Mega award winner Bernice Blackie is back with a wavy new gospel song taking the airwaves by storm. Being on a break from the music scenes for a while did not dull her brilliance as she has bounced back with a goose bump inducing worship song titled "What Kind Of God You Are?"
Bernice is not just an ordinary gospel musician, she is a trailblazer. As a young singer back in 2013 and 2014, she saved the Liberian gospel music industry from being dominated by foreign gospel songs due to the local industry's focus on the bible story-telling kind of songs.
She managed to achieve such feat with the release of two smash hit singles "Father's Love and You Na Do It Again", which came with fresh new sounds in their production, with word-filled lyrics.
For over one year, both singles engulfed Liberia like a wide fire, thereby making history as some of the few hit songs in the modern history of the Liberian music industry lasting on the airwaves for more than a year.
About seven years ago, according to prominent Liberian Disc Jockey, DJ As A Boy, the Liberian gospel music industry was experiencing some serious problem, which led to foreign gospel songs dominating the airwaves.
"This problem came as a direct result of having too many gospel songs that were made on unimproved beats and also not motivational. Because of these factors, foreign gospel music began to dominate the Liberian airwaves; thereby leaving very little airtime for Liberian gospel music.
"The situation was getting rampant until little known Bernice Blackie came with her 'Father's Love' single and later, 'You Na Do It Again', which turned the tides around. Both singles were able to make an impact because they gave more of an international flavor and standard like been filled with inspirational and motivational lyrics captivating the young and old alike."
Born in Monrovia, Liberia on November 6, 1990, Bernice Bartehn Blackie started singing at the age of eight in her family's church choir as a backup singer. Coming into her own, yet staying true to her Christian roots, her music took on an eclectic mix of Afro-pop, hip-hop and soul.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer newspaper, Bernice Blackie revealed that "the idea to do upbeat songs mixed with different genre beats came as the result after the first song I released, Crucifixion, failed to make a huge impact. It was then that I realized that I needed to do something different that would intrigue everyone and it worked.
"Thanks to my producer Infectious Michael, we were able to listen to the people's demand through Crucifixion's rejection and found something that could cater to their needs and spiritual wellbeing.
"As a gospel musician, I am a servant of the people; and so I try to produce songs that inspire, encourage and motivate people to do the right thing since there is a lot going on.
"Lots of people are broken and just need healing and hope and this is what I bring to them in my songs including 'Father's Love' and 'You Na Do It'.
"Both songs became an instant hit and turned the tide around in favor of Liberian gospel music to regain its notable presence on the airwaves because of its motivational lyrics that inspire people and lifts them up."
Beginning of her career
Despite her rise to stardom, Bernice has had her own share of the misfortunes of life. In early 2006, she was taken to Ghana for medical treatment after suffering an unknown ailment for a protracted period of time. The sickness, according to her, led to paralysis in the leg, leaving her crawling on the floor for months. She endured extreme family rejection along the way, but managed to keep hope alive through music, especially hanging onto Whitney Houston for inspiration: "If it was not because of the grace of God, I could have been crippled by now. And when I got better, I decided to dedicate my life and talent to the spread of the Gospel."
True to her word, after recovery, Bernice made her first break into the world of gospel music with her participation in Ghana's TV3 Mentor singing competition as a backup vocalist.
After three years in Ghana, Bernice returned to Liberia and again participated in another singing competition, Sing Unto God, as a solo artist, which she won. "After that competition, my gospel career took flight and in a few months' time in 2010, I dropped my first gospel track titled Crucifixion.
"My talent was discovered by my father at the age of eight and he encouraged me to dedicate my gift to the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"I started singing at the tender age of eight in my father's Church's senior choir. The beginning was a struggle. The older folks in the choir didn't want me singing with them. Over time, I gained their trust and started to sing lead.
After three years of sabbatical, catering to family needs, Bernice Blackie has begun working tirelessly to clinch her spot back with the release of the single 'What Kind of God You Are' which is making an impact.
Her return to the scene have been met with strong support from gospel music lovers who have long yearned for her return.
"You know, I never wanted to go on a break, but I had no choice. However, I'm glad that I'm back and the early response from the public is encouraging. Currently, I'm in studio working on some good tracks to be released soon."
The track which has racked up over one thousand four hundred downloads on the Tunes Liberia website can be downloaded free of charge at https://tunesliberia.com/bernice-blackie-what-kind-of-god-you-are/