Catching Up With Otis Battles

Written by: Gregory Gay

June 18th, 2014

In the late 90s, we Otis Battles officialwere introduced to Otis Battles as the front man for the High Point Community Choir.  The choir’s MCG Records debut was co-produced by Hezekiah Walker with music from Rodney Jerkins and a noteworthy vocal performance from Faith Evans (see review here).  Battles and the choir received a warm reception and his gift made room for him affording ministry opportunities across the country as well as  overseas.   Otis Battles sings of hope and brighter days in I Believe, his new single written and produced by Travis Malloy, marking his triumphant return to the recording scene after a ten year hiatus.

J Shep and Standard Release Haven’t Forgot

Written by: Gregory Gay

June 18th, 2014

Jason ShepJason Shepherd has been on the watch list for a while now and with good reason.  An up and coming producer, songwriter and contemporary Gospel artist, he has composed music for the likes of Shekinah Glory Ministry, Phil Tarver and the Edwin and Walter Hawkins Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir.  Jason’s music was prominently featured in the Coca Cola Pay It Forward Program in 2013.  His latest contribution comes via the release of Haven’t Forgot, featuring Vernard Burton backed by Standard.  The song serves as a constant reminder of God’s active presence in our lives.  Haven’t Forgot was released in early June and is available at digital outlets everywhere.

Smokie Norful Releases Forever Yours August 5th

Written by: Gregory Gay

June 18th, 2014

Smokie Norful Forever YoursSmokie Norful is preparing for the release of his first new project in five years. Forever Yours features production from Aaron Lindsey, Tony Dixon, Derek D.O.A. Allen, Elvis Williams (Blac Elvis) and Warryn Campbell.  No Greater Love, the first single from the CD is making impact at radio and is currently in the top 20 on the Billboard Hot Songs Gospel chart. Forever Yours hits retail and digital outlets on August 5th.

Micah Stampley Makes June Issue of Ebony Magazine

Written by: Gregory Gay

June 12th, 2014

MicahMotown Gospel recording artist Micah Stampley has made a name for himself as a singer, but few get to see the intricate part he plays in home and family life.  Stampley is featured in the June edition of Ebony Magazine as husband to his manager/wife Heidi, father of 5, dog owner and the family culinary expert. As the children also share their father’s love for music and singing,   Micah also finds time to coach them in various sports, including basketball and track.  The Black Music Month Special Edition of Ebony Magazine is on newsstands now.

Chicago Honors Its Own With Chicago Gospel Music Awards

Written by: Gregory Gay

June 12th, 2014

The city of Chicago CGMAcan make its boast in that it is the birthplace of Gospel Music and the host city of the largest free outdoor Gospel Music festival in the world.  Chicago was the starting point for many Gospel Greats including Rev. James Cleveland, Albertina Walker, Inez Andrews and Reverend Milton Brunson’s Thompson Community Singers.  Today,  Ricky Dillard, Smokie Norful,  Donald Lawrence, Jonathan McReynolds and Anita Wilson all call Chicago home.  The Gospel Community will honor its very own on Friday, July 13th with the first annual Chicago Gospel Music Awards.  The event will honor local Chicago gospel artists as well as pay tribute to legends Reverend Clay Evans, the late Dr. Charles G. Hayes and The Barrett Sisters.

New Music From Minister Keith Pringle

Written by: Gregory Gay

June 12th, 2014

On the heels of the celebration of the Pentecostal Community Choir’s 35th Anniversary Celebration and Reunion Concert comes word of a new single from PCC founder and GOSPEL legend, Minister Keith Pringle.  Pringle burst into the Worst is Overmusic scene while accompanying Rev. James Cleveland and the Salem Baptist Church Choir of Omaha, Nebraska.  As the choir was singing I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired, Rev. Cleveland uttered the words “sing it for me, Keith”, and Pringle’s singing career was birthed.  For the new single, Minister Pringle teams up with noted songwriters V. Michael McKay, Carlton Burgess and producer Garland Miche Waller for The Worst Is Over.  The new single has been released to radio and Pringle returns to the studio to work on a full project with a tentative release date for early 2015.

Bill Moss Jr, Ready For Action

Written by: Gregory Gay

June 12th, 2014

Bill MossDetroit seems to be bursting at the seams with GOSPEL (and giving Chicago, Dallas/Houston and DC/Maryland/Virginia a run for their money).  Making his return to the music scene is Bill Moss, Jr., the older brother of J Moss and nephew of the late Dr. Mattie Moss Clark.  For the elder Moss, music is his birthright.  His parents, Bill and Essie Moss made an impact in Gospel music with their group Bill Moss and the Celestials.  Bill and J began their musical careers early on recording as The Moss Brothers.  In 2008, Bill made his solo debut with Manifested Favor, which made its way to #27 on the Billboard Gospel chart.

Bill makes a statement with his new single, Wrestle All Day.  As Jacob wrestled into the hours of the night declaring, “I will not let you go unless you bless me”, Moss encourages believers to hold on to God with the same fervor and dedication.  The new single is available now.

 

Paul Porter Enlists Ruben Studdard & LeAndria Johnson For New Single

Written by: Gregory Gay

June 12th, 2014

Paul_Porter_I_Want_to_Know_What_Love_Is_CoverAmerican Idol alum Ruben Studdard and Sunday Best winner LeAndria Johnson join Paul Porter for the remake of I Want To Know What Love Is, the new single from F.R.E.E., his debut project for Smokie Norful’s TreMyles Music imprint. The song is already making headway at radio and is available online via iTunes and other digital outlets.

The Walls Group & Tasha Page Lockhart Join Tye Tribbett Tour

Written by: Gregory Gay

June 12th, 2014

The Walls GroupThe Walls Group and Tasha Page-Lockhart will join Grammy winner Tye Tribbett on the 12 city Kirk Franklin Present Tye Tribbett Tour visiting House of Blues venues across the country.   Lockhart, a BET Sunday Best winner released her first single, “Different” and is gearing up for the release of her solo debut album, Here Right Now available on August 5.  Following the success of their hit single, “Perfect People,” The Walls Group is slated to release Love On The Radio, a foTasha Page Lockhartur-track digital EP, on June 17 followed by their full disc, Fast Forward on September 2.

“I am so thrilled to be able to present the first two artists from my label, Fo Yo Soul Recordings/RCA, as the opening acts on this tour,” said Kirk Franklin. “The Walls Group and Tasha Page-Lockhart are tremendous artists who shine in the live setting.  I cannot wait for audiences across the nation to experience the power of their new music.”

Chanel Haynes Makes Her Solo Debut

Written by: Gregory Gay

June 12th, 2014

Chanel Haynes of Trin-i-Tee 5:7 launches her solo debut with CD Trin-i-tee 5:7 According To Chanel on June 17th.  Chanel continues her collaboration with longtime friend and producer PJ Morton chanel-2014with the lead single Repay, which is gaining airplay at radio.  The CD remains true to form featuring the signature sound of Trin-i-tee 5:7, while at the same time casting Chanel in a new light as not just a solo artist, but also as a songwriter and producer.

“I am truly excited about this album for so many reasons,” said Chanel.   It reminds me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I feel so blessed and empowered to be an example to young artists who carry God- inspired dreams in their hearts.”