evening of praise and worship held at the Heritage Theatre in Brampton, where she was later featured in the local newspapers.
She has since shared stages with Papa San, Carlene Davis, Kay Morris and the Jewels, Joshua Generation, Toronto Mass Choir, Marvia Providence, Barbara Jones and many others.
Audrey performed in the "Walk of Hope" concert for needy children, and has graced many local stages for charity.
As an artist, Audrey transcends all age, religious, ethnic and racial boundaries that will allow her to last in the industry.
""Years ago I was in search of making it in the secular music industry, but God had greater plans for me so that door remained closed and am I ever so glad.
It has been a long and hard journey, but it is the right time, the perfect season.
Like Moses, and like Esther, God has been preserving and preparing me for this time and I feel like I am going to break forth like vintage wine. Jeremiah said when he wanted to keep quiet it felt like fire in his bones and he had to speak and I can attest to that".
Audrey performed at the first Reggae Gospel SONSplash in Toronto, August 2004 which included artists from Jamaica, UK, Guyana, USA and Canada.
Maja Gospel Music Awards (Gospel Week segment) on September 13th, 2004 in Toronto, Canada will see Audrey in performance.
Audrey''s debut album ''...Still Waiting'' was released October 2004 and has gained nominations in two categories from the Hopeton Lewis Caribbean Gospel Music Awards, USA 2005.
The Toronto International Reggae Music Awards (TIRMA) also gave nominations in the Roots and Culture category. Audrey will perform at the award event slated to take place later this year.
Nominations were received from the Maja Gospel Music Awards 2005,
Canada''s premier Gospel Music awards, a red carpet affair...
The Jamaica Observer dubbed this album as "Reggae Gospel at its best". Mark Harris from Reggae-Reviews reports, "It''s one of the best examples of Reggae Gospel I''ve heard"
Mike Roots describes Audrey''s track "I am free", "A track that deserves to one day be labeled a reggae as well as gospel classic for its intimate depiction of the suffering and crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ".
The seventeen track album includes 15 self-penned tracks and two adapted tracks, one of which was co-written by Audrey.
"I Am Free" is the first track to be produced and released from the URS compilation being put together by Mark Giles and will include other artists like Sherwin Gardner, Mike Roots, Aquannette Chinnerry, Arlene Green, Owen Urijah, Bredren Markus, Wayne Stoddart and more.
On her producer Mark Giles, Audrey says, "God sent him"
Audrey is truly a perfect example of love-in-action and believes that the only way to be fully blessed is to lay everything at the altar...
Most of the tracks reflects her native Jamaican tongue(patois).
On tracks like " Lord you''re good" she explains that she had no money for rent , water and electricity bills, so she is disconnected, but God...
Further into the song she asks God for a bimmer with the keys (asking for ownership, not lease) but God does not answer.
She is hungry and does not have the food she would like to eat but can only find bread to satisfy her hunger, but God...
She said the reason God did not answer her request for a bimmer is because she did not need a bimmer, a three wheel neon could have done the job just fine.
And frankly, if you cannot find food to eat, what are you doing with a bimmer?
I am free is just pure loveliness. It tells the story of the crucifixion as if watching "Passion for Christ" but she notes it has helped her in her everyday problems.
After writing the song, she underwent a very rough period and without really realizing it, she was pointed by God to go and listen to the song again and amazingly he ministered to her that, even though we deserve death, hell and the grave his mercy and love still prevails, he took our place and forgave us and that got her through the rough time in knowing that God would be merciful to her.
In this song she indirectly encourages that no matter who you are or what you have done to be encouraged that God is faithful and will always be there to help and forgive in any situation. No situation is too hard for the Lord if you''ll just trust him.
"Radical One" is simply lovely. One of listeners favourites, just take a listen.
Caribbean Gospel Group Network is a non-profit organization based out of Toronto and has hosted the first annual Reggae Gospel SONSplash in August 2004 at a central location in Toronto where Audrey was a performer.
Audrey will also perform at the Maja Gospel Awards (Gospel week segment) on September 13th 2004 in Toronto.
Audrey is a person of humour and therefore cheerful at heart so you will find something to laugh, cry and muse about as you let this music surround you. She believes that God uses every human emotion to communicate with us, whether it is a joyful, sad or a funny song, he can speak through anything.
Whether it be reggae, soca, soul, jazz, hip hop or funk, just listen and you will hear his voice if the music is directed to him.
You will be sure to be hearing and seeing more of Audrey as she faithfully continues her walk with the Lord and in pursuit of an unselfish mission that the Lord has called her to.
"I believe that God has called, preserved and prepared me for a time such as this"
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