Wednesday 16th August, 2006


Young singer aims for higher

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An adoring Virgil Crichlow hugs his mother, Hazel Fletcher.

“Some say I am like a junior Kirk Franklin because I am like his height, but I am aiming for Donnie—higher.”


At just age 13, Virgil Crichlow is far from being a stranger to the media. He has appeared multiple times in the newspaper, radio, and even on television due to his outstanding musical talent.

Not only has Crichlow been singing since he was six-years-old, but the mini jack-of-all-trades, also dances, performs monologues, and is a first degree black belt in karate.

It all started in 1999 when he was urged and tutored by a teacher at St Margaret’s Anglican church hall to enter the National Storytelling Competition, from which he brought home a first place trophy.

After seeing him perform at the competition, a member of the Creative Arts Centre in UWI recruited him, which led to him performing at various venues, including the Heritage Festival.

But Crichlow only made his singing debut when he lead his class in the song My Redeemer Lives at his school’s graduation.

“I love to sing,” he said. “That’s my passion.”

Crichlow indulges his passion by singing in church, The Marionettes youth choir, in addition to the Bishop’s International Chorale and his school choir (Belmont Boys Government Secondary).

He also performs with the Arts in Action drama group at UWI, St Augustine.

Crichlow subsequently participated in the 2006 National Music Festival and was selected as a finalist.

Although he did not win, he was asked to sing his selection, Bless His Holy Name, along with the winners at a celebratory event.

Crichlow primarily sings Gospel music.

“If the Lord gives you a talent, he doesn’t want you to use it for the wrong thing, but to do it in his will,” he explained.

Crichlow aspires to release his first CD before his 15th birthday, a little over a year from now, but eventually plans to be a lawyer.

“I like to talk plenty and I like to defend people too,” he explained.

But for now, music is his life.

His musical inspirations include Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, and his ultimate idol, Donnie McClurkin.

“Some say I am like a junior Kirk Franklin because I am like his height, but I am aiming for Donnie—higher,” Crichlow said with a smile.

He is so serious about his singing that he willingly refrains from eating nuts as well as drinking milk or anything that contains ice in order to preserve his voice.

Crichlow’s mother, Hazel Fletcher is his biggest fan. She keeps the rising star grounded, organised, and balanced.

Crichlow, Fletcher’s only child, admitted that without his mother he would go mad.

“Any parent would be proud,” said Fletcher, a single mother who works as an attorney’s secretary. “But I have a challenge. He is not an easy child to deal with.”

Fletcher said that at times, she has to push her son to do certain things and pointed out that Crichlow didn’t even want to participate in the storytelling competition, which was largely responsible for launching his young career.

“He doesn’t like the sacrifice; he likes the results. But, when he gets into the groove of it, he enjoys it. It all has its ups and downs. But, don’t forget, he is not a saint,” Fletcher said. “But he loves his music, I know that for sure.”




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