Queen Gee Interviews Gospel Singer Probemaster
He is new on the music scene as a recording artiste, but certainly no stranger to entertainment at large. Founder of Probemaster Entertainment, David Tulloch, professionally known as Probemaster (the artiste) speaks with us about the release of his new single, which is titled Suffer the Loss. The gospel single was produced by David Tulloch, Alex Martin-Blanken & Dwon Reid and was officially released on August 17, 2019.
Queen Gee: Tell us about your entertainment background and history?
Probemaster: Well, I’m currently the theatre manager of the highly accolade Phoenix Theatre and managing director and founder of the multi-award winning Probemaster Entertainment. By practice I’m a playwright, director, composer, actor, producer, technical designer and director. I started with the Jamaica Junior Theatre, the youth arm of the Jamaica Musical Theatre Company and then eventually crossed over to commercial theatre. Since then Probemaster Entertainment has provided over 20 years of entertainment from plays to parties, to concerts, to beach parties, to weddings, to stage shows, to events. We’ve trained many of the young and upcoming stars in local theatre, some are now at a noteworthy, award-winning level.
Queen Gee: What motivated your decision to become a recording artiste?
Probemaster: Music was one of my passions before theatre. I’ve been a disc jock, beat and rhythm producer, lyricist, composer, and song writer. I have even performed my original work live. For some strange reason it never got to the recording stage and even when it did it was never on any professional level. Somehow the variables were never right and so I would shy away from it. However, whenever I am around it…I’m moved. God knew why it didn’t happen before. Simply because He didn’t want me singing the kind of music that I would have recorded. So now I have reached a comfortable point in my theatre career with lots of records and achievements, so now it’s time to shift the focus a bit to give the music a chance.
Queen Gee: Do you specialize only in the gospel music genre?
Probemaster: Well yes mainly gospel at this point, any variations would be something patriotic or inspirational, but definitely guided by the Holy Spirit.
Queen Gee: Who are your biggest gospel music influences and why?
Probemaster: Jermaine Edwards and Kevin Downswell have been those I’ve been following since getting to this point. Their music as creative as they are has a lot of truth to it and they stay faithful to the Holy Spirit at the same time. I respect them for that. I have high regards for Carlene Davis, Judith Gayle, Junior Tucker and Chevelle Franklin as well.
Queen Gee: Who does your music target and what is the message you want to convey to them?
Probemaster: At present my music is targeted towards people like me who have recognized that Christ is the one true King and are on a journey to Him. These people are not perfect and the transition will not be an overnight experience but they have accepted Him as their Savior and know their flaws and just want to be whole in Him. Also, those who have an appreciation for the Word being sung through dancehall. The music is not all dancehall but the majority has that flavor.
Queen Gee: Tell us about your latest music project.
Probemaster: Suffer the Loss is my current single released. I’m proud of myself for finally getting through the gate with a song. It’s been getting good rotation on air and I give thanks for that. I’ve been recently offered a few shows but unfortunately I had to decline as I believe in concentrating on the music and getting the listeners more acquainted with what I’m offering musically. A lot of artistes are there but not connecting with people who would like to listen to them.
Queen Gee: What feedback are you receiving from its promotion?
Probemaster: The feedback has been surprisingly positive for the most part. Even on the international scale. I’ve been getting positive feedback from various people all across the world, some don’t even speak English. This has been encouraging to say the least.
Queen Gee: How do you balance your time as a recording artiste while undertaking your role as an actor, theatre producer and director?
Probemaster: Well I’m still trying to manage that balance as the theatre life is pretty demanding at this time and I don’t want to disappoint the fans, especially since the plays are not of a more Christian nature. However, 2020 should see me more focused on music. It’s kind of easy now because it’s pretty much just recording and getting the music out on digital and radio platforms.
Queen Gee: Where online is your music available for streaming and purchase?
Probemaster: At present on iTunes, amazon and other digital platforms.
Queen Gee: Are there any plans for upcoming concerts/tours to promote your new project and for your fans to see you perform as an artiste?
Probemaster: Not immediately as I think lots more groundwork needs to be done, so people are more familiar with the material. However, Mystique Professional Services, my PR agency and I have been discussing a launch, so that’s in the works. The fans should know however though, that we are ready and waiting for the opportune to bless God with them, but we want to set it right first.
Queen Gee: Where online can your fans find information about you?
Probemaster: Thankfully I have been blessed so there is a myriad of information about me on Google and the internet at large. However, there is Probemastermusic on Facebook, probemaster197 on Instagram, Probemastermusic.com is the website, and on Twitter at probemusicja.
Queen Gee: How can music producers and event promoters contact you for bookings?
Probemaster: My number is 876-442-1669, email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen Gee: What next can we expect from THE Probemaster?
Probemaster: The EP would be next. Most of the tracks are ready already, I just wanted to see how Probemaster would be received as an artiste and how Suffer the Loss would have done as a single. Since the feedback has been positive, I forge ahead.
Hall of Fame Inductee – David Tulloch (Citation) 18 years (contributed).
It was at a family gathering at the young age of 14 that a group of children was asked what their aspirations were in terms of a future profession that sparked the flame. Whilst, the others exclaimed “doctors” “lawyers” “accountants” etc. young David was already certain of his destiny as he exclaimed “I am already my own C.E.O.” In fact he was going to start his company in short order. The majority scoffed at it and laughed thinking it was youthful exuberance. What they didn’t know it was already a plan in the making.
David Tulloch is not your average young man. Not surprisingly, his achievements belie his tender years. In fact, his impressive string of accomplishments would speak admirably of one twice his age. Yet he is not one contented to rest on his laurels or bask in past success. Driven by the dint of hard labour and the consistent pursuit of excellence, he continues to chalk up accolade after accolade in a variety of fields. This gifted young man, with his energetic passion for life, has already distinguished himself as a performer of note, award winning poet, award winning writer, composer and playwright, producer, singer, actor, designer and director. Even as he continues to hone an obvious gift for writing, several of his plays have been successfully produced and they include works done by the Jamaica Musical Theatre Company, and his very own Probemaster Entertainment. David’s recount of the passion narrative and crucifixion has been touring the island for over a decade. He has educational pieces done by Universities and children’s plays that are appreciated island-wide. He has been a disc jock and a host at various parties, beach parties, hotels, cultural and Jamaica nights. Quite distinctly, this versatile young role model was also a Champion Black Belt on the tournament level.
As if to defy stereotypical classifications, another side to this multi-faceted young man is his business acumen. He was the sales, marketing and promotions manager for The Whitter Group of companies. There his integrity, maturity and industry were called upon daily in the execution of the various duties required in his delivery of a quality tourist and local attraction product. He is Team Jamaica/tour guide certified and a registered destination and tourism consultant. He is also a certified event and wedding planner. He then left corporate Jamaica after giving it two years to chart his own destiny in the field of entertainment and the performing arts. He helped to revive The Fairfield Theatre, The Green Gables Theatre and now sitting in the property manager’s seat at The Phoenix Theatre which he revived from less than a deplorable state to a venue that has seen profit and renovated conditions. The Phoenix Theatre property now boasts The Phoenix Theatre, The Blue Room and many offices.
Perhaps motivated by his many successes in other spheres, he marked the year 1999 to realize his long contemplated dream to launch Probemaster Entertainment. Here he has been the founder and managing director and supplying the island with all types of entertainment. He has also used this production company to provide employment and to mount several of the later works of his prolific pen. 2004 proved a watershed year for his bourgeoning talents, and his powerful “Another Time, Another Place copped the prestigious ITI Actor Boy Award for Best New Jamaican Play. He remains the youngest playwright to have earned this distinction. All of this before a 25th birthday can only point to an even brighter future. Since then he has won Best Original Song and Best Original Score for “Mo’Bay Vibez” and the same two Actor Boy Awards in 2010 for “White Witch”. David is now a nine-time Actor Boy award winner, five- time Thespy Spirit Award winner, three-time Methuen award winner and many time nominee.
Despite the numerous accolades that have come his way over the course of the past five years, thanks to the crowd-pleasing fervour of his stage plays (a balanced mix of comedies, drama, dramedies and musicals) and the irrepressible brio, professionalism and enthusiasm he brings to the performing arts, David Tulloch is first and foremost a fine storyteller, one possessed of intelligence, sly wit and the requisite emotional heft to move and audience. In short, an asset to modern Jamaican theatre, this multihyphenate’s dedication to the Jamaican theatre-goer is incredibly profound, especially when you consider the fact that whenever one of his shows is doing commercial business in the capital, he is known to journey from his home and work base of Montego Bay, St. James into town (and back) several times per week. He’s been the Creative Director for both the ‘Shebada’ and ‘Delcita’ franchises and now affords many unemployed individuals the opportunity to have meaningful employment in many different capacities. In some cases even fostered tailor-made careers for some.
Along with his fearlessness and his storytelling prowess, this sort of fierce commitment to his craft is what sets Tulloch apart from his contemporary peers. Then there’s that genre-hopping oeuvre, full of smart productions which regularly pack houses across Kingston and at St. James’ Fairfield Theatre and recently the United States of America under the Sunshine theatre banner. The young genius often incites us to cheer, cry, swoon, rejoice and get downright pissed-off, sometimes all in one evening.
Acclaimed for his range of diverse works including more recent fare like Paternal Instinct, Wine & Roses, If Walls Could Talk, For My Daughter, Not My Child, Across the Bridge, 3SOME, Bad Breed, Jamaica Sweet, and Risqué have earned him such much-deserved titles as ‘the golden boy of Jamaican theatre, not to mention our resident ‘agent provocateur’ and recently and more popularly, the industry’s mad scientist. As an actor, meanwhile, he famously originated the role of the precocious young son in Basil Dawkins’ A Gift for Mom; as a composer, the musical richness of White Witch and Jamaica Sweet speak volumes of his gift for melodies and lyrics. David has the national record of doing 10 successful commercial plays as well as the record for introducing the most young people to commercial theatre as well as reviving, regenerating, creating and providing careers for many. At just the age of 36, he remains committed to his country’s progress, culture, community, development and industry while still lecturing at the University College of the Caribbean in Kingston and Montego Bay.
Clearly, the day is supremely young on David Tulloch’s life in theatre. Laudably prolific, classily provocative, and ostensibly passionate about what he does, the contribution he’s making, and the legacy he’s determined to leave behind for future generations, Tulloch has afforded us a front-row seat to an evolution in full throttle, a multi-faceted artist heading to the heights of his creative powers. David’s growing body of work in the theatre circuit and his sound sense of viable commercial business with such generous gifts of talent and academic prowess, Jamaica is expecting much more in the years to come from this versatile young man and son of the soil.