Artists You Should Know

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It is our endeavor to feature as many emerging independent artist as possible, to provide them with an unbiased perspective on their artistry and to give them an audience they may not already have gained. A fresh group of fascinating creatives awaits, so let’s get started…


 

 

Trent Williams

Earlier this year, a truly beautiful song was released through Trent Williams. That song is called “For Your Grace(Live)“. Support vocals are almost celestial in their contribution as they allow move the song in an uncomplicated flow.

 The song begins with something the strangely stood out to me; Williams speaks with a slight southern accent. While this is not a make-or-break for the song, it intrigued me because it speaks to the humility implied within the lyrics of the song and his endearment to his audience. Somehow, I get the idea that the singer allows a level of vulnerability as he delivers the song. You find that same assailable point of view throughout the entire 3-song EP. “Living For You (Live)” and “When You Found Me” are perfect bookends to such a wonderful song and help to tell a story of hope and redemption in the journey of a young Christian as they begin their walk into new life.

The former song is a wonderfully written and arranged worship song that is absolutely everything a CCM/Worship song should be. The later strikes me as something millennials may be looking for to sing that spoke their conviction. It has a slightly vintage feel, but is befitting their youthful nature. I encourage you to delve more into the artist’s music because the lyrics to all these songs are open, honest and beautifully crafted. 

If I sound as if I am gushing about this project, it is because I am. Williams easily impresses me with this one because it is so impressive in execution, creation, post-production and human sentiment. If you add this artist to your collection, you too, will be impressed by this Artist You Should Know.

 

“For Your Grace (Live)” by Trent Williams

Thanks to  Jessica Hitte for this video teaser of Trent and the crew exalting God as only they can.

Momentum Teaser

Momentum: The Vertical Prelude is a phenomenal EP that will definitely impact your life! This project will be available for download Tuesday, January 3 on all digital media outlets. Share this with a friend!

Posted by Trent Williams on Sunday, January 1, 2017

 


 

 

Alyce Metallo

In an era where most popular songs seem to discuss I, me, and mine, it is immensely refreshing to hear a song that finally says “You” in reference to the Lord. This song, “No Rivals” solely exalts God, describes God, and discusses God. That, in itself, is wonderful.

Faintly sounding like a young Helen Baylor at intervals, the singer does nothing to detract from the initial goal of the song. She is very forthright in her execution and very clear in her reverent tone.

As I went to publish this feature, I was stopped in my tracks by the release of her self-titled full project. This delayed publishing the review, but trust me, it was well worth the wait. The aforementioned connection to Baylor is solidified – not by sound or tone, but by innovation. Metallo chooses not to express herself on line with the status quo, but takes an individual path. Her sui generis is just what is needed in this day and time. I recommend her rendition of “Blessed Assurance (My Story)“, “The Reason I Live“, “Dive In” and the purposeful call-of unity “Sister In Christ“.

 

“No Rivals” by Alyce Metallo

 

 


 

 

Ryan Proudfoot

I was absolutely smitten with “Satisfied” in 2015 so when “Better Plan” came along in 2016, I was not only a fan, but could relate whole-heartedly to the message. The verses glance at an answer to the writer’s quandry of the Father’s discretion in the blueprint of their life. 

Easy rhythms and riffs allow the messages of discipleship to dance effortlessly as you sing along. Ryan Proudfoot‘s voice and playing is what I would describe as Christ-centered Easy Listening music with a hint of Pop. Give a listen to “Emotion” and you’ll understand what I mean. 

The beautiful touching condescension toward human nature in the wording of the last clause lends itself to surprising introspection as one enjoys Proudfoot’s masterful style. If honest lyrics, passioante execution and precise but easily interpreted musicianship is your preference, then this project is not one you’ll be passing up or “Letting Go

 

“Better Plan” by Ryan Proudfoot

 

 

 

Rolanda Carter

The chords are contemporary R&B or Quiet Storm. The voice is Neo Soul or Smooth Jazz. The message, however is clear in its submission to God’s providence.

If I were to play it in a mixed setting, someone would pull references to Jill Scott and they would be right in doing so. That is what makes Rolanda Carter a bit of a Trojan Horse. She uses her musical skill and (Howard University) education in other genres to purport the message of the Gospel.

 

I love her rich tones and how she becomes a partner with the music at various places in the song–almost becoming an instrument herself

The quality, the support vocals, the song’s tone and everything about it is amazing. This includes the message, which is a song of trusting God. It speaks to Carter’s determination to invest faith through the hard times. A good message for every Christian to remember. A good message for our times. There is no room for error here. Every avenue taken led to near perfection. Every detail is poured over here. The result is a song that is highly enjoyable. I encourage you to grab a copy and get on board the “Bullet Train“. Stay tuned. You will definitely hear more from me within the next year. Trust me. It will be excellent!

 

“Bullet Train” by Rolanda Carter


 

 

V. Keys

A Facebook post I read earlier this year seems to express the current generation’s frustration with the current music scene.

Jerome Opie was feeling disappointed.

March 25  (2017)

I remember when indie gospel artists brought freshness, electricity, creativity, and musicality to the scene….. it was a time where it felt like EVERYONE was dope….. nobody sounded the same and during that period, it was all I bumped.

Jessica Green – Searchin’
Micah Smith – Chose Ye This Day
Doobie Powell – The Offspring
Kevin Gray – Good Man
Sunny Hawkins – More of You
Steve McCoy – No Doubt
Gary Mayes & Nu Era – Oh How We Worship Thee
Lyrikal – Heaven

…… now, you do good to come across a Vaughn HenryClarity

I don’t know what happened or how it got so homogenized but… it saddens.

This post is the sort of information I look for when researching artists. At the time, I was hearing murmurings of a young man out of The Magic City, who was an incredible musician and artist. Both the post and my research led me to V. Keys  I was not disappointed with this incomparable musician. 

It could go without saying that his gifting is extraordinary, but it won’t here. Vaughn “V. Keys” Henry is one of a kind in – not only arrangement and execution, but in his entire approach to his craft. Listening to him and his library of audio and video presentations makes one just ask “How does he think of this stuff?“. If you were to ask him, he would probably defer and say that he doesn’t come up with it…..HE does.

That seems to ring true in that the finished product always seems to be almost supernatural in its ability to stretch the boundaries of instrumentation and vocalization. Without slipping into sloven hyperbole, check out this artists entire body of work. Songwriters, singer, producers and musicians will find that this artist may change the game for all of us and bring us back to the time that Mr. Opie referred to when we all were dope!

 

 

“Walk Upright” by V. Keys

 


 

Another feature is in the books with a new one hot on its heels. As they used to say in television: “Stay tuned for the next thrilling episode of…Artists You Should Know“.

 

 
 
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