Tag Archives: Samm Henshaw

UKGospel 2020 – State of Play

‘State of Play’ specials return after 4 years, celebrating landmarks and anticipating trends…

Introduction

February is the month I cast an eye over the previous year’s trends, events and general happenings in the UK Gospel scene.

The last time I did anything this extensive was in 2016, and back then there was an incredible amount to get truly excited about.

2016 Vibe for 2020

2020 already has that same exciting vibe, building on the scarcely believable heights reached by people like Karen Gibson & The Kingdom Choir‘s global exposure and Samm Henshaw‘s ‘Happy’ meme (from his song ‘Church’) being Giphy’s 4th most popular GIF of 2019.

We also saw projects involving people like Mark De-Lisser and Ken Burton become BBC TV staples, and experienced the bona fide resurgence of Grime music in the London scene (more on that in a bit).

International

2019 was also the year we saw a landmark collaboration between one of American Gospel’s living legends, Fred Hammond and one of UK Gospel’s best known (and hardest-working) female artists, Sarah Teibo on the remix of ‘Like a Child‘.

  • Even as I write this, this weekend all roads lead S.O.‘s huge homecoming concert in London, his first (and possibly only) UK concert this year since he moved to the USA back in – yes, you guessed it – 2016

Jermaine from The Sound Doctrine has an eyewitness account of the event.

  • Staying with the USA connection: while they’re not active on the UK Gospel scene it’s always good to see Brits do well over there: Harmony Samuels is making seriously big moves, and the roster of artists Mr Damention is working with since he moved to the USA is also very impressive

Europe

The African Connection

New Music Friday – 1 November 2019

New_Music_Friday_Coffee

Great ‘Mainstream’ Songs from Christian Artists

The debate around whether Christian artists should create exclusively evangelical (or at least overtly Christian) content is unlikely to be resolved this side of heaven.

In the meantime I thought it’ll be interesting to launch this new series examining what actually happens when people who profess the Christian faith actually record music that – to coin a phrase – doesn’t ‘have Jesus in every line…’

No Answers

I don’t claim to have any answers – if anything I find I’ve ended up with more questions as I ponder this issue.

But one thought I keep returning to is this:

If we Christians were a bit more accommodating of our creatives who – by the very nature of what they do – bare more of their thoughts and souls than the rest of us are naturally inclined to, then perhaps many of them won’t opt to ‘go secular’.

If we’re being honest it’s fair to say we’re constantly pushing (perhaps the word should be ‘stifling’) our artists by being tacitly prescriptive and cornering them into a ‘either/or’ choice regarding the flavour of their art.

Quite often – arguably more often than we’d probably care to admit – life is grey.

Surely it makes more sense to let the gifted use their gift to articulate this experience…?

Just a thought.

Anyway: on with the series.

This time: Samm Henshaw, Jake Isaac and Happi

Samm Henshaw

From Samm’s wikipedia page:

Samm essentially found his love for music and learned to play instruments in his church pastored by his father, where he developed his abilities further.

Alongside gospel artists Helen Baylor, Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton and Alvin Slaughter, Henshaw is said to have spent his childhood devouring mainstream pop music, from Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson to Usher and N*Sync.

Henshaw pinpoints his biggest vocal inspirations as D’Angelo, Paolo Nutini, Lauryn Hill as well finding songwriting inspiration in Grammy award winner Frank Ocean.

Showcase: ‘These Hands’

Samm Henshaw Spotify profile

Happi

From Happi’s website:

Happi is one of the new and vibrant talents emerging out of the UK scene.

Hailing from the heart of North London, Happi has successfully merged his afro/urban background, trendy pop sounds and a positive message to create his own musical identity.

Showcase:The Introduction

Happi Spotify Profile

Jake Isaac

From Jake’s Facebook ‘About’ page

Born and raised in south London, UK, Jake began playing drums at the age of 3 and during his school years taught himself to play piano and bass guitar.

By the age of 16 he had completed his grade 8 drums at Trinity College London, and had begun teaching the instrument.

At 19, whilst studying marketing at university, Jake had begun to make a living as a part-time session musician playing drums and bass on various jazz and rock records for a variety of international artists, including the Grammy-award winning Duffy.

Marketing manager by day, songwriter and session musician by night, Jake began working with artists such as Cynthia Erivo, Gabrielle, and boy band Blue.

Showcase: ‘Carry You Home ft J.P. Cooper’

Jake Isaac Spotify profile

Explore More

5 Inspirational UK ‘Gospel’ Tracks You Have to Check Out (Part 2)

You Can Do it

This series celebrates a sometimes contentious area of Christian music: the ‘non-evangelical’ output.

Over the years we’ve sadly lost far too many hugely talented creatives to the wrong side of the unwritten (but oddly pervasive) law that suggests every sphere of Christian creative activity has to have an evangelical aspect to it.

I’m sure you know the one: it postulates all Christian songs need ‘Jesus in every line’.

Continue reading 5 Inspirational UK ‘Gospel’ Tracks You Have to Check Out (Part 2)