He was only about nine years old when he started his gospel music ministry — and it was at the Western Light Church of the Nazarene in Oxnards, St. James, where he is still based.
Today, Raphael Saul is able to manage his main money-earning pursuit as a young attorney-at-law, with his passion for singing gospel music.
“I grew up singing in the Sunday School choir, and when I was about nine or 10 my mother brought me along to sing a solo at church, but it turned into a duet,” Raphael recalled.
“And from then, I have received tremendous support, tremendous encouragement to continue to use my gift for God’s glory; and it’s what I intend to keep doing.”
While he may not yet be one of the big name local artist, this emerging Christian singer has been good enough to perform at some of the major gospel music events in Barbados in recent times.
“I’ve had the opportunity to do a number of events locally. I remember singing at the Holetown Festival, I remember singing at the Oistins Festival because they have a gospel element to that… That was last year. I was one of the headline artists for the Crop-Over Gospel Concert that was held at [Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre],” he recalled.
Saul told High Note, he always wanted to do gospel music and had no objection to taking it up as a full-time career, notwithstanding his legal profession. However, it is a decision, he quickly insisted, he would have to “ask” his wife about.
“I am attorney-at-law by profession, but music is my love, my passion… Singing is what is what brings me the most joy,” declared Saul.
Asked how he “married” his legal and singing careers, he responded: “Time management and a wife who helps me to stay on track in terms of the bookings that I have to do (for) different events, and also making sure I am getting my work done.”
He said he also believes there is a role for lawyers in the business of gospel music.
“Definitely, because the music business as you go up the ladder is more legal sometimes than it is musical. There are lots of aspects of the music business you need to understand, whether it be copyright or whatever. So a lawyer’s role is very important in the music industry.
“So I think that I am blessed, in that I’m able to marry the skills that I have as an attorney and continue to develop with the musical talent that God has given me.” Saul, who only last Saturday staged a joint gospel concert with his good friend John Yarde at the Western Light Church of the Nazarene, has also so far performed with dynamic Christian vocalist Mya Daniel, who is also a lawyer.
“That for me was a huge thing, because everybody knows Mya Daniel is a household name in gospel. So Mya has over the years taken me under her wing and really taught me a lot when it comes to ministry and how you function at a professional level when you get booked for events…,” noted the budding gospel act.
“So I would say perhaps the largest event that I would have done … was Independence celebrations at the Garrison Savannah with Mya, and I would have also done the Crop-Over Gospel Concert — perhaps my biggest events so far.”
His ultimate goal, he revealed, is to take his music across the world.
“I have an international focus… I want to make music that can impact the lives of people, wherever it’s heard, no matter where… And I want to have the opportunity to take the message across the world through the music.” email@example.com