The name John Yarde may be familiar in gospel music circles in Barbados more as a singer, but most people probably did not know that his dream was to become a drummer.
In fact, Yarde, who calls himself a soul singer, really started his musical journey as a drummer in his church.
“I started as a drummer. I used to play drums in the local church … and that was it; I just wanted to be a drummer,” the young and upcoming Barbadian recording gospel singer revealed.
“My dream was never to be playing in Gospelfest. We just did Gospelfest this year for the first time. My dream was never to sing in a major concert.”
Yarde told High Note he has had the opportunity to share stages with international Christian artists such as William McDowell.
“That was never my dream; it was just to play drums; probably to play drums in a show like that. But you know, in 2008, I travelled to the (United) States on an internship for school and the church I attended, I played drums there. I came back in 2009 and [my church] had a whole bunch of musicians, so they was no need for me,” recalled the theology student.
He remembered that soon after his return to Barbados, his pastor asked him to sing in the worship team, which he did for a “few’ weeks.
“But then it turns out, the worship leader, she got sick. So he (pastor) would hear me in practice doing my own thing. And he said ‘John, how about you lead worship for these few weeks while the sister is out.’
“I said, ‘you’re sure?’ He said, “yea, we believe in you, we see the ministry is there’,” Yarde told High Note.
That, he added, was the foundation for his singing career. He accepted the request to head the worship group, which he did for a month initially.
“And even when she came back, I saw the opportunity to go on, because it was rich ministry. So when I came back to Barbados later on in August/September, I went to the leader of Island Worship. I went to him and said, ‘Kevin, I would like to lead worship in one of the sessions’.
“Kevin said, ‘Look, go and play the drums boy’, because I was only known as a drummer,” the artist related.
Fast forward that story. Yarde was asked to pray after the speaker at a youth conference.
“So during that time, I was about to finish, the musicians were playing, and as they were doing that, I started to sing my pray; and as I was finishing, I knew the song they were playing and I sang that,” he continued.
Yarde ended up leading the worship. The Island Worship leader approached him afterwards and told him he recognised his singing ministry.
“Countless opportunities … opened since then, and here I am today, because someone saw a gift and believed in me then, and because I had the courage to …, and then to the inside of a leader who saw what was there, and when they saw what was there, decided they would jump onboard and invest in (me) and pull out all the ministry that was in there,” declared the Christian singer/song writer.
Yarde attributes his present achievements as a worship leader/gospel artist, to the Island Worship leader, who decided to invest in him, after recognising his singing talent. While Yarde has been writing most of his songs, he recently started co-writing with such young gospel acts as Rico Butcher of a Few Good Men, Johnathan J Mac McCollin and Ramon Husbands.
He has found these collaborations “interesting” and looks forward to similar partnerships in the future. The first song John Yarde remembers recording was Revival Is Possible, a single, which he described as hit. Know You Better was his second single.