The remix of Carlene Davis

Observer senior writer

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

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Carlene Davis, whose 40-year career has covered various genres, ventures into new territory with her upcoming EP, The Assignment Remixes.

Scheduled for release in June, it contains five songs. Three of those are remixes of songs from The Assignment, her previous album which was released last November by VP Records.

The Queens, New York independent company is also marketing The Assignment Remixes.

Martha's Gone To Westmoreland, a song that favours Janis Joplin's Me And Bobby McGee; Shake it Off and the title track, have been remixed. Hallelujah (done with former Boys' Town and Jamaica footballer Ali McNab) and Rise (alongside Davis' daughter Naomi Cowan, Rondell Positive, and Kevin Downswell) are new songs.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, Davis said the idea to remix the songs came early this year.

“After doing the Best Dressed Chicken School Tour January to February, making 20 stops across Jamaica, and ministering to some 40,000 students in high schools, we thought of and discussed the relevance of the song The Assignment, and along with Dave 'Primetime' Green, decided to do the remix,” she explained.

“Thereafter, executive producer Tommy Cowan having liked the idea looked at other tracks from the album to remix.”

Davis added that the “tracks were totally redone and re-recorded with a different level of energy. It is expected to capture the attention of the widest cross section of persons, in an effort to win the souls for the Kingdom through the message and music.”

The Assignment is Davis' 11th gospel album since her conversion to Christianity in the late 1980s. It is the follow-up to Dripping Blood which entered the Billboard Reggae Albums chart in the summer of 2015.

Once dismissed by serious musicians, the remix has been utilised by acts like U2, Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones to reach a broader audience. Gospel artistes including Kirk Franklin, Sounds Of Blackness and Tramaine Hawkins have had success on pop charts with remixes.

Davis sees nothing wrong with going that route.

“One cannot help but take note of what is happening with remixes and EPs. In a world full of confusion, one must take the steps to make the Gospel of Christ relevant,” she said.

Carlene Davis performs tomorrow on the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's Labour Day Gospel Concert at Emancipation Park.

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