Urban AC Gospel

Tay Clemons: “Music Changes Everything”

By Bob Marovich “I like how singing makes people feel. I like the way it makes me feel when I sing. Music is a universal language. It changes everything.” With such a passion for singing burning deep inside her, it is not surprising that Shantavia “Tay” Clemons has gone on to become a solo gospel artist.  She released her debut project, Journey To Love, in December 2014. The artist spoke with the Journal of Gospel Music about her journey to gospel singing and how music is indeed changing everything in her life. Clemons, who was raised with her younger brother ...

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“Holy Spirit” – Marjane’

“Holy Spirit” Marjane’ J Jane Music Group (2015) www.marjanemusic.com Marjane’s lovely vocals float over this passionate, urgent call for spiritual guidance in daily life. The background vocalists are all Marjane, too—a multi-tracking technique first used in gospel in the early 1950s by Clara Ward and fellow West Coaster Doris Akers. The R&B flavor to the track harkens back to Marjane’s initial pursuit of a secular music career before she tired of being objectified by a fashion-and-looks obsessed industry. Singing for God was how she began and where she returned. “Holy Spirit” is the Stellar-nominated indie singer-songwriter’s latest radio single and a ...

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Jor’Dan Armstrong – 52 Weeks of Summer

Jor’Dan Armstrong 52 Weeks of Summer Power Move Management (release date: March 31, 2015) www.jordanarmstrongmusic.com By Bob Marovich If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is nigh upon you. Jor’Dan Armstrong’s new CD, 52 Weeks of Summer, is an aural siren signaling the warmer, better days ahead, literally and figuratively. Armstrong’s songs are meant to be entertaining, breezy, and spirit-inspired, aimed at a young demographic wanting to pray and play. “With this project, I wanted people to know that you can have fun and still be a Christian,” Armstrong says. “52 Weeks Of Summer is the soundtrack for that.” ...

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“Gotta Believe in Me” – Ebony Archer

“Gotta Believe in Me” Ebony Archer www.ebony-archer.com Ebony Archer is an independent solo artist whose single, “Gotta Believe in Me,” is a youth empowerment anthem with a Jamie Grace vibe in its bubbly cheerfulness. Its message of self-confidence is bolstered by assertive electronica and a thumping backbeat. “Doesn’t matter if I fall,” she sings, “Gonna make it through it all.” Ebony is an alumna of the world-famous Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago, a group she joined in 2000 at age eight. In 2012, she was runner up, with more than 40,000 votes, in a contest held by Black ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: February 23, 2015

“Never Forget It” God’s Chosen From the CD 1 & 6 www.gc3music.com Promising to remember all the things God has brought them through, God’s Chosen brings to “Never Forget” the cheerful harmonies and bubbly tempos of the Clark Sisters, Trin-i-tee 5:7, Virtue, and Mary Mary. Also known as GC3, God’s Chosen—Zebrina Anderson, Nikeisha Whittier, and Sarah Stephens—hails from St. Louis, Missouri. Meeting in high school, the ladies received their first public confirmation as a gospel trio in 2002 when they won the Six Flags Gospel Day Competition and earned a spot as opening act for Yolanda Adams. “Never Forget” is from their independently ...

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DeWayne Woods – Life Lessons

DeWayne Woods Life Lessons Soul Therapy Music Group (release date: February 3, 2015) dewaynewoods.rocks By Bob Marovich Excellent songwriting, compelling melodies, thoughtful lyrics, and powerful singing combine to make Life Lessons DeWayne Woods’s best project to date. The album is fueled by a team of top-shelf songwriters, such as PJ Morton (son of Bishop Paul S. Morton), Donald Lawrence, Gerald and Tammi Haddon, and Estee Bullock, a founding member of Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir. Some of Woods’s most cogent life lessons on this, his first album in four years, can be found on “They Said…” and ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: January 19, 2015

“You Are” Virtue www.virtuegirls3.com Who said America has lost its Virtue? Nearly a decade has lapsed since their last release, but the Dove Award-winning and Grammy-nominated sister ensemble Virtue has returned with a new single, “You Are.” Set in the same rich urban AC groove that marked the group’s prior work, albeit updated to meet contemporary tastes, “You Are” is a dramatic declaration of fidelity to God, “the alpha and omega” who promises light at the end of life’s dark tunnels. The 2015 iteration of Virtue that recorded “You Are” is Ebony Holland, Karima Kibble, and Heather Martin. The women sound ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: January 12, 2015

“Brand New Day” 21:03 From the PMG Gospel CD Outsiders (release date: February 24, 2015) www.pajam-music.com What better way to start the new year than to celebrate a brand new day? That is what the two who now comprise 21:03—Evin Martin and Torrence Greene—do on “Brand New Day.” An energetic disco beat and brisk arrangement complement the duo as they play off one another in kicking all bad things to the curb and embracing new beginnings by faith. The song comes nearly twelve years after the Stellar Award-winning group’s launch, January 21, 2003, the date that also inspired its name.

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