Mar 25, 2013 News
– lands music and acting contracts
By Leon Suseran
A young Antiguan teen born to Guyanese parentage is making a name for himself. His talented singing has taken him to Hollywood where he was signed up for a music contract and the release of an upcoming music album. He’s sung the national anthem before hundreds in Antigua; and has landed himself an acting contract for a TV sit-com—all at the age of twelve!
Jamol Gordon and his sister are currently in Guyana for their grandmother’s funeral. His mom is here too and spoke with Kaieteur News.
Myrna Gordon stated that she left Guyana 13 years ago and the family now resides at Bronx Avenue. “As a young child, he was always involved in singing but I never thought he would become a singer—and sometimes he would sit down and write songs—at five years you know?!” she proudly recalled.
In 2010, at age nine, he expressed his desire to audition for an Antiguan musical talent show ‘Optimus Petite’, for which he was successful. “They fell in love with him and he got through— and he was the only male!” He won the talent and interview segments, “so overall, he was the youngest child—and only male—to win the show, so you can imagine the applause and he also had standing ovation from the crowds”.
Gordon stated, too, that it was just after winning that competition that the young boy started to gain popularity. That same year, he opened the Jaycee’s Queen Show, a popular festival held around the time of Carnival in Antigua and participated by numerous Caribbean countries, including Guyana. “And it was resounding applause, because he sang the national anthem of Antigua & Barbuda”.
Young Jamol then started to receive invitations to perform at weddings, birthdays and funerals. “When he sang at a book-signing ceremony, then is when a Doctor Noel Howell heard him, then he asked the child to sing another song that same night.”
Dr. Howell gave him a scholarship to study at the St. Joseph’s Academy (a private school), after the lad topped the Common Entrance Exams on the island.
Dr. Howell made arrangements for him to travel to Hollywood, with his father Winston, for three weeks last December “and at the moment, they are working on his first album—the youngest artiste in Antigua”.
“I met Dr. Howell two years ago and he introduced me to D Channsin Berry, who is a film producer and songwriter and he said he wanted to work with me after he heard me sing and so I ended up going to Los Angeles and recording a few songs,” Jamol said. Jamol said he recorded three songs done by Leon Sylvers and another five by Joshua Thompson. Sylvers was a member of the family group “The Sylvers” in the 1970’s and has gone on to work with artists such as Shalamar, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Whispers and Guy. Joshua Paul Thompson is a songwriter/producer who has worked with Joe, Luther Vandross, Baby Face and Alicia Keys and many others.
“Jamol was working every day. We didn’t go out there to work every day, but all Christmas Eve we were still recording. We just kept going and he was singing song after song after song,” Dr Howell said.
To top off the excitement for the 12-year-old, Jamol said during a trip to the mall, “I met Stevie Wonder at the mall and he invited me to his concert.”
Dr. Howell said the recorded songs are now being mastered and prepared for release and he believes the 12-year-old might just be witnessing his singing career take off.
He was granted full permission to re- record and sing back one of Michael Jackson’s songs as well as another from Stevie Wonder in Hollywood. He recorded several other songs there. “In a short space of time, he learned those songs in LA and he recorded them in such short time—they were surprised to know that a little child can do all of that—because when he sings, Jamol would have to sing one line over and over and over, wake up early in the mornings up to late in the nights”, his mother stated.
Then he returned home and was bestowed a VIP welcome at the VC Bird International Airport. He made the front-page of the Antiguan newspapers.
Dr. Howell, who resides in New York, related his joy with working with the young musician and actor. “I am a paediatrician turned film maker. I have been to Guyana on a number of occasions doing some productions. As per Jamal, his first album will be released this summer. We have a video to be released April 29 for the song ‘Too Young’.
“We are planning a performance for Guyana during the summer so the locals can see him in action. Jamal had a role in a “TV Sitcom – Parental Guidance 101 or PG 101 for short. This sitcom was shot throughout the region (Antigua, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad) and will be released sometime in June”, he said.
Three weeks ago, Jamal traveled to Jamaica where he recorded his first music video, which will be released shortly.
When asked about his new album ‘Tomorrow’, Jamol stated that there are ten songs, two which he sang back from the King of Pop ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ and Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ and eight original songs.
“Most of the songs are about love”, he stated, ‘Too Young to Fall in love, ‘Tomorrow’ and others will be released this summer in Antigua. He also sings Gospel, Reggae and R&B music.
And when asked how he finds time for his school studies and music and acting, the lad’s mother replied that “as parents, we still have to be there to guide him and we have to help him set his priorities and time management, because he is a typical child and we have to be here to guide him.
“I never thought it would blossom into all of this. My sister was the one who encouraged me to push him. I never real paid much attention to him even though he was singing; and right now, things are turning to be very big. He is going to make it because he is a child that pushes his own self. He has this self- motivation in him that he can do a lot of things”, said Gordon.
When he is not singing and acting, he enjoys Social Media, Facebook and Twitter.
Gordon believes her son will reach even greater heights.
“There is a bright future for him, because everywhere we go, the same thing people tell us, ‘your son is talented and we know he is going to make it’”. She is ever grateful to Dr. Howell for “investing in him, because when he [Dr. Howell] took him to New York, a lot of producers wanted to work with him and the very first time he sang in the studio, one producer ran out of the studio, and said that he felt to confess his sins with the manner in which the boy was singing so sweetly”.
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