Category Archives: Videos

#UKGospelLegacy – Victizzle: Jam Yourself

About 13 years ago Victizzle almost singlehandedly changed the sound of Gospel Music coming out of the streets of London…

Limited choice

It’s almost difficult to believe these days, but at one time – and it feels like it wasn’t that long ago – your UK Gospel music options were limited to the classic choir vibe, a little Soul and some RnB (and let’s not forget back then even the crooners were getting it in the neck from some Church music purists)

Into church by the back door

Spoken Word was a willing partner in the journey bringing Hip-Hop into church by the back door, even though the Hip-Hop pioneers were singled out for a special kind of wrath from the faithful.

Sound of the streets

All the while, kids around the country related more to the sounds they heard on the streets, but were dissatisfied with the lyrical content carried over those beats.

Experiment

They started to experiment with these sounds, infusing them with Christian themes on lifestyle, evangelism and the challenges of day to day living.

Victizzle

For Victor ‘Victizzle’ Akata things really took off with ‘Jam Yourself’ the ‘Enhanced CD’ (remember those..?) 🙂

It perfectly captured the spirit of the time in terms of fierce Christian pride, a go-get-it attitude that’s now so commonplace in the scene, and references to old-school technology (who remembers ‘Limewire’?) 

Jam Yourself

Impressively, the video to ‘Jam Yourself’ was shot and co-edited by Victizzle while he was in college

#TBT
#ThrowbackThursday
#UKGospelLegacy

#UKGospelLegacy – ZionNoiz – & What

Going back 13 years for this one…

Zion Noiz – ‘& What’ (Org Mix)

(Featuring Royal Priesthood, Asah Shabazz (video director), Jahaziel, Bold, GreenJade, Dwyane Tryumf, Wariyah and more…)

(…See how many UK Gospel Hip-Hop veterans you can spot)

New Music Friday – 22 November 2019

#UKGospelLegacy – Simply Andy: ‘Bibles Bibles’

2005…

Simply Andy’s dream only took 2 months from concept to product, but it became part of a #UKGospel movement still potent today.

The EP: ‘Simply Andy Presents The Good News’

Simply Andy Presents the Good News Compilation
The single: ‘Bibles Bibles’ (Produced by Victizzle)

The ‘Bibles Bibles’ video

 

4 Retro UK Gospel Vibes to Mellow You Out

Sometimes kicking back is absolutely the right thing to do…

Perhaps you’re in the middle of a particularly stressful life moment – or maybe you’re badly in need of some time out from a decidedly knotty Rubik’s cube of a problem currently getting the better of you.

Maybe you want to chill out just because (and: why not..?)

Whatever your story, here are four classic UK Gospel tunes to mellow your troubled soul.

You’re welcome.

Earmark Collective ‘Bear the Mark’

Five years ago almost to the month (the video was uploaded to YouTube in June 2014) Earmark Collective dropped this solid, solid, solid block of a song.

Bear the Mark‘ landed with an infectious, jazzy breakbeat that perfectly complemented its hooky, smooth vocals.

The formula perfectly underpinned Triple O‘s inspired flow, while (bless the Lord for this one) the video completely did the song justice.

Talk about great vibes to soothe the troubled soul…

Raymond & Co – Crazy Faith

Taken from 2003’s seminal ‘Playing Games‘ album, this Linslee Campbell-produced gem is all sorts of flawless: from Chris Gordon‘s heartfelt lead to the tight arrangement of the deft backing vocals from Gillan Nembhard, Janine Dyer and Lisa Allen, this has ‘cool summer breeze’ all over it.

Lots of songs have been called instant classics. This is one of the few that actually deserves the definition.

Rio Young – Music featuring Da Fellowship

I first came across this song as part of Da Fellowship‘s debut (and, as far as I know, only) single. In the intervening years (this was uploaded to YouTube in January 2010) it’s been re-presented to the world as a Rio Young song.

Its superlative mellow groove belies Rio‘s stories of the harsh realities of life and living, told both observationally and in the first person.

It’s one of my all-time favourite UK Gospel non-Gospel ‘Gospel’ songs, and – once again – a great video for its time.

Nathan Prime – Knowing You

I only discovered the video to this awesome RnB classic exactly 20 days ago. I’m sure that’s partly  because even though it was released around 2002, the video was only uploaded to YouTube in 2016.

