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On Island Profile: Bernard Smith

Nov. 30, 2008 — Bernard Smith is on a personal mission to influence youth with his own Christian music. He said kids today are exposed to a lot of music that is violent in nature and that music can lead to bad behavior.
"Gangster music gets kids in trouble," Smith said.
He knows about a life of crime and getting in trouble firsthand. He spent five years in jail for selling marijuana. But he said he has put that all behind him with his faith in God and his ministry in songwriting, singing and motivational speaking geared toward children.
"Children need to hear from people who know about the dangers of drugs," Smith said. "We can all learn from other peoples mistakes."
He said he got in trouble with drugs and drinking and he "got stuck" by the law in Guadeloupe. He got caught with about 50 grams the first time he was busted. The officials released him hoping that he would be caught again dealing larger amounts of weed. And he was — he got caught again with 60 kilos.
After he was released the second time he found the Lord and was "born again" and began his ministry in song.
Smith, originally from Dominica, got his interest and talent in music from his father, a longtime choir director in the Catholic Church. Smith recalled that his love of music started around the age of five.
"I remember playing 'Auld Lang Syne' as my first song on the accordion when I was seven," Smith said. "I don't read music – I play by ear." He said he is a natural at playing the drums, guitar, harmonica and flute with the drums his favorite instrument. He has been writing music for more than 30 years.
He said at one time he was crowned the Dominica carnival calypso king.
"I have seen a lot of violence in carnival — so I have nothing to do with carnivals anymore," he says. His music still has a Calypsonian style and beat with some songs sung in creole.
Smith moved to St. Croix 18 years ago to better himself in his music and expand his opportunities at ministry. For 13 years he has utilized the recording studio of Al Baptiste in Princess. He has recorded nine CDs some of those along with his Crucian wife, Angela Smith.
Listening to Smith's CD "Jesus is the Best" one can hear his wife's soulful alto in perfect harmony. One of the songs on the track is named "Living Right," a song about everyone living in harmony with the words "Peace and love for everyone from the Lord above. That is how God wants us to be — to live in harmony."
In his music ministry for children, Smith sings at private schools and does motivational speaking. He is his own agent, booking concerts and performances at churches, weddings, campaigns and singing for senior citizens.
"It is God's business, so he will always bless me," Smith says. "Sometimes I make money. Getting a little is enough."
Besides doing shows, Smith sells his CDs himself at Sunny Isles Shopping Center and elsewhere.
The future looks promising for Smith in what he said is an upcoming movie about his life. He met a woman on St. Thomas who hooked him up with Raymond Francois, a producer at Filmpool in Burbank, Cal. He hopes maybe by January the producer will come to St. Croix and start the movie.
"Right now I'm set with everything," Smith says. "I can make it in the world 'cause I'm set spiritually, physically and financially to help people — children in particular."
To get copies of Smith's CDs, email him at basmithmusic@yahoo.com.
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Nov. 30, 2008 -- Bernard Smith is on a personal mission to influence youth with his own Christian music. He said kids today are exposed to a lot of music that is violent in nature and that music can lead to bad behavior.
"Gangster music gets kids in trouble," Smith said.
He knows about a life of crime and getting in trouble firsthand. He spent five years in jail for selling marijuana. But he said he has put that all behind him with his faith in God and his ministry in songwriting, singing and motivational speaking geared toward children.
"Children need to hear from people who know about the dangers of drugs," Smith said. "We can all learn from other peoples mistakes."
He said he got in trouble with drugs and drinking and he "got stuck" by the law in Guadeloupe. He got caught with about 50 grams the first time he was busted. The officials released him hoping that he would be caught again dealing larger amounts of weed. And he was -- he got caught again with 60 kilos.
After he was released the second time he found the Lord and was "born again" and began his ministry in song.
Smith, originally from Dominica, got his interest and talent in music from his father, a longtime choir director in the Catholic Church. Smith recalled that his love of music started around the age of five.
"I remember playing 'Auld Lang Syne' as my first song on the accordion when I was seven," Smith said. "I don't read music – I play by ear." He said he is a natural at playing the drums, guitar, harmonica and flute with the drums his favorite instrument. He has been writing music for more than 30 years.
He said at one time he was crowned the Dominica carnival calypso king.
"I have seen a lot of violence in carnival -- so I have nothing to do with carnivals anymore," he says. His music still has a Calypsonian style and beat with some songs sung in creole.
Smith moved to St. Croix 18 years ago to better himself in his music and expand his opportunities at ministry. For 13 years he has utilized the recording studio of Al Baptiste in Princess. He has recorded nine CDs some of those along with his Crucian wife, Angela Smith.
Listening to Smith's CD "Jesus is the Best" one can hear his wife's soulful alto in perfect harmony. One of the songs on the track is named "Living Right," a song about everyone living in harmony with the words "Peace and love for everyone from the Lord above. That is how God wants us to be -- to live in harmony."
In his music ministry for children, Smith sings at private schools and does motivational speaking. He is his own agent, booking concerts and performances at churches, weddings, campaigns and singing for senior citizens.
"It is God's business, so he will always bless me," Smith says. "Sometimes I make money. Getting a little is enough."
Besides doing shows, Smith sells his CDs himself at Sunny Isles Shopping Center and elsewhere.
The future looks promising for Smith in what he said is an upcoming movie about his life. He met a woman on St. Thomas who hooked him up with Raymond Francois, a producer at Filmpool in Burbank, Cal. He hopes maybe by January the producer will come to St. Croix and start the movie.
"Right now I'm set with everything," Smith says. "I can make it in the world 'cause I'm set spiritually, physically and financially to help people -- children in particular."
To get copies of Smith's CDs, email him at basmithmusic@yahoo.com.
Back Talk


Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.