Gospel singer Kevin Downswell has released an all-star remix of his 2012 classic, You Make Me Stronger. The mega-collaboration, titled Stronger (remix), is sponsored by KFC and adds to the growing list of uplifting songs released since COVID-19 made landfall in Jamaica in March.
Produced and co-written by DJ Bambino, the song starts with a violin solo courtesy of Jessica Yapp, then segues into Downswell, Richie Stephens, Tessanne Chin and Sherieta Lewis who sing messages of hope in the first verse. The chorus now belts, “we will be stronger” instead of “you make me stronger,” and the second verse features powerful, victorious vocals from Christopher Martin, Singer J and Ikaya. The third verse packs some dancehall flavour with Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, balanced with mellow melodies from Wayne Marshall and Kemar Highcon.
Speaking on Onstage this weekend, Downswell said he does not anticipate backlash from the gospel community for his use of secular artistes, as it is for a positive cause.
“When you see somebody like a Sherieta Lewis who has done background vocals for me for the last three albums…when you see people like Bounty, Beenie, people like Ikaya, the problem is not the church community,” he said. “I believe every man, whether church, secular, street, dancehall… everybody’s gonna be excited.”
He added that it wasn’t challenging getting the various artistes on board.
“None of them had an issue…everybody was ready to jump on board because at the end of the day the focus was the people, the focus was the fact that people are going through rough and tough times in a season like this so we had to put away our differences, we had to put away if one had locks and if one had baldhead, if one rich and one poor and if one is more popular than the other,” he said. “That’s the power of this campaign because it’s a declaration that no matter who you are, if you seh Jesus or anybody else, it is a sign of everybody coming together to let people know that we’re stronger and we’re stronger together.”
In early May, producer Notnice released the inspirational number We Are, featuring a bevy of acts including Tessanne Chin, Julian Marley, Jesse Royal and Maxi Priest. Later that month Romeich Major spearheaded We Rise, which featured artistes including Tarrus Riley, Konshens, Shenseea, Ding Dong and Teejay.
Check out the song below and let us know your thoughts BUZZ fam!