Anyway, regardless of how or why it took so long, it’s another one of those songs that’s almost universally considered a genuine UK gospel classic, and for good reason: lush musicianship, best-in-class arrangement, Nathan’s sweet, undeniable vocals and lyrics that will please even the most ardent of Gospel music purists.

So, there you go: four great songs to lower the blood pressure, calm the spirit and send you – hopefully perfectly refreshed and renewed – back on your merry way.

Go back out into the world and conquer.  You’ve got this.

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New Releases – January 2018 (Part 2)

Two weeks into the new year and it’s good to see the ‘new thing’ announcements still coming.

In this update: there’s a new app for you to download, new music for you to check out, new initiatives to get involved in and mixes for you to stream or download right away.

New Music

Blessed Man

Hip-hop veteran Blessed Man announced the second single from his upcoming new album (his first album release in many years).

‘Worthy is the Lamb’ features another long serving artist Nathan Prime, and drops ‘soon’, according to a post on his Facebook page.

Precious Pearl Riddim

If you’re a Reggae music fan you’ll want to check out UK/Bahamas collaboration the ‘Precious Pearl Riddim’ EP.

Precious Pearl Riddim - click cover to stream on SpotifyIn typical genre format, the 5-track project offers variations on a fundamental rhythm track, and features Toyin Adekale, Keziah Job, Unlimited Angel, The Davis Family and Deacon Judah.

Click on the album cover to stream it on Spotify.

CalledOut Music

And if you need even more tropical heat in your life right now (and who doesn’t, in view of our current winter weather) you need to get acquainted with CalledOut Music‘s brand new one.

I Am Free‘ is out now, and given its catchy rhythm (and bilingual lyric video), chances are you’ll be singing along in next to no time.

Female Artists

I don’t know what triggered it but something really good (re)started in 2016: more female artists started releasing music more consistently.  Thankfully it’s a trend that continued in 2017.

If this month is anything to go by, it’s looking like the sisters are here to stay – and thank God for that, too.

Here are a few artists to check out:

Nikki Seriki

Nikki Seriki‘s new one is called I Found You, and it’s produced by Ibe Giantkiller.

Click the cover image to watch the lyric video.

Lurine Cato

I’m also looking forward to the rest of the world hearing ‘B Loved‘, the brand new single from Lurine Cato, fresh from her lead vocal appearance on the B Positive Choir’s debut single.

B Loved‘ is an atmospheric, Trap-infused song, liberally underpinned with great words of encouragement.

It should be widely available by the end of January – and you neeeeeeed to check it out.

More Great News

Philippa Hanna

And the great news doesn’t stop there. There’s a lot of brilliant activity on the boundaries of the music sphere: Philippa Hanna (photo at top of this entry) started an excellent ‘Inspiration 365’ vlog series at the beginning of the month.

You’re already 15 days behind so catch up here.

Sarah Teibo

Sarah Teibo has just launched a weekly Spotify playlist called ‘Songs of Hope’.

The selection will no doubt come from a very real place and be heavily influenced by her own recent loss: the death of her mum in late 2017.

Sandra Godley

And speaking of sisters doing big things: Sandra Godley’s ‘Sing For Sandra‘ initiative is awesome.

She’s putting together a very special, hugely inspiring ‘Gosp-Ability choir’, comprising people who have faced either mental or physical challenges in their lives and are overcoming them.

Once complete, the fully assembled choir is scheduled to perform in Windsor to mark Prince Harry’s wedding.

Full details at the Sing for Sandra website.

Nadine Lee

I was also really glad to find out that Nadine Lee‘s upcoming EP project is going to be one of those that doesn’t fall squarely into the ‘Gospel music’ genre.

We need more of our creatives to continue exploring themes that don’t necessarily fall into typical ‘Gospel’ category, and colour outside those perceived boundaries.

If her name (or face) rings a bell it’s probably because she’s one half of Ekklesia, or it might be because you saw her on BBC’s Gospel Choir of the Year in December 2017 teaching and directing the incredible youthful sound of London College of Creative Media.

New App for Kingdom Culture

One of my favourite sites to launch last year was Kingdom Culture, and exactly a year after their debut they’ve launched the KCMix Android app, bringing mixtapes, releases, reviews, music videos interviews and the latest on the scene as a whole.

