Artists You Should Know

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Artists You Should Know:

Chi-Town Edition

It is no secret that Chicago is the birthplace of Gospel Music. Therefore, it is evident because my fair city has such a diverse and plentiful array of artists. Many have gone on to do great things outside the confines of Gospel. Some have held true to  the sound and traditions of the original music. Others have redefined the structure of which a Gospel song could be and even lifted the Praise & Worship genre to new levels. This Chi-Town Edition is quite special to me because it consists of artists that are dear to me and that I, for the most part, witnessed their development into an amazing group of creatives whose gifts are as brilliant as stars before a midnight sky. Please enjoy Artists You Should Know: Chi-Town Edition.



LaTina Cunningham

A powerful Evangelist. A thought provoking workshop presenter. An anointed worship leader. Now, after a host of cameo appearances on other projects, she partners with the pen of vocal phenom, Ron Poindexter and the genius production talents of CL Keys and the result is a wonderful song, “Ride On My Glory“.

This song is full of well-produced dynamics, yet it is light and airy vocally. Befitting of the artist’s style, it allows her to exhort – something Cunningham does best. The song culminates into a head-rocking drive that hammers home the message that God wants to allow his Divine Glory to cover every aspect of our lives. Cunningham makes this plain with hard-hitting delivery and ad-lib full of scriptural base and some time-honored words of faith. Nothing short of amazing musical arrangement take the song to an engaging apex from which,  the talented songstress guides it to a powerful ending. Support vocals are solid as a rock and polished to near perfection. Only the best was given in the creation of  this stunning  single. 

As an artist, it is one thing to find a good song. To find the perfect song for your gifting is an entirely different quest. LaTina Cunningham and this dream team have crafted a tune that perfectly reflects her commitment, calling and ability. As always, she allows God to speak through her making this not just another song, but the beginning of a new facet in worship that will begin with LaTina Cunningham. Download a copy today and take to heart, the message: “Ride On My Glory.





Curtis “Buster” Brown


By the time I met him during his time with the group New Direction where he lent his voice to such hit songs as the choir’s theme song, “New Direction” and co-wrote “Have Your Way” with fellow member and solo artist Levi Stewart, his name and singing ability already had its own following

So it’s no wonder that Curtis “Buster” Brown took advantage of opportunity and gleaned from the tutelage of Grayboy Productions leaders, Jeral V. Gray, Sr. & Percy Gray Jr. There, he honed his songwriting skills, sharpened his performance aptitude and waited for the God-ordained opportunities that awaited him. There were many, including “Changing The World For Good” for Grammy-winning songwriter and producer, Percy Bady. He has used each opportunity to allow God to bless audiences through his unique gift.

After many successful years of faithfully singing and serving (doing  background and cameos), the time had finally come for him to launch out into the deep. That deep would be stepping out as a solo artist. The prelude to his upcoming album “Rejoice” is the new single, “Jesus“. Produced by musical craftsman,  Erron G. Williams Sr.

As for the song itself, Brown says this:

“I wanted to present a song that speaks loud of the name of Jesus. If we are Christians, we shouldn’t have to dilute our music when we’re talking about the one whom we believe in…Let the world know who Jesus is.”

His reserved, almost whisper-quiet declaration is smooth and moving without being dark or ominous. The support vocals sound fresh and light. Their accuracy brings the recurring message front-and-center.

The song grows into a stirring unprocessed vocal chant “Jesus, That Great Name!” causing Brown to reach down into his raspy, but controlled upper registers of exhortation.

You dare not download the single without the reprise. you or else you would be doing yourself a horrible disservice. It takes on dynamics as if it were a completely different song, recalling another beautifully orchestrated moment by fellow worshiper, William McDowell. Similarly, it culminates with full audience participation and a sound of unity.

An Artist You Should Know who is fresh to the music scene and one whom I look forward to hearing and seeing more, bigger and greater from in the future.



Donishisa Ballard

If you have ever claimed to be involved in the Chicago music scene and not heard the name of this featured artist, you have obviously NOT been in the Chicago music scene.

The name Donishisa Ballard is synonymous with her seemingly unending ad lib and single-handedly reshaping of the famous “Chicago Bump“, most notably, her signature song “Stretch Out” (Institutional