Erica Campbell is pretty. There, I said it! In fact, she’s really pretty. Fine. Beautiful. FRIGGIN GORGEOUS even.
We’ve been waiting for this! Donald Lawrence is releasing Volume 1 of his 20 Year Celebration Best For Last. The bulk of the CD was recorded this spring in Chicago and to celebrate this release I’m going to explain to you track by track why you need to pick up this release.
I’m starting to become wary at how many posts like this I’ve had to/been able to do recently and the closeness with which I can speak on them. But we’ve all got to do what we’ve all got to do. This morning on Friday, September 13 acclaimed entrepreneur and publicist Patti Webster died in Somerville, NJ after being ill for some time. Patti was the founder and CEO of the well known and highly successful PR firm W&W PR. She was 49 years old. Read the rest of this entry »
Let’s just right into episode 6!
United As One opened the show with a medley of hits they performed on this year’s tour. Zacardi Cortez performed “Mighty God”, Kierra Sheard performed “You Are”, Vashawn Mitchell performed “Greatest Man”, and James Fortune performed “He’s Still Able.” Read the rest of this entry »
Sorry, this is a little late but planes, trains and automobile have had me going! So let’s go!
Jonathan Nelson opened the show with one of my favorite songs of the year “Finish Strong.” I’ve decided this is my unofficial theme of this season of Sunday Best! Ha! Now let’s get into these contestant performances shall we? Read the rest of this entry »
From reality shows to radio and touring deals, gospel artists are stepping out of the box and doing big things these days and quite frankly I love it. Check out the trailer for I’m In Love With A Church Girl, which is produced by gospel/praise & worship artist Israel Houghton and Galley Molina. It stars rapper Ja Rule, former Cheetah Girl Adrienne Baillon, Stephen Baldwin and more. The theatrical release (that’s right, it’s going to be in theaters) on Friday, October 18. Read the rest of this entry »
Round 2, let’s go!
Fantasia, one of my all time favorite singers opens up this show singing a song I don’t think we’ve ever heard her sing live before, “To The Heavens.” It’s not necessarily what I would have wanted to hear from her especially since we know she knows how to lose her mind on a gospel number or even make us go into straight worship with some of her more familiar tunes. (I know I’m not the only person who rolls around on the ground almost speaking in tongues whenever she sings “Lose To Win” live.) But I digress, Fantasia still did her good singing.
1. Alicia “Lici” Lewis – “You Don’t Know” by Kierra Sheard
So one thing you’ve got to acknowledge about Lici is that her confidence is through the roof and she makes sure she lets you know she has it when she’s on stage. I think she took a lot of liberties with the song to make it her own that perhaps may have made it difficult for people who recognize that song to get into it. I respect her for sticking to her guns and doing it her way, but I think some of the stylistic vocal choices brought down the performance a bit. Lici is one of those singers that I bet you gets way better when you see her in her element at her own show. I’m sure there, you get it and it’s good.
2. Terrill Hall – “If I Be Lifted” by Milton Brunson and The Thompson Community Singers
So ummm…. yeah. Terrill pretty much drop kicked that entire performance. And I mean that in every possible good way you can think of. MY GOD! That’s how you sing that song!!!!! I’m really at a loss for what else to say, that’s just how you do it! And before I put this mic down, shout out to the background singers, y’all did that! And yes, got to shout out that Terrill is another Philadelphia Digital VIP Contestant. (You can watch his full preliminary audition here.)
***Sidebar… Shout out to all these Milton Brunson and Thomas Whitfield songs making it into the competition this year. Loving that these classic songs are getting a second wind!!!!***
3. Tuku Gaye – “Help Is On The Way” by Whitney Houston and Georgia Mass Choir
I’m glad that in her pre-interview Tuku acknowledged that she had fear of being pitchy because she really was. Quite frankly she’s just not ready to sing professionally yet. It’s one thing to hit an off note here and there but it’s another to consistently just miss the notes altogether. There’s a learning point here. You can have a great “voice” which she does but still not be ready. The tone of her voice is good but her execution of notes require a lot of work and I think if she goes and works on training her ear and her delivery she can be a better singer. What I loved though was her attitude, she understood and took the criticism gracefully.
4. Tasha Page-Lockhart – “Wrapped, Tied Up, Tangled Up” by Thomas Whitfield
I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. Call a nurse, an adjutant and my congressman! I’m done! I really don’t know what to say… She performed surgery on that song in less than a minute. Good Lord!!!! I’m finished! Sing daughter!
5. John Jackson – “I Believe” by James Fortune
I don’t know what happened here. It just kinda went “blah.” It wasn’t bad per se but it didn’t have much “umph” to it. I don’t know if it was the song or the background singers (like Cece mentioned) or the song taking him over (like Yolanda said.) But whatever it was, it just didn’t stick. John can clearly sing and I heard a few dope quartet moments in there, so maybe that’s more his speed. I’m just not sure.