New Mixtape from DJ Kelechi

DJ Kelechi‘s previous set, the Afrobeats Mixtape Volume 3 is actually a December 2017 release, but it actually got massive love (and serious traction) early in the new year.

If you liked it, then – good news – there’s now a new one out.

It’s also the first in a new series: ‘Move’ Volume 1 features transcontinental artists including J Vessel, Britt Nicole, Hollyn, Guvna B, Gawvi and more.

It’s full of Kelechi’s trademark mix and blends, cheeky edits and reworks (the clever Lurine Cato/Craig David mash-up right off the bat should give you an idea of what’s in store).

As usual, Kelechi focuses on mixing duties, turning hosting over Mr Beezy.

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Fave new video series: Rachel Kerr and her husband on Music, Business and Marriage

I love music documentaries.  I love their whole behind-the-scenes, expository vibe.

And it’s no big secret that I’m a huge fan of the UK Gospel scene too.   Plus: I’ve especially got a lot of time for Rachel Kerr and her husband, Ayo. 

Doing what they do in an industry like ours with its restrictive boxes, impossible expectations and unrealistic comparisons requires broad shoulders, tightrope navigation, thick skin and singular focus.

Pilot

So I was rather chuffed when I found these elements converged in the pilot of their new reality series: Music, Business and Marriage.

According to Ayo’s message via WhatsApp: ‘it’s meant to be insightful, inspirational and a little bit funny. Would love to get feedback’.

Well, I started watching on my phone, standing outside the station waiting for my wife to pick me up for the short ride home.

A New Favourite

I’m now sat at home, fully dressed and still watching.

It’s possible I’ve just found another fave music documentary series…

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3 Music Videos to Check Out Right Now (5 March 2016)

The weekend beginning 4th March 2016 has been good for new visuals.

Music videos out from the UK Gospel scene this weekend are sufficiently varied to sustain even the most abstracts of tastes: Contemporary African Praise & Worship, RnB/Soul and Hip-Hop from a 5 year old (yes, you read that right).

Continue reading 3 Music Videos to Check Out Right Now (5 March 2016)

New Ram 1 Video – ‘Mary’

Ram 1 - 'Mary' video still

Ram 1

I’ve been a huge fan of Ramone ‘Ram 1’ Williams ever since I came across him a few years ago.

In fact he (along with his Riddim Culture cohorts Edward Holland Junior and Gyamma) is of the reasons I wrote the Pull Up Special Feature for UKGospel.com back in 2011 (link below)

Riddim Culture has quietly gone about maintaining a rather formidable UK Reggae revolution in recent years, between them creating impressive international ripples in places as far-flung as the USA, mainland Europe, South America and Africa.

Edward goes from strength to incredible strength as a producer, churning out songs across the entire Reggae spectrum, a significant conveyor belt of solid tunes covering Dub to Dancehall to Roots and more.

New Video

Anyway, Ram 1 is back with a new video for an allegorical song, ‘Mary’, taken from a very personal moment in his life (and going by the visuals it doesn’t take much to guess what it might have been about).

And – like much of what he has done so far – I like it!!

It’s his first international music video, shot in Costa Rica with the well-known Costa Rican DJP on directorial duties, with Ram co-directing (Ram said it was by far the most stress free video shoot he’d done to date).

As at the time of my writing this, I’m not clear if it’s an Ed Holland joint – I’ll update later when I find out.

Meantime: see why the fuss is about and why I like it below:

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UKGospel.com Special Feature

Find Ram 1

Riddim Culture

New Wades Generation Release Superb Memorial Single

Sons, daughters, nieces and nephews of the Wades continue family musical legacy with new group ‘The Wades Next Generation’.

Their debut single in ‘Go Harder’ has just been released and is in memory of Derek Wade (part of the pioneering 80s/90s UK Gospel sibling group The Wades) who sadly died on 6th January 2014.

‘Go Harder’ features the vocal talents of Varren Wade, Ashley David, Jalissa, Jazz Montell and Coco Dupree. It was produced by Dean ‘Deanyboy’ Livermore (who also contributed to the vocals).

Watch the video

Buy the single

The Wades Next Generation - Go HarderBuy on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/go-harder-single/id949964144

Follow on Twitter

@TheWadesNextGen
@VarrenWade
@MrAshleyDavid
@JalissaMusic
@Jazz_Montell
@CocoDupreeMuzic
@DeanyBoyMusic