IN an evening of praise and worship with one voice, gospel artiste Mekaiel Gonzales will be celebrating over a decade in the industry as he reflects on a challenging journey that has been marked by trials, disappointments, tribulations, loss, and difficulty.
Yet, despite all the obstacles he has faced, Gonzales's remarkable faith, perseverance, and unwavering dedication to his craft have kept him going.
His 12th-anniversary concert With One Voice on June 18, at the Creative Arts Centre, San Fernando, is a testament to his commitment and resilience, a symbol of his unwavering trust in God's plan for his life, and a time to celebrate his triumphs and successes in the face of adversity.
The show, which will start at 6 pm, will feature Blessed Messenger, Nisa, Wayne Harris, St Hillaire Brothers, Sade Sealey and many others. Some of whom have been part of this 12-year journey.
Tickets are $150 and are available on caritickets.com and IADPA Bookstore, St Augustine; Maranatha Open Bible Book And Gift Centre, San Fernando; OLPH Our Daily Bread, Bookshop and Cafe, Harris Promenade, San Fernando, and Escape Grooming, Vistabella.
Speaking to Newsday on Wednesday Gonzales said, “I've been enamoured by gospel music from a mighty young age. It started with the ministry of my father and moved into my first introduction to Kirk Franklin, Bebe and Cece Winans, Donnie McClurkin, and more.
“At age 15 was when I really felt much more connected to gospel music though and that was because of the personal relationship that I started to develop with God.
“The music has been, as some say, 'the soundtrack of my life' and I wouldn't change the experiences I've had with it then to now.
“I've seen so much in the lives of my parents and especially in my own life, that when I decided to enter the world of entertainment it felt like a no-brainer for me to say 'gospel music is what I want to do.'
“Growing up in a singing family within the Christian space, I can admit that that played a part in me not seeing it as an issue to embark on this journey of being an artiste within gospel music. However, I'm always adamant that it was never a matter of feeling ‘pressured’ to do this particular genre but rather seeing so much that God's brought me through that I knew that the talent he loaned to me had to be given back to him.
“I believe some folks are meant to be in different spaces of the entertainment world. Not everyone is meant or cut out to be a Christian artist.
As he looks back on the past 12 years, Gonzales said he is amazed at how far he has come and is excited to see where the future will take him.
Gonzales also spoke of the challenges of balancing gospel music as a business and gospel as a ministry.
“There are many challenges just as much as there are many opportunities to make this all possible but the biggest thing of all is that you have to lean on Christ wholeheartedly to take you where He wants you to go.”
Gonzales also spoke of losing his father, Tony Gonzales, months ago and a close mentor, Samuel Dyer.
“I wouldn't say my music changed since my father's passing, however, the praise and worship songs that I do have been speaking to me in a much deeper way and I'm just allowing God to have His way through the music as I press on.”
Despite all setbacks, Gonzales’ unwavering faith, perseverance, and determination have propelled him to this moment of celebration, a testimony to the goodness of God and his faithfulness.