WHILE she was raised in the church and considers gospel music her first love, Maxine Reyes has never limited her musical tastes. “I will rock to most genres as long as the lyrics are not demeaning,” she said.
Reyes, a 22-year veteran of the United States military, marches on new territory with Victory is Yours. Released in February, it has a contemporary Christian music flavour.
“I was introduced to the genre in Afghanistan at the chapel and became interested in the style. I love gospel music, it's what I grew up knowing and sang it in the choir as well. I have always been into inspirational music,” said the Kingston-born artiste. “As much as I love other genres, I find inspirational music uplifting whenever I heard it on the radio or on my playlist. I find it interesting how I always feel like positive, uplifting music wipes away all uncertainty, anxiety and faithlessness.”
Victory is Yours is co-produced by Keith Everette Smith and Joshua Frerichs, Nashville-based producers who have had success with platinum-selling acts like Toby Mac, The Jonas Brothers and Danny Gokey. She met both through a mutual friend and agreed to work with them after initial apprehension.
“I wouldn't say I'm big into it (CCM). I'm big into positive music no matter what genre. I listen to and appreciate all genres of music. I was born in Jamaica and lived there until I was 15. Growing up, I listened to all types of music,” she said.
'All types' include Bob Marley, Toots and The Maytals, J C Lodge, Aretha Franklin, Kenny Rogers and Michael Bolton which Reyes heard while in Manchester, where she lived before migrating to South Florida.
Contemporary Christian music coincided with the emergence of the Charismatic Church movement during the 1990s. At the time, artistes like Amy Grant and Michael W Smith were beginning to sell gold (500,000 copies) and platinum (1,000,000 copies) like their pop counterparts.
Maxine Reyes served 22 years in the US Air Force and US Army. Since leaving the military, she has recorded songs with Dean Frasier and Chevaughn Clayton and worked as a motivational speaker.