There is no denying that some people are born with that extra something it takes to stand-out in society. Though we’re all blessed with unique talents, not many will recognize their gifts let alone pursue them. Not so for Duaine Bowen, more popularly known by the moniker Ras Ghandi by fans of reggae and dancehall music world-wide.
Hailing from what can now be classified as the “artist capital” of Jamaica, Portmore, St. Catherine, Ras Ghandi’s journey into the music arena was inevitable. Recognizing two major talents that propelled him daily, soccer and music, Duaine pursued them both. Birds don’t struggle to fly, it comes naturally; that’s the same for this artist whose soccer skills were so remarkable he played for his high school team in The DaCosta Cup and more.
Though football was his first love, Duaine was inspired to pursue his natural talent for music. It became apparent that young Duaine was an innovator and way ahead of some of his contemporaries in the Reggae and Dancehall genre, and thus the musical prodigy Ras Ghandi was born. His exceptional songwriting skills, vocal abilities and stage presence demonstrated impressive levels of maturity for the young artist. He became a voice for the people, reflecting in his music the everyday struggles of growing up in the inner cities of Jamaica, not just as a song-writer and artist, but also as a producer, always being mindful of the quality of music he produced.
His outstanding songwriting skills have allowed him to write for artists such as King Yellow Man, Ninja Man, Bounty Killer, Spice, Macka Diamond, Anthony B, Johnny P and many more. It was in 2004, however, that Ras Ghandi would show the world the extent of his musical talent when he released his hit single, “No More Bloodshed” which was an impassioned plea for the violence to cease in Jamaica. Other hits followed for Ras Ghandi who was fast becoming a household name. Message music such as “Nine Months Pregnant” and “Message to Mama” are just two of the many songs by Ras Ghandi that received rave reviews from fans worldwide. Though his catalog is filled with social-commentary and heart-felt messages, fans also appreciate the lighter side of Ras Ghandi as they sing and dance to “Ital Stew” from this famous (dread-less) Rasta.
In 2018, Ras Ghandi faced some (almost) insurmountable tragedies when he lost his beloved wife and mother, back-to-back to cancer. Though grief-stricken, Ras Ghandi over-came his grief through music. He penned, recorded and released “Kill Cancer” on his House of Vbyz label to educate people on the importance of getting screened for this deadly disease. He cannot stress enough the importance of taking care of the body, mind and spirit, and dedicate this track to the memory of the women he so dearly loved.
“They can’t keep a good man down” suits this artist who has hit 2019 up and running. On a recent trip to Jamaica where a state of emergency is active in certain troubled areas, Ras Ghandi penned another hit and titled it most fitting, “State of Emergency”. This song was written and recorded in less than a day and began receiving airplay two weeks prior to its official release.
Ras Ghandi’s mission is to help raise awareness for people who are facing challenges in Jamaica and all over the world. “Eliminate poverty and crime will decrease” is something Ras Ghandi believes in wholeheartedly. “State of Emergency” is on the lips of everyone and Ras Ghandi hopes his pleas for the violence to cease will not fall on deaf ears. “Wi nuh wah no more bloodshed” is a line from “No More Bloodshed” released nearly two decades ago by Ras Ghandi. This artist has been pleading with the leaders of Jamaica to make a change, and to the criminal elements to cease the violence infecting our beautiful island. State of emergency and sunsets don’t mix. We pray for our nation’ healing.
All things are possible through Christ who strengthens us.
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