Gospel rapper starts young

Published 1:18 pm Tuesday, December 2, 2008

By Staff
Seven-year-old discovered during recording session
Staff Writer
Gangster rappers move over. Kamoren Watts-White, just 7 years old, is getting noticed through his gospel-rap praise for Jesus.
His music carries a much-different message than the music of gangster rappers.
He wants others like him to not lose faith in God and themselves.
Kamoren has been recording praise-heavy, children’s-worship tracks since being noticed by Bill Ebison, an area music producer and former City of Washington employee who became known as the “Singing Meter Man.”
Kamoren’s grandmother, Marjelene Watts, has been going to recording sessions with Ebison for years. Watts brought her grandson along to a session in late spring — and a star may have been discovered then.
While Watts was laying down her vocals, Ebison noticed Kamoren was reading lyric sheets and singing along with his grandmother.
Watts said Ebison was surprised by how well her grandson picked up the song.
With Watts’ blessing, Ebison wrote a song the next day and gave the lyrics sheet to Kamoren to rehearse. Accompanied by a backing track provided by Ebison, Kamoren did just that.
Two days later, Watts and her grandson returned to the studio, where Kamoren lay down the vocals quickly.
Ebison, a record producer, said was astounded, according to Watts. He told Watts that her grandson was blessed.
The gospel-rap song, “Thank You, Lord,” was included on an album by the Eastern North Carolina Gospel Review. It has been played on AM radio stations in Greenville and Washington, according to Ebison.
Kamoren gravitated to gospel and rap music at a young age.
He started singing gospel with his grandmother when he was 3 years old. Watts would play gospel tracks at the family’s house in Pantego, and she would bring her grandson to worship at Cornerstone Tabernacle Outreach Church in Belhaven.
Kamoren took a liking to rap music. Kamoren’s mother, Sharon Watts, said the first song her son sang was “In Da Club” by gangster rapper 50 Cent. Watts said it was an edited version, of course.
The fusion of rap and gospel was a natural one for Kamoren, said his grandmother.
Kamoren lists some of his favorite rappers as Lil’ Wayne, T.I. and T-Pain.
But the young gospel rapper always keeps his faith, according to his grandmother.
Kamoren’s mother and grandmother said they try to make sure he maintains a proper focus with his music.
With the help of Ebison, Kamoren is trying to branch out from gospel rapping.
He recently recorded a jingle for McDonald’s, which Ebison sent to the company.
Kamoren hopes to send out more jingles to record labels, Nickelodeon and The Walt Disney Co.
Kamoren’s fans need not be concerned. He is working on a solo album.
Kamoren has performed at area churches in addition to Cornerstone Tabernacle Outreach Church.