It’s not entirely accurate to call Dana Divine an “emerging artist,” as she has a sizable music resume, including more than a dozen singles to her credit, and is well known for originating the “Gospel Slide” (“I wanna get funky for Christ”), perhaps the first time in music history that a gospel recording launched a dance craze. But since the Gospel Announcers Guild of the Gospel Music Workshop of America has now officially approved “Gospel DJ [aka club DJ]” as a membership category, it’s time “gospel house” got its due as an emerging art form.
On Dana’s exquisite CD, A Nu Language (Tri-M Entertainment, 2003), she includes two tracks that can be considered gospel house: “Sweet 2 My Soul” and “I Testify.” Pulsating, energetic, hypnotic, and containing strong and passionate vocals emoted expertly by Dana, these songs are sure to crowd the dance floor while sending positive messages through the speakers.
Sure, some old-schoolers might not warm up to gospel house, but then again, Thomas Dorsey was given the cold shoulder in more than a few churches when he introduced “jazzed-up” sacred music some seven decades ago. Gospel music is best when it pushes the envelope.