Urban AC Gospel

JGM Pick of the Week: November 25, 2014

“Real” BeWill www.bewillmusic.com Virginia singer, songwriter, rapper, and producer Will Stewart (aka BeWill) offers a brisk, refreshing ode to faith. It’s about the power of a God who he can’t see but nevertheless knows guides him throughout his day and provides beautiful gifts “from up above.” The inspirational message is fortified by a pulsing pop-urban AC arrangement and strong background vocalists. BeWill’s new EP, Praying for a Miracle, features Grace Gilliam and can be heard and purchased here: (prayingforamiracle.bandcamp.com/album/praying-for-a-miracle). The title track is a semifinalist in The International Songwriting Competition and also song of the month winner in The Songwriters ...

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“Are You Ready” – J. Maddox

“Are You Ready” J. Maddox Jadox Music Group (2014) www.IAmJMaddox.com On “Are You Ready,” urban AC gospel artist William Jermaine Maddox (aka J. Maddox) knows what to do to prepare, should Jesus come “like a thief in the night.” Later in the song, he turns the question outward, to the listener. Are you ready should Jesus come? The simplicity of the question is augmented by the minimal instrumentation (mostly keys) and a dramatic melody, which seems to float in space. In addition to his solo career, J. Maddox is a member of Kevin Lemons & Higher Calling and sings with ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 17, 2014

“I Got the Victory” Signature From the Birmingham Entertainment/Epic Entity Music Group album Bigger Than All (2014) www.WeAreSignatureMusic.com “I Got the Victory,” the latest single from Birmingham, Alabama female trio Signature, pulls its extroverted beats and holy swagger from the musical playbooks of Mary Mary and Trin-i-tee 5:7. Signature sings several triumphal chants of joy for having favor, all prefaced by a dramatic movie-intro flourish. Comprised of Kristie Robinson, Bonnie Lett, and Michelle Lett, Signature garnered public attention after their single, “Bigger Than All,” bubbled under in Billboard. If dissimilar in melody, “Bigger” and “Victory” share a bold vocal sound, ...

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J Moss Involved in House Fire

(DETROIT, MI – October 15, 2014) Grammy Award-winning producer and Stellar Award-winning artist J Moss was home alone on Tuesday evening, October 14, when fire broke out. The fire quickly spread though out the house, but Moss was able to escape. The cause of fire is yet to be determined. J Moss, best known for hit songs, “We Must Praise”, “Praise on the Inside”, “Psalm 150,” and collaborations with Kirk Franklin (“Could’ve Been Me”) and Byron Cage (“We Love You”) is requesting that everyone keep him, his wife, and two sons in prayer. PAJAM encourages Moss supporters to send their ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: September 29, 2014

“Alright OK” J Moss PMG Gospel (released May 2014) If Pharrell Williams hit it with “Happy,” the feel good song of 2014, J Moss has the equally peppy “Alright OK.” An acoustic piano introduces a jaunty pop melody as J Moss explains how he focuses on the good and lets the bad roll right off his back. Knowing that God is watching out for him on the sunny as well as the rainy days, he concludes, “I won’t complain even if I could.” Produced by PAJAM, “Alright OK” is the singer’s most engaging single in some time.

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Zie’l – [Pronounced ZY-EL]

Zie’l [Pronounced ZY-EL] Dream Records (release date: September 2, 2014) www.dreamrecords.org By Bob Marovich I first encountered the power trio Zie’l of Shreveport, Louisiana, in 2005 at the Gospel Music Workshop of America. Hearing Christina Bell, Keyondra Lockett, and Crystal Bell sing traditional gospel songs like an old-school quartet with jazz training gave me a glimpse of their future success. Not long thereafter, their CD Genesis garnered a Stellar nomination. The trio’s latest album, [Pronounced ZY-EL], sounds like two albums in one. Six of the ten tracks represent a different style for Zie’l, almost experimental, with a mix of urban AC and ...

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Kebra – Under the Influence

Kebra Under the Influence Mokeb Entertainment (2014) www.kebramoore.com By Bob Marovich It is no understatement when, on her new EP Under the Influence, singer-songwriter Kebra Moore sings “I have a testimony.” On Christmas Eve 1999, Kebra, her fiancé, and fourteen-month-old son were heading home to Arkansas from New Orleans, where they were making final wedding preparations, when they were involved in an auto accident. While the fiancé and son escaped without injury, Kebra was left a paraplegic. Turning tragedy into possibility, Kebra became a spokesperson for the disabled. She was named Miss Wheelchair Mississippi 2013 and earlier this year launched ...

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Mathew Knowles Releases Alexis Spight from Music World Gospel

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 4, 2014) – Stellar Award-nominated gospel recording artist Alexis Spight is being released from her recording contract with Mathew Knowles’ Music World Gospel to ink a record deal with the newly formed Uncle G Records. Uncle G Records is headed by Veteran Industry Executive Greg “Uncle G” Lyons who has also served as Spight’s manager since she signed with Music World Gospel following her success on BET’s Sunday Best. “Congratulations to Greg Lyons and the upstart of Uncle G Records and the signing of Alexis Spight, former Sunday Best runner up and Music World Gospel artist,” said Knowles, ...

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Bryan Andrew Wilson – The One Percent

Bryan Andrew Wilson The One Percent Bryan’s Songs Records / EchoPark JDI www.bryanwilson.com By Bob Marovich Rarely do we have a chance to hear child singers grow up on record. There are exceptions, most notably Michael Jackson, who got better with age, and Judy Garland, whose voice seemed to have matured prior to puberty. We first heard Bryan Andrew Wilson in 1994 as a pre-teen leading “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” with the Mississippi Children’s Choir.  His voice has matured steadily since then and it has come to full flower on “Show Me Your Glory/Set a Fire,” a CCM inspired ...

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James Fortune & Friends Offer One Energetic Performance After Another

“James Fortune & FIYA and Friends” Gospel Music Workshop of America Centennial Ballroom – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, GA Tuesday, July 29, 2014 By Bob Marovich Photo: Alexis Spight (center) with James Fortune (right) The Gospel Music Workshop of America.  Your mind conjures up images of delegations of robed choirs singing traditional songs with contemporary flair, gospel announcers learning best practices, quartets performing in the Quartet Quest competition, the GMWA Mass Choir, new songs to take back home, and classes on everything from keyboard basics to choral directing. But that doesn’t mean the nation’s top-selling gospel artists don’t make appearances.  They do, and ...

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