Gospel of Romance
Christian singer Stephen John breaks the mould with
Christian singer and songwriter Stephen John will release his new album, Gospel of Romance, this August. The seven-track album focuses on romantic music for Christians.

John said he decided to take his music in this direction for three reasons, the first being that it is an expression of another side of his creativity. “Secondly, as a Christian, I also feel that we are a bit imbalanced in what we offer in terms of artistic expression, We ignore the romantic areas of our lives, and the general human relationships that speak to social, economic and other issues.

Thirdly, the new music is also an expression of my relationship with my wife and working through different things we would have gone through, whether it’s good times, rough times, bad times or sad times.”

John, who was born in Port-of-Spain in 1977, became heavily involved in church through the Christian upbringing of his mother, singing in various youth groups and choirs which would later lead him to discover and pursue his musical talents. He attended Costaatt (College of Science Technology Applied Arts of T&T), where he received an Associate of Arts Degree in Performing Arts.

In 1998 he won the T&T Local Full Gospel Song Festival, receiving awards for ‘Best Composed Song’ and ‘Best Arranged Song’. Since then, he has won Best Gospel Artist at the T&T Music Awards 1999 and nominations at the Marlin Awards in 2008 and 2014.

He has also won awards such as Male Vocalist of The Year at the T&T Gospel Awards, Most Original Song at the Caribbean Gospel Festival, Best Gospel Performance at the T&T Music Awards, among others.

In 2006, John released his first album entitled In Your Presence which had some success, with In Your Presence and Leaving It All Behind being among his biggest hits. John has often shared stages with the likes of Ron Kenoly, Helen Baylor, Lt Stitchie and Elan Trotman and has been a member of The Recording Academy for The Grammys since 2017.

John attended the T&T Hospitality and Tourism Institute (TTHTI) and is the owner of a culinary service, Heavenly Bites. He is the Musical Director at his church, a vocal instructor at the Caribbean Nazarene College and the founder of his own publishing and production company S2J2 Publishings where he is both the Executive Producer and a recording artiste.

Said John: “It’s called S-Squared J-Squared publishing, because my name is Stephen Simon John Jr. I started that company as a means of developing and protecting my craft and ensuring that all of my rights, my master rights and copyright, etc., would remain with myself, because I see those things as being valuable and something you can use as an inheritance.

“People may say it’s a shot in the dark but years from now somebody might pick up some of my material and want to use it and I see it as an inheritance to my children and my family, and I started the company with really that in mind. I’m hopeful as we continue to develop that I’d be able to assist others and broaden the spectrum of the publishing aspect as well.”

The current single being promoted from the album is When You Love Me. It features contemporary jazz saxophonist Elan Trotman, as well as soprano Llettesha Sylvester. The song is a romantic ballad which speaks of the changes when the singers fall in love at first sight. It has been receiving rave reviews from radio announcers and TV and radio hosts.

John said he thinks there is definitely room for this type of music in the gospel landscape. Said John: “I really think it’s been ignored, mainly because of fear. It’s just the conventional way for those of us who are of the Body of Christ, we just stick to music for church services and church events and we don’t speak to life events per se or life happenings and I’m not saying we should not sing about worship, etc, but we don’t only exist within the church; we exist within a home, within a world, within a universe and there are other things that affect our existence and we should speak to those things, as Christ did. He spoke to issues that affect people but the way in which he did it was different from what may have been the norm of the day, and I think that’s why he stood out and I think we should do the same in a way that’s just and true and for Christ.”

For more information on the upcoming album, go to www.stephenjohn.com