Beyond a shadow of a doubt, he believes that “music is powerful”. However, entertainer J Duncan Kingservant Evanson is saddened by the fact that far too few artistes are using it as a positive medium to effect change. But, he is swift to point out that he admires those who are purposeful in their messaging and what they are promoting.
“I’m inspired by them to aim for ‘edutainment’… music that is not just making you feel good but also making you think and maybe learn something,” he told Bajan Vibes.
Kingservant is part of a movement determined to bridge that gap. His desire to make a difference is not one that he takes lightly. So much so, that he started his craft when he was fresh out of school.
“I turned down a scholarship to a university in the United States to do missionary work which took me as far as the Ukraine.”
The singer has released three tracks so far for the year with his most recent being Not Me. His aim is to release music consistently and find innovative ways of sharing it with people, especially with so many now confined to their homes.
Though the vocalist credits those who have gone before for their contributions, he finds it difficult to choose a singular artiste who has influenced his career.
“If I had to choose one ‘legendary’ inspiration it would be Bob Marley because of the wide-reaching and culture shifting influence he had and continues to have all over the world. More modern inspirations – I’d probably say Samuel Medas, Damian Marley, Chronixx and Tobe Nwigwe, to name a few.”
Kingservant is no newcomer to the stage. The artiste classifies his own style as a mix of traditional roots and modern reggae with a hint of hip-hop/dancehall.
“I’ve been performing since around 2004. I started off rapping as kind of a fun thing with a friend and from that discovered I had some writing ability. I’d say my ‘real’ start performing was with a band called Bloodwash, whose musical director and leader was Ramon Dummett.”
Since his stint with Bloodwash, he teamed up with his close friend and brother-in-law, Timothy Redbwoy Kellman, creating the group Rugged Royalty. He credits his time with both groups as playing a pivotal role in shaping him as an artiste and performer.
Admittedly, his love for performing is rivalled by his passion for songwriting. “This is a split decision between performing on stage and the creative process of songwriting. Performing is an opportunity to create an experience for an audience, while engaging directly with them.”
He continued: “Making music, on the other hand, is a way of expressing who I am and finding a creative way to communicate that in words and rhythms. Both elements are fun in different ways.”
Recently, Kingservant has begun working with international recording artiste homeboy Jaicko Lawrence and this has proven to be a great experience. He would love to add 2 Mile Hill and Teff Hinkson to the list of local talent that he collaborates with.
The artiste has been building a following. Reggae fans would recognize him as a frontrunner in the Reggae Stars Competition hosted at the Cove Nightclub in St Lawrence Gap.
He has had the honour of being a repeat performer in EKCO Nation Chilled Vibez sessions hosted at the Happitude Bar and Restaurant. Since the lockdown, he has staged the Kingservant Quarantine Concert which premiered his latest release on YouTube on April 17.
Kingservant has been more strategic in making it his career path within the last year. “I have really felt the King urging me to go for it.”
Ever the optimist, he has his sights set on a brighter tomorrow. “Hopefully when things open again, I’ll be looking into opportunities to perform locally and abroad,” he said.
Music has played an integral role in Kingservant’s life. “I met my wife at a concert that I was performing at! Also, many of my closest friends turned family are musical connections.”
Whether it is being a devoted husband and father, a dynamic performer or pouring his heart into his lyrics, he is committed to delivering one hundred per cent. His glass-half-full approach to life ensures that any challenge he encounters is perceived as mere stepping stones.
“Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes things may not work out the way I anticipated but I know the King is still on the throne, so I just keep working.” (STT)