Reggae artiste I Atom gave up a possible career as an agricultural engineer to pursue music, a decision she likes to a ‘religious calling’.
Two years ago, she walked away from her job as an agricultural extension officer in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. She had resigned her job to migrate to the USA to read for a master’s degree and then to pursue a job as an agricultural engineer.
“However, a couple weeks after, everything changed,” the artiste whose real name is Careen Hanchard, said.
She said that an angel set her on the path to pursue music, a “spiritual calling from the Almighty Himself”.
“An angel spoke to me and told me I was not mentally prepared to to spend another four years in the classroom. I was shocked because I am not from a musical background and I had never written a song or even tried to sing. But I never doubted the voice of the angel,” she said.
The next day, she began to pen songs and within a week, she had written several songs, enough to compile an EP. She hit the recording studios in January 2015 for record a demo for one of the songs, ‘Too Much Corruption’, and that song will be the lead track from her soon-to-be-released EP.
“I’ve come to realise that I was born with a purpose. God wants to use me as a vessel to spread positive messages throughout the world. I was to be an ambassador for positive reggae music. God has blessed me with the gift of music. Music called, I answered,” she said.
She was born in the Nine Miles area of St. Ann. As a teenager, she attended Ferncourt High in St. Ann before matriculating to the College of Agricultural Science and Education where she read for a degree in agricultural science.
She did an internship at Rural Agricultural Development Authority and three months later, landed a job at the Ministry of Agriculture before divine intervention set her on the path to pursue a music career as a gospel and cultural reggae artiste.
She explained the origin of her unusual name.
“I am small in body, and atom is the smallest unit of matter, and since atom represents matter, I want to use righteous music to represent the world. The I signifies God Almighty, the power of Almighty,” she said.
She began to grow her covenant in January 2015 because of her admiration for the tenets and beliefs of the Rastafarian movement.
“I believe that the world can be fed with righteousness, and if I was going to represent music in a righteous way, i would need to take on the armour of righteousness, I Atom is like a militant soldier in the army, and that’s why I started to grow my locks,” she said.
She shot and released a video for the single, ‘No Minimum Wage’ recently and she has been getting excellent feedback.
“People love it, they say it is meaningful, and every Jamaican and other people globally can relate to what I am saying, ‘we nah work for no minimum wage’. I once worked for minimum wage, but you can’t settle it, set yourself higher goals and move on to a higher level,” she said.