By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
Since the territory went into a full lockdown that has restricted the social movement of residents, local musician Brent Hoyte has turned challenge into opportunity by using social media as a tool to not only inspire but entertain.
The 26-year-old husband and father from Windy Hill Estate has been hosting live online ‘praise parties’ that have attracted audiences of a few thousand viewers.
During the first praise party that streamed live on Facebook on Sunday, March 29, more than 2,500 viewers tuned in. By the following Sunday, April 5, those numbers soared to 3,500 persons.
“I just wanted to encourage people. It can be depressing during this time – people losing their jobs, people are scared and they don’t know what’s going on,” Hoyte told BVI News on Wednesday.
“I know music alone brings people together and uplift people, and to me, music with Jesus in it is like the best of both worlds. So, in a sense, everybody feels peace. They could feel motivated to push on and hold on,” added Hoyte, who describes his brand of gospel music as ‘unconventional’.
Gospel with a VI soca flavour
He told BVI News his gospel has a Virgin Islands soca and zouk flavour, which he believes accounts for why he was able to reach so many persons.
Hoyte, a ‘preacher’s kid’, used his live stream to also pray and offer words of encouragement to his audiences. He even did a virtual altar call.
“Some people got saved too as well, so that’s a really cool factor. So for me, it’s getting the message across about Jesus. I do gospel music, but slightly different,” he said.
Who is Hoyte?
Hoyte is a full-time music teacher employed at Home Grown Studio for the past three years. He is the owner of Home Grown Musical Academy and the director of the High-Frequency Band.
Hoyte said he’s had a strong musical upbringing because his parents are musicians. The musical arranger attends the First Assembly of God Church in Lower Estate, Tortola.
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