6. Kefia Rollerson – “Everything You Touch Is A Song” by The Winans
Well, umm we can all go home now. The Lord done came in and did what he had to do and yeah, that’s that! Jeez! Kefia, Kefia, Kefia. What can I say, this competition is heating up now! I’m speechless. Kefia sang that thing with so much gut and style that it made me nervous. While she was singing I was literally thinking to myself “This is too good, she’s gonna lose it.” But she didn’t. That was crazy. And yes, Kefia is also a Philadelphia Digital VIP Contestant and I couldn’t be more proud. (Watch her full preliminary audition here.)
7. Odell Bunton, Jr. – “I Worship You” by Mary Mary
Odell was one of my favorite Houston Digital VIP contestants (you can watch his full preliminary audition here) because like Donnie said, his gift is well beyond his years. He’s got something special that you just can’t deny. Young and oily is a lethal combo and he’s got it. Now I’ll admit there were a few misses in there but it’s all about recovery and he recovered well. I think if and when he gets songs that are more his speed, we’re really going to see Odell shine but man, when I tell you that boy’s got it!
8. Joshuia Drumm – “We Must Praise” by J. Moss
Now I’m not sure if that performance came off as good as it did in person but I have to tell you, in the room, he dumped that place! I like that Joshuia, although COGIC, doesn’t try to sing “Black.” He does what comes natural to him. He’s got a great tone and knows that with or without a growl or a complicated run if he just sings the song he will sound good and I think that’s what he did. Now I’m not being remotely racial when I say this but I do think he struggled a bit with finding his rhythm at a point in the song but it was one of those things where he recovered by listening to where he was and caught up to it. Joshuia’s on his way to being a great gospel balladeer.
9. Montreea Bailey – “Changed” by Tramaine Hawkins
First, let me start off by saying how wonderfully proud I am of Montreea. I don’t give out freebie compliments or anything like that but her courage to come on TVand put herself out there to the world is a big deal. People can be mean or at the very least ignorant for whatever reason and it’s hard enough to get on TV and sing for people, much less as a paraplegic. Montreea is an inspiration and I know there are a community of folks in similar condition to her who will be inspired to pursue any dream they had despite probably being told they couldn’t.
Now on to the performance. Montreea’s voice is dope but I think her nerves made her get out of the big notes by going to this weird nasal place that I think distracted you from the good she could have done with the song. She had a lot of conviction though and I love that she allowed herself to get enveloped by the song. She may have been nervous but definitely wasn’t insecure and I loved that.
10. Venold “Junior” Johnson – “I’ll Make It” by Hezekiah Walker
Wow! Ok, tonight is just a really good night. Not just for the show but for my Digital VIP contestants. Yes, Junior auditioned in every city this season but he got his “yes” in Houston, TX after performing in the Houston Digital VIP Suite. (Check out his full preliminary audition here.) I got to say I was very surprised to see how well he DEMOLISHED that Hez tune. Singers like Junior tend to sing whispery ballads and slow tunes so they can emote and run all over them, but he showed that he could kill an uptempo tune and not overdo it. It was just great! And he worked with the band to add little bits of ear candy that was just enough to let you know that he could do some “fancy” singing but wasn’t going to go overboard with it. I LOVED IT! #StillInShock
So the judges deliberated and the top 10 are:
1. Kefia Rollerson
2. Odell Bunton, Jr.
3. Tyler Little
4. Paula Champion
5. Venold “Junior” Johnson
6. David Michael
7. Jamel Lewis
8. Joshuia Drumm
9. Terrill Hall
10. Tasha Page-Lockhart
Congratulations to the top 10. NOW, the competition really heats up so can’t wait to see what happens next week! So what did you think? Who would be YOUR top 10?
The Gospel Music Workshop Of America (GMWA) will convene it’s annual convention at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, OH. (I used convene and convention right behind each other in the same sentence. I’m sure my 8th Grade English teacher is sitting somewhere angry.) The Convention goes down, July 20-26. Read the rest of this entry »
Hey guys. So today I want to share with you a single from a young artist from Tampa, FL named Darius Washington. I first met Darius while judging preliminary auditions for Sunday Best in Houston, TX and he blew us away. First of all, it was refreshing to see a young person (he can’t be any older than 21 or 22 years old) singing “By and by when the morning comes…” but it was even better to hear what he did with it. Let me tell you this young man was/is a singing fool! So I was super excited to later find out that he was already working on music of his own. Read the rest of this entry »
So the other day, I was racked with a little bit of guilt. I receive so much music and have so many “jobs” that the blog was getting a little stale and people are always asking me to either feature their music or supporters are asking me “when’s the next blog?” And I realized that part of my problem is that I sometimes think too hard about what to feature here so I’m trying something a little different. I’m going to feature EVERYTHING because I think this could be “interesting” or at the very least, fun! There’s a lot of music out there. So expect to see a lot more from me and artists around the country both signed and unsigned and everything in between. So if you see “New Music” in the subject line, you know I’m sharing. And know this, I don’t have to like it to share it. Got it? Read the rest of this entry »