Christmas reflections with Tricray and Adrian
Itís been an incredibly busy year for Christian gospel duo Last Call.
Tricray Astwood and Adrian Jones have toured the US, collaborated with gospel greats abroad and ministered at countless events around the island.
And the year is not done yet.
Their next appearance will be at Evening Light Pentecostal Churchís New Year Celebration. The free event starts at 10pm on December 31.
The singers spoke to The Royal Gazette about what Christmas means to them and what God has taught them in 2017.
RG: What is your favourite Christmas memory?
Tricray: Waking up as a boy, earlier than everyone else, and opening my presents. That may seem generic but it was something about that feeling that made Christmas come alive! Later that day we would go to a large family gathering and Iíd get to show off my new toys to all my cousins. Christmases as a child were definitely amazing.
Adrian: I would say my favourite memory would be playing football with my little brother and cousins in the yard before we all go inside to open presents and play games. I really enjoy spending time with my family thatís why itís my favourite memory!
RG: Overall, as a believer, what does Christmas mean to you?
Tricray: Christmas is all about Jesus! He is the first Christmas and now that Iím a believer, He is my sole focus from the holiday.
Adrian: Yeah I totally agree with that ó Jesus is the reason for the season!
RG: How do you typically celebrate the holiday? Do you have any traditions aimed at putting Christ first?
Tricray: I normally just spend it with my whole family. In terms of putting Christ first, I like to read The Christmas Story and give thanks in prayer for the birth and life of Jesus.
Adrian: I also spend the day with my family. As far as making it Christ-centred, I believe that I live every day Christ-centred but on Christmas I get to lead our family prayer and put into focus the reason for the season.
RG: What is your favourite Christmas song? And holiday movie?
Tricray: My favourite song is The Christmas Song. When it comes to movies I like Home Alone and Home Alone 2.
Adrian: Hmmm Ö I would have to say that I love Luther Vandrossís whole Christmas album This Is Christmas. I canít pick just one song! And movie? The very old, old, old movie that has a character called Baby New Year in it. Itís called Rudolphís Shiny New Year from 1976.
RG: What was the best gift you ever received under the tree?
Tricray: Probably my Talkboy from Home Alone. It was my first recording device. Now I get to use professional studios. I guess that was the beginning, the spark.
Adrian: I would say when I got a PS3 as a teenager because it was a total surprise.
RG: What is your favourite part of the Christmas meal?
Tricray: Definitely Cassava pie. I make a good pie too.
Adrian: Oh boy, everything. The full meal ó macaroni and cheese, turkey, roasted potatoes, rice, ham, you name it.
RG: How will you be celebrating the holiday this year? Will it be any different from past years (especially for you Adrian as a newlywed)?
Tricray: For me, it will be spending time with my family as usual.
Adrian: Well for me it will be a bit different. My wife and I will open up the presents that we got each other first and foremost and then we will go to her familyís house for breakfast. After that we will go to my familyís house for lunch and dinner.
RG: What gigs/events do you have coming up over the next two weeks?
Tricray: We have an event at Evening Light Pentecostal Church on New Yearís Eve. The event is called #Next Level. Big Snipes will also be in the building!!! Itís going to be amazing! The event starts at 10pm and will finish around 12.30pm!
RG: What is your wish for people, the Bermuda community, this holiday season?
Tricray: My wish would be for people to get back to the heart of Christmas ó Jesus first, family second. Everything else comes after.
Adrian: I agree once again with Tricray. I would also like to add my wish is for everyone to be safe and drive responsibly. Treat everyone with respect and love one another during this beautiful holiday.
RG: How would you sum up the year 2017 for Last Call?
Tricray: We have had an incredible year. One highlight would be our Gospel vs Cancer concert held in November.
It opened a door for us to record our new song with Grammy Award-winning producer Fred Jerkins in Atlanta.
The project is a compilation featuring yours truly, Jonathan Nelson, Alexis Spite and Bishop Paul Morton just to name a few.
To be selected among those incredible artists is such a huge and humbling honour.
The best memory, however, would have to be when we ministered at the Co-ed Facility for their Christmas service. We originally had two slower songs picked out, but an inmate screamed out, ďCan you sing I got My Freedom?Ē. So we decided to open with that and the glory of God swept through that place like never before. As they were dancing and singing with us they were crying and hugging one another. It was the best display of presence of God.
RG: What were the biggest lessons you learnt about yourself? About God in 2017?
Tricray: Wow. I learnt and am continuing to learn who I am in God. Iím becoming the best version of me. Iím learning to trust God totally and completely. He truly does have a plan for me and itís beautiful watching it unfold.
Adrian: For me, God is teaching me to totally depend on Him, and to trust the process. A lot of times we want things to happen how and when we want it but like I said, God is teaching me to trust Him in all things.