Plenty “Blessings Find Me” For Sherwin Gardner

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By Cherisse Moe

Sherwin Gardner woke up on January 1, 2024 to a brand new year and a whole new life. That’s because his latest offering, ‘Blessings Find Me’, went viral-literally overnight-earning him his biggest song to date.

‘Blessings Find Me’ is now available on all major digital music platforms via a joint venture deal with Tyscot Records, distributed by American film and entertainment studio, Warner Music Group Company, a powerhouse in the music industry. The track, which had almost 800 million views on social media when this article was penned, has resonated with music lovers worldwide, including two-time American Grammy Award-winning producer, Guy frontman and founder of New Jack Swing, Teddy Riley, who wrote on his personal TikTok page: ‘Brother Sherwin Gardner, you’ve created this amazing (song) that I have on repeat and play to remind me that there’s nothing impossible when God got your back!’ Celebrities and public figures, including singer Alicia Keys,rapper Eve (Eve Jeffers), Destiny Child’s Michelle Williams, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and American actor and comedian-turned pastor Kel Mitchell, have also posted the inspirational song on their platforms.

In its first week, the soulful gospel anthem climbed to number two on the Gospel Digital Song Sales chart behind popular American gospel vocalist CeCe Winans’ ‘Goodness of God’. Gardner also claimed the 22nd spot on the Billboard US Afrobeats Songs chart. Nigeria’s Phyno and Burna Boy’s collaborative hit, ‘Do I’ was number 21.

How did this masterpiece come about? The veteran gospel recording artiste had been replaying the lyrics in his mind for a while and had the sudden urge to record it. He sent it to a producer in Kenya, and because he felt the words were a New Year declaration, he posted a snippet online on New Year’s Eve. In just a few hours,the clip amassed 14,000 views from listeners far beyond our Caribbean shores-as far as The Philippines, Indonesia and Africa. Gardner didn’t expect any of it.

‘At the end of 2023, I was set to release a track with some well-known names in Christian music,’ the songwriter told Kitcharee in his first local interview to discuss his new-found success.

‘We hit a little snag with the clearances, but I didn’t want to leave my followers hanging, so I decided to put together something else in the meantime.

‘Christmas Day brought another spark of inspiration, and I added the lines about blessings, favour, and prosperity. The real surprise was the next morning when I woke up to my phone buzzing with more notifications than I’d ever seen before, especially from TikTok-a platform I was a novice to. The song had exploded.

‘This whole experience has been a reminder of life’s unexpected turns.’

Gardner hinted at the possibility of other big things to come, telling us that, ‘there’s talk about major collaborations with Grammy Award winners and potential nominations for some top-tier award shows. I’m getting a lot of exciting calls about what may be on the horizon!’

Gardner’s recent success has put him in the spotlight on the international media circuit too. Last month, he appeared on GetUpErica, a radio show hosted by American gospel recording artiste Erica Campbell.

‘It seems to strike a chord with everyone who hears it,’ he says. ‘And the support? Unbelievable.’

Hope and resilience

Why has ‘Blessings Find Me’ connected with so many people of varying nationalities and faiths? Gardner believes it’s because of its authenticity. ‘It echoes the universal themes of hope and resilience,’ he reasons, adding that, ‘it speaks to the shared experience of overcoming challenges. It’s an anthem that tells everyone, no matter where they are, that better days are ahead.’ The nine-time Marlin Award winner, who turned 45 last Wednesday, is a pioneer in Caribbean gospel.

Bursting onto the scene in the 90s, he’s given us songs like ‘You’, ‘Good Oh’ and ‘Fixer’. Gardner was also one of the first artistes locally to sing gospel reggae-at a time when the genre was frowned upon by some churches.

The global embrace of ‘Blessings Find Me’ affirms the impact of his musical journey, and it couldn’t come at a better time-this year he celebrates 40 years of music ministry.

‘We debuted at number 47 on the Billboard TikTok chart. This visibility is more than just personal success. It’s a boost for the entire Caribbean gospel music community. It hits home when I see messages saying, ‘your song led me to discover artistes like Positive (Joel Murray) or Kevin Downswell. It’s become a link connecting listeners to the rich gospel music scene in the region.’

Gardner now resides in The Bahamas, where he met his wife. He’s set to return to Trinidad soon to stage his ‘Homecoming’ concert on June 1 which will feature Nigerian gospel singer-songwriter Limoblaze (Samuel Onwubiko). The show will honour the lives of late gospel pioneer Jamie Thomas and gospel entertainer Gitta Dan (Denton Peschier), who Gardner had known since his days at St Augustine Senior Comprehensive School. ‘It will blend nostalgia with today’s energy, reflecting our musical heritage and current triumphs,’ Gardner concludes.

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