It all started when a very emotional Ebola track “Ebola stay away from Africa” was aired on Hottfm 107.9 on “Disturbing the Peace’s” late night radio show.
Nearly a hundred callers called in wanting to know more about the artist behind the song, and why Ebola mattered to him so much.
Luckily, we were able to contact the Liberian performer who’s been contributing for many years of essential instrumentals, songs and hope for Liberian music.
Prince Sherman Thomas, commonly known as ‘JustPrince’ is an artist worth talking about; he’s also the powerful voice behind the Ebola track. He’s been adding flavor to some of your favorite songs and working with some Gospel and R&B headliners.
“I have been fortunate to work with big artists such as Jeff Majors and Trinitee 5-7. I was also on a production team for Whitney Houston. I am a member of Glorious Lamps International and we were privileged to be in a concert with Hezekiah Walker. And on a more international level, I have worked with Sonnie Badu and the Prophet Seth Bah,” JustPrince says.
What’s important in this deadly Ebola fight knowing that spirited people such as JustPrince feels the pain of those who have been affected directly. According to him, he came out with the emotional track “Ebola stay away from Africa” after learning he had also lost a relative to the deadly disease.
“I became inspired to do the Ebola song following the death of my cousin Sharon Washington from the virus. In my grief, the words "Ebola stay away from Africa" came to me and I immediately got up around two in the morning and went to the studio to record it,” he shared.
Though many Liberians have stories to tell about their own experiences, we hope that one-day they all will be told. While Ebola is said to be slowly winding down in these parts, there’s another battle to be fought: the fact that many Liberians at home and abroad are being stigmatized.
“Ebola has affected me as a Liberian who is here in America because it’s my home and day by day I am hearing and watching my fellow country men and women passing away. Food is said to be scarce because the markets can't open. I personally still have family back home whom I’m unable to protect. I would like to encourage all those in Africa who have been plagued by the Ebola virus to stay prayerful, continue to trust in GOD who is the master healer. It may not seem like it right now, but Ebola will pass,” he says.
JustPrince has been musically gifted for quite awhile, and has his own story to tell. The strong spirit that can be felt through his voice in his Ebola track doesn’t just come from deep within. But the force in his lyrics comes from a past that he didn’t mind sharing with LIB LIFE.
“As an artist in the gospel spectrum, I reflect back from time to time on some of the things God has allowed me to go through,” he narrates. “I started to play the piano at a very young age and over time I was given many opportunities for my skills to grow. But as a young child, I became seriously ill. I was so sick that I was literally knocking on death's door, but GOD healed me.
“I chose to be a gospel artist because I grew up in a Christian home. Over the years God has done many great things in my life. For instance, during the war, one of the rebel soldiers wanted to execute me and again GOD delivered me,” he testified.
Meanwhile, JustPrince has made a lot of hearts warmer through his Ebola track. He has helped many to cope with the reality of the damage caused by Ebola when it’s eradicated.
He’s also helping to develop the capacities of other Liberian musical artists. The latest about to grow under his tutelage will be the Liberian gospel vocal powerhouse, Bernice Blackie, who is presently in the USA.
“I have had the great pleasure in giving back to the Liberian community musically and the joy of building up artists and watching them grow into their GOD given potential.”