Artist Name:Wayne Stoddart
Page Name Wayne Stoddart
Evolution to Revolution: The Life of Wayne Stoddart
There are people in this world whose heart needs a message; a message they won’t find or hear in the traditional church. They are not church goers but they long to hear the sovereign words of God and partake in his salvation. They are unique individuals in society who free themselves from titles and instead march to the beat of a different drum while listening to the lyrics of untraditional songs, redemptionsongs; songs born from the inspiration of The Righteous Rockers Movement.
Wayne Stoddart was born during the seventies in the capital city of Kingston Jamaica. He grew up amidst a time when violence, classism, political conflict and a turbulent financial economy was the norm. Wayne is one of four siblings; but only one brother Steve Stoddart, a year older than he, shared his interest in music. The duo, singing from a young age, gravitated to music where they found solace, instead of being drawn into street behavior from their outside environment. Wayne grounded himself in a local church assembly, the Mountain View New Testament Church of God, where he later became their musical director. As fate would have it, this was the beginning of Wayne’s artistic introduction to the world.
Stoddart was still a youngster when his mother moved him from Kingston to live with his dad and step-mom in the hills of Trelawny, Jamaica. This was where the seed of his cultural roots were planted. Away from the city, he was in his native country element which allowed him to fully embrace the indigenous history of reggae culture. Wayne examined roots men, Rastafarians, aboriginals and common folks alike who listened to reggae music, some consciously and unconsciously. Some just listened because they vibe to the intriguing rhythm that reggae invites not being fully aware of the lyrical impact of what they are partaking. Wayne wanted to however spread the message of truth and affirm that the scriptures aligned to Jesus Christ.
Stoddart came to the profound realization, however, that these “listeners” of reggae music embraced indoctrinated messages imparted to them through synergistic rhythms and amplified beats. He immediately knew his calling and that reggae music was the vehicle he was going to use to transmit the message of the cross through Jesus Christ. “Music is just the vehicle,” [to win souls] states Stoddart, whose priority in music ministry is to “take back what has been captured by the enemy.”
Uncovering new meaning to the music, a reformed Wayne now had a new image of how he wanted his music to sound. This was the platform to the birth of the Righteous Rockers Movement, though at the time, Stoddart had not yet begun to conceptualize the journey for which he was about to embark.
Stoddart continued on the music path and while attending William Knibb High School, passed the practical and theoretical exam at the Royal School of Music (RSM). An early realization that poverty was real all around gave him an appreciation for education as was often enforced by his father, who provided for their household on a bus driver’s income. With not much selection of after-schoolactivities, Stoddart engrossed himself with musical instruments, seeking every opportunity to perfect his craft, even teaching himself how to play piano and bass guitar. He developed his taste for music, secular and sacred, from dabbling with dub plates and testing his lyrical creativity to mirror radio influences like Dennis Brown, Ray Charles, Al Green, Sam Cooke and the Wailers who he affectionately listened to at the time.
At 19, Stoddart moved back to Eastern Kingston. He attended Excelsior College and served as the musical director for Mountain View New Testament Church which yielded the singing group Dynamis, formed by members of the congregation. Wayne self-produced his first album titled, “Fulfillment of the Bible” and under his direction, Dynamis was nominated “Best Performing Gospel Band” in March of 1996 by the Jamaica Music Awards.
Wayne continued to fine tune his melodies delivering single hits like “Fulfillment of the Bible” and “Sheltered in The Arms of God.” In 2002, he released his debut solo album entitled “Committed,” which promptly received recognition when the album was nominated for “Best New Gospel Reggae Album” by the New York Caribbean Gospel Awards (NYCGA) and subsequently won the award for“Most Distinguished Male Vocals.” The same album was nominated “Best Male Gospel Reggae Album” the following year in 2003 by the Marlin Gospel Awards. Stoddart released his sophomore album, “Love Convictions” in 2008, a compilation of inspirational reggae lyrics that firstly, “addresses the issues of misplaced priorities plaguing humanity” and secondly compelling listeners to believe in the greatest command; to love God and each other. The album captured three awards at the NYCGA Awards, establishing Stoddart as a conscious reggae phenomenon that had yet to leave his handprint on the world.
In 2009, Wayne formed the Righteous Rockers Movement, a group devoted to uplifting souls with the message of Christ’s love expressed through authentic, soul stirring reggae music. Though traditionally, reggae has not been embraced within churches as sacred music. “All music is from God,” says Stoddart, “because God created all things.” “It’s all about freeing the soul from the spiritual and mental enslavement of the enemy,” states Stoddart who recently released his third solo album titled, “It Is Written.” The album earned him a Marlin Awards in 2017. “It is written” urges believers to focus on the written instruction of God, which holds the solution to everything mankind faces. “God can and will use anything for his glory, so we cannot place him into a box,” Wayne says with firm resolve. “God can use a vessel of dishonor to bring across his word and reggae music is no different. What matters is the lyrical content being delivered.” “They thought Jesus was radical because he reached out to prostitutes and tax collectors. My music is untraditional yes, but it isn’t radical. It’s just music!”
Unmoved by public opinion, Wayne asserts that freedom from spiritual bondage belong to those whom God has set free; the permeating message on his new track titled, “Righteous Revolution,” featuring the militant voice of St. Matthew. Personal and professional challenges are commonplace to any believer steadfast in carrying out God’s mission. It seems even more so for those who deliver Christ’s message through music. But Stoddart isn’t easily rattled opposition. His devotion, to his creator is foremost, secondly to his family and third to his music.
Stoddart has no anticipation of slowing down as kingdom ministry beckons. Amidst being a full time musician and his calling to serve in the ministry, Wayne is a family man and business professional. This strong sense of prioritization trumps all desires for worldly accolades and keeps him grounded to his original commitment; to use reggae music as a vehicle to deliver the message of Jesus Christ. For Wayne, the revolution has just begun!
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