Posts Tagged ‘Yolanda Adams’

Interview : Israel Houghton – “Covered: Alive In Asia” (2015)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

CD100_outMulti Grammy, Stellar, and Dove award winning artist Israel Houghton returns with his new album “Covered: Alive in Asia” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Gospel and Christian Charts. This was Houghton’s seventh album in his career to debut at the top of the charts. This live worship experience was recorded across the continent of Asia in stadiums in Jakarta, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Korea, Tokyo, and Manila. The album features new songs with Grammy Award Winners Yolanda Adams and Tye Tribett and Gospel rising sensation Jonathan McReynolds. Houghton teams up with longtime producing partner Aaron Lindsay to bring forth the groups legendary sound. Covered: Alive in Asia is the groups 10th album, as they celebrate 15 years of Ministry.

GOSPElflava’s Martin Williams recently caught up with Israel to discuss the new albums all the elements that went into making this project a chart topping success.

 

Martin: You’ve recorded albums all over the world, why did you decide to go to Asia?

Israel: We’ve been going there for seven or eight years as a team, and we have developed a good re pore in several countries there. When you go certain places and you realize there is a grace for you to be there and you like how you feel with those crowds and churches there, the thought about doing an album there begins to creep in. And it just so happen this particular Asian tour last fall worked out great to carry a film and audio crew to capture the energy of these six great places in Asia.

Martin: I listened to one of the tracks on the album and you said there was such a spirit of expectation and a hunger for GOD’s presence. What was it like being in those venues with all of those worshipers on one accord?

Israel: It was absolutely fantastic! No disrespect to us here in America but we have so many options. You can throw a rock and go have a great worship experience somewhere and go hear some of the greatest singers and musicians. In Asia that’s rare for them. It only happens every once in a while. So they come out in significant numbers to experience this and they don’t just stand around they engage. It’s incredibly refreshing especially when you are trying to teach brand new songs. Versus here in America where they may not get with you until you sing something that they like or something that’s familiar. Over there their attitude is BRING IT ON!

Martin: It’s been almost 15 years since your album “New Season” was released. Fast forward to now do you still feel the same excitement? Are you apprehensive? Are you concerned if the fans will like it? How do you feel?

Israel: I think it’s all of the above. I’m still very much excited about recording, writing, and releasing music. Certainly in 2000 and 2001 when “New Season” was released records were bought and sold differently than now. That album was released in the pre I- Tunes and streaming days. People had to actually have to go and buy the physical CD. Now it’s very different there are so many options and it’s harder to get the ground swell. When we did “Live From Another Level” it was our first album to sell 500,000 units and the album was certified “Gold” within a year. That blew our minds. And to sell that many units now is quite an undertaking. The beauty is that we don’t do what we do for the accolades, awards, or sales. Our rewards are ultimately found in the lives of people. The older I get the less panicked I am about a release. I don’t fret about how it’s going to do on the radio or will it go to the number 1 spot on Billboard. Most of our records end up selling for long periods of time. They are not just a quick release and you forget about them. Because we are out in front of people all the time our albums tend to have a longer life of sales. We’ve had Number 1’s, gold records and awards, so hopefully we are past having to prove ourselves and drive ourselves crazy. Ultimately it’s about people being blessed and connected to this music.

 

Martin: Does it still surprise you when you go out all over the world and the people know your music?

Israel: It’s such a true blessing and its speaks to the power of mediums like GOSPELflava and Gospel radio because people have the opportunity to connect with our sound and vision. You all get the word out and I’m grateful. It never gets old getting up and starting a song and hearing the crowd take it over, never gets old. I love when I can step back from the microphone and let the audience sing. I become a kid in those moments!

 

Martin: Out of all of your albums what’s the one song that you can’t go through a concert without singing?

Israel: It’s pretty much a tie between “You Are Good” and “Friend Of God”. If we ever leave the stage and don’t do “Friend of God” it’s going to be a problem. It’s like Marvin Sapp leaving the stage without singing “Never Would Have Made It’ or Kirk Franklin not doing “Stomp” or “Why We Sing”. I tell you the one song that’ gained momentum of the years and that’s “Moving Forward”. I’ve noticed we can’t get through a set without at least hitting the bridge of that song. I’m honored that I’ve been apart of writing some staples and putting those out. It never gets old to me.

Martin: With all the recent tragedies in the world, how important is it that believers continue to cultivate a life of worship?

Israel: It’s never been more important than the days we are living in now. Here we are in the most connective generations of all time through the way of social networking but we’ve also become extremely disconnected by the same reasons. I think the Gospel and the unity that comes from knowing who Jesus is best served and experienced together. What is tragic for me is that these horrible atrocities happen and that causes us to get off our phones for a second and come together as a community. I wish we didn’t need tragedy to do that. That’s one of the things I Love about church there is an hour and half in the week where we come together to say we are connected under one name and one faith. In this day and age we need that because we don’t have a lot of good news on Television. The definition of the Gospel is the good news.

Martin: On the album you collaborate with Tye Tribbett, Yolanda Adams, and Jonathan McReynolds, how was it working with those artists?

Israel: Well after so many years I think people have realized that I love doing collaborations. On “New Season” we had Keith Staten from Commissioned. The second album “Real”, I used a lot of Andrae Crouch’s crew, I didn’t do a lot of collaborations on “Live From Another Level”, but Michael Gunger worked with me on that. Of course the son of South Africa himself Jonathan Butler worked with me on “Alive In South Africa”. “ A Deeper Level” featured Chris Tomlin, YPJ. My Christmas album, “ A Timeless Christmas” has to be my favorite in terms of collaborations because it featured Marvin Winans, CeCe Winans, Lalah Hathaway and many others it was a dream come true. I’ve worked with Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, Take 6, so for me it’s about how the song its best served with another voice and artist. I’ve never been super particular either about collaborations. An artist doesn’t’ have to be of a certain stature for them to be featured on one of my songs. It’s all about what’s going to enhance the song. In some cases I’ve been very fortunate that’ the collaboration does help boost the cache of the album as well as the song.

Martin: You take a classic contemporary Christian song, “Mighty to Save” and you give an upbeat island flair, what made you remix the song?

Israel: For us its something we’ve been doing for years, and just never recorded it. Initially we were going to put it on “Jesus At The Center”. The group and myself found ourselves doing a lot of festivals. And sometimes at these festivals people don’t know us very well so its important to have songs that people know in reserve so they can join in on the experience. It’s always good to have songs you can always add a New Breed twist to it.

Martin: At the end of the day what do you want the listeners to take away from “Covered: Alive In Asia”?

Israel: I want them to take away that hope is not relegated to just one community, skin tone, or preference. Gospel is good news and it needs to be global. There are people in Asia who love Gospel music and this message and you may never see them. We have brothers and sisters who don’t look or talk like us but they serve the same God. It’s a beautiful thing to know. I want people to know Israel and new breed  as ambassadors.

 

Israel’s Latest Release, “Covered: Alive In Asia” is available in stores and online.  The project features a 16 track digital deluxe version and limited edition CD/DVD combo pack that includes 13 tracks plus a documentary offering an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the recording process and footage of some of the most beautiful and exotic cities in Asia.  Additionally, later this year, Houghton will release a special 90 minute concert film with exclusive performances and interviews. 

Israel and New Breed Release Covered July 24th

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

“Gospel is good news- Good News is global. Global Gospel, Kingdom Music is our passion.” – Israel HoughtonCD100_out

Under those sentiments, internationally renown worship leader Israel Houghton and his group New Breed embarked upon a courageous effort to “go ye into all the world” taking the Gospel to the east hosting worship experiences at concerts in Jakarta, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Korea, Tokyo and Manila, with the end result being his new CD, Covered: Alive in Asia hitting stores on July 24th.

The project celebrates 15 years of Israel and New Breed and their tenth album together.  With production from Aaron Lindsey, Covered: Live In Asia also features a concert DVD with behind the scenes footage in a special edition CD/DVD package.

 

Gospel Love Songs to Celebrate Valentine’s Day!

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Love SongsLove is in the air…because Valentine’s Day is here! Whether you have a sweetheart or not, don’t miss out on your opportunity to revel in this Love Day. Over the years, there have been several gospel songs that not only express our love towards one another, but also our love toward God. Here are a few songs to add to your playlist this Valentine’s Day weekend. Some of which you may have heard before. Whereas others you may not, but this lovers holiday, they certainly deserve a listen.

 

“I Love You Lord” – Fred Hammond
“Love Song”- Canton Jones
“Addictive Love” – BeBe & CeCe Winans
“Open My Heart” – Yolanda Adams
“Real Love” – Kirk Franklin & The Family
“Jesus is Love” – Smokie Norful featuring Heather Headley
“Be Happy” – Mary Mary
“I Adore You” – Darlene McCoy
“Just For Me” – Karen Clark Sheard
“Draw Me Close” – Donnie McClurklin
“Chasing After You” – Tye Tribbett
“Ain’t No Need to Worry” – Marvin Winans & Anita Baker
“Stuck” – Lisa McClendon
“Abide” – Lexi
“Happy” – Tasha Cobbs

Sending YOU our love from the GospelFlava.com family!

Israel Houghton Celebrates God’s Goodness

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

2015 marks a milestone in the music ministry of award winning worship leader and singer/songwriter Israel Houghton; 15 years of ministry with New Breed and the March release of CoHougton 2015vered, Live in Asia, his 10th album with the group.  Making impact is the current single, How Awesome Is Our God, which is now available on all digital outlets on January 13th and features the inimitable Yolanda Adams.  Houghton shared his joys of the pairing, “Having Yolanda Adams singing with us on this song marks a personal ‘bucket list’ moment for me!”

Houghton will be celebrated at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Ceremony in Atlanta on January 17th as well as taking part in the 16th Annual Superbowl Gospel Celebration concert series in Phoenix, AZ.  There are plans for a theatrical release of the “Alive in Asia” concert film to theaters in select cities.

 

Pharis Evans Jr Takes Us To The Fountain Of Life

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Grammy, Stellar and Dove award nominated singer/songwPEJ1riter/producer Pharis Evans, Jr. has greatly impacted the landscape of Gospel music writing and producing chart topping hits for The Williams Brothers, Stevie Wonder, DJ Rogers, Kelly Price, Bobby Jones and NSC, Stephanie Mills,  Yolanda Adams, Bishop Paul Morton, the Canton Spirituals, Bishop Neal Roberson and the list goes on.  Evans’ lineage consists of great preachers and minstrels as he is the son of a preacher and the nephew of the legendary iconic gospel preacher and singer, Reverend Clay Evans.

Evans fulfills a God ordained assignment with the formation of Fountain of Life Records.  The label aims to provide music that both revitalizes and refreshes the spirit much like water quenches the natural thirst.   Scheduled releases include Due Season,  a 2 disc set from Pharis Evans, Jr and Loved Ones, the long awaited follow up disc from Saints with a Vision as well as music from newcomers Romandis Moore, Davie Moore, DeWayne Strong and noted pastor Samuel R. Blakes.

Donald Lawrence Releases New Single Featuring Yolanda Adams

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Donald Lawrence pr photo 1-Photo credit Dominick GuillemotFollowing on the release of the Billboard Top Gospel Songs #1 hit single The Gift, Donald Lawrence releases Best for Last as the second radio single from his 20 Year Celebration Volume 1 CD. The song, written by Lawrence and co produced by Percy Bady features the majestic vocals of Yolanda Adams backed by the Tri-City Singers.

Lawrence’s writing and production efforts has resulted in unforgettable chart toppers including “The Blessing of Abraham,” “Encourage Yourself,” “Back II Eden,” and most recently “The Gift”. The blessings keep going with Best for Last, which marks his first recording with Yolanda Adams.

Donald Lawrence’s Best For Last Enters at #1

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Things are all aglow for award winning Gospel supernova Donald Lawrence as his 20 year celebration CD tops Billboard’s Gospel Albums Chart and the Christian/Gospel Digital Albums chart. TheDL_FINALCOVER Best For Last album also enters at #30 on Billboard’s Top 200, while lead single “The Gift,” continues its hit ascent on the Gospel charts, rising to #2.

On songs such as “The Gift,” “Best For Last,” “There Remaineth a Rest,” “Just Like the Air,” “The Blessing of Abraham,” “God,” and more, Lawrence has come together with the Company, the Tri-City Singers, Yolanda Adams, Faith Evans, Natalie Grant, Ted & Sheri, Rudy Currence, among others, whose bright vocals and reverent live performances fire up the spirit, producing a special 20-year milestone celebration since his first album with the Tri-City Singers.     

 

BMI Recognizes Most Played Gospel Songs of the Year

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

BMI celebrated thEarnest Pugh Flanked By Jody Williams  Leslie Robertseir 25th Annual Christian Music Awards honoring the top songs played at Christian radio during the past year. Songs getting nods in the black gospel category were Troy Sneed’s “My Heart Says Yes,” Yolanda Adam’s “Be Still,” Donald Lawrence’s “Spiritual” Fred Hammond’s “I Feel Good” and Earnest Pugh’s “I Need Your Glory”.

BMI Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations Jody Williams, and Associate Director, Writer/Publisher Relations Leslie Roberts presented Pugh with his commendation (see pic above).

Stan Jones Tapped to Produce Mississippi Mass Choir

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

America’s Choir, the Mississippi Mass Choir is celebrating the selection of Clarksdale, MS native son Stan Jones as producer for their 25th Anniversary Live Recording project. Stan Jones

A noted songwriter and award winning producer, Jones’ song credits include Hold On recorded by Yolanda Adams, He Has His Hands on You recorded by Marvin Sapp and All I Need recorded by Brian Courtney Wilson (which spent a record 90 + weeks on the Billboard Gospel Songs Chart) in addition to production credits for The Williams Brothers,  The Canton Spirituals and Tim Rogers.

Actress Kim Fields Presents: Holiday Love: Re Imagined

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

 

Actress Kim Fields is set to return to Television this holiday season with a brand new holiday special, “Holiday Love: Re-Imagined”  which will air in syndication across the country. The one hour holiday special is filled with laughter, joy, and performances from Yolanda Adams, Wess Morgan, Tye Tribbett, Ledisi  and more.

The story centers around Kim who finds herself trapped in an elevator with a Delivery Man (played by Radio Host and Actor Rickey Smiley). While trapped she begins to reminisce about her past Christmas parties. New to the cast this year is  NY Times Best -Selling Author Karen Kingsbury, and Dr. Shirley Caesar who will sing a brand new ballad.

Holiday Re Imagined is set to run  December 15th through December 29th.   The show will also run on the Dish Network (channel 266), Sky Angel Network (channel 153) and the FAVE (Family Values Network), check your local listing for additional information and times.