Former Digicel Rising Stars contestant Jermaine Michaels is getting a major boost with his reggae-flavoured single Am a Soldier , released on May 23 on the Big Dreams Production label.

The song speaks to perseverance in the face of insurmountable odds.

“After entering Rising Star in 2010, not many producers were willing to help. But one morning when I rise up I was there meditating and I heard a voice saying: ‘You are a soldier and don’t give up until you reach your goal’… So I just started singing ‘am a soldier’ and then words just start coming,” he said.

“This song is for every teenage mother faced with the decision to go back to school, for every young male trying to avoid the clutches of gang violence, for every ghetto youth who ever had a dream and felt that no one believed in that dream. We are all soldiers in the army of life,” Michaels continued.

According to the report by the United Nation Population Fund entitled Motherhood in Childhood: Facing the Challenge of Adolescent Pregnancy, a total of 20,000 girls under age 18 give birth each day in Jamaica and other developing countries.

Michaels has had a challenging time in music. He got recognition for songs such as Cornerstone and a collaboration with Etana called Who Is Responsible for This? but never got mainstream success.

Last year, he signed to Big Dreams Productions.

“For the last few years, I have been writing music. I believe in myself and I have perseverance, so I know that one day I will reach my goals. I want to encourage all up-coming artistes to hold on to your dreams and never give up,” he said.

He has upcoming shows in Barbados in July and another show confirmed for Oracabessa, St Mary in December. There are plans to release an EP in September.

“We have a EP coming out soon because right now we are in the studio putting some good songs together, so the fans can look out for that,” he said.

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