Son of Westmoreland, in Western Jamaica, Kevin Dwayne Downswell was born on July 24, 1981. Like many other evangelists, he had a story; a unique story that takes his journey across four parishes on the small island.
He grew up in a town called Smithfield and attended Unity and Ferris primary schools in Savanna-la-mar, before moving to Hellshire Park in St. Catherine where he attended the Port Henderson Primary School. Amidst the many challenges he faced as a child, especially financially, he was always at the top of his class in school.
A well- mannered young lad, Kevin would walk diligently for two miles to school each day and 2 miles back to a community with no electricity. This did not phase him, as he would crouch under the faint light of a kerosene oil lamp to ensure that his home work was complete and to be ready for exams. He spent a short time with his father Patrick, but most of his childhood was with his mother Miriam. They both did what they could to provide a solid foundation for him.
While trying to transition into adolescent years, he attended the Melrose Primary and Junior High. As excellent at student he was, because of financial constraints, Kevin wasn’t able to sit the Common Entrance Exam to enter high school, so he had to move to the next grade and patiently wait for better days.
Better days did arrive as he received the chance to sit the technical entrance exam and passed for Jose Marti Technical in 1993. He later graduated from Jose Marti with 6 CXC’s and went on to do Upper Sixth Form at Camperdown High School in Kingston.
Kevin’s gift of music did not surface until he was about 13 years old, when family members and friends over-heard him singing on his downtime. Some were amazed and were not aware of how great his vocals were. Kevin would sing in church, school and small functions, but it wasn’t until 2003 that he emerged as a rising gospel artiste when he entered and won the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) Gospel Song Competition. His journey in ministry was now fully activated.
In 2005, Kevin was ordained to the office of an evangelist, the same year he graduated from the University of the West Indies, Mona with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry. His hopes of becoming a medical doctor would now come to a halt as he stepped into full-time ministry. Though this was not an easy decision, Kevin felt God’s calling with confirmation from mentors who guided him through this life changing journey. He knew God’s unmistakable voice, for this was the same voice that had given him direction throughout his childhood years when he needed it most.
Now an ordained evangelist, author, motivational speaker and international recording artiste, Kevin is at the helm of Kevin Downswell Ministries where he is leading with much success.
In 2005, he had his first major hit Naah Bow on which he collaborated with DJ Nicholas and Jermaine Edwards. The song won the 2006 Marlin Awards for Best Reggae Recording of the Year and has become an anthem to youths across the Caribbean. It did not end there, he was one of a few Jamaican artistes chosen to be a part of an international compilation album produced by Tennyson Walters of Our Father’s Music Business, located in New Jersey in the U.S. This album became the first reggae album to top the New York and Florida charts simultaneously in 2006. A major feat for Kevin, as his two contributions to this album namely: Evildoers (Fret Not) and Since the World Didn’t Love Me was being played across the world in various territories such as Japan, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. God was gradually enlarging his borders and in that same year he had his first international tour in Canada.
In 2008 he released his first studio album Close to You, dubbed ‘one of the most successful debut projects’ by a Jamaican gospel artiste. He made the charts that same year with his title track Close to You. The album quickly gained steam worldwide, hitting the top spots on charts in the US, UK and Canada.
Four years later he released his sophomore album The Search Continues, which catapulted his ministry and presence on the local and international gospel scene. The hit single You make me Stronger has become an anthem for gospel enthusiasts and fans all over.
Downswell earned many accolades for his work in the gospel ministry including the award for Male Artiste of the year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year by the New York-based Love Gospel International Awards based in New York; Youth View Award for Favorite Gospel Artiste in Jamaica for three consecutive years; Star Award for Gospel Artiste of year, Love 101 FM Engage Alien Award for Artiste of the Year, Best gospel song “If It’s Not You” for the International Reggae & World Music Award
Other achievements include nominations in six (6) categories in the Sterling Awards Marlin Award; Atlanta Gospel Music Award; Paramount Gospel Music Award for Best Male Vocalist; E.M.E Award; among many others.
During his career, Downswell has been privileged to share the stage with some of gospels greatest; Donnie McClurkin, Israel Houghton, Kirk Franklin, Byron Cage, Tye Tribbett and Michael W. Smith and many others. He has done numerous performances in the US, Canada, across the Caribbean, South America, Europe, including the UK, Japan and parts of Africa including Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. He was also invited to minister at Pastor Donnie McClurkin’s church on Watchnight to ring in 2017.
In July 2015, Downswell released his first book The Search Continues…The Journey. This book is currently available worldwide.
His third studio album entitled All The Way was released in June 2016 in Kingston, Jamaica and promoted through a six-parish tour, which attracted thousands of patrons. Plans are being put in place to for tours across the US, Canada, The UK, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean for 2017. The album features hit songs such as “Goodbye World”, All the Way and the Meaning of Life.
Kevin is supported in ministry by his lovely wife Marsha Downswell. He is a man who always deflects all praises and accolades to God. He is a lover of God, a worshipper and is ready to take his service “All the Way”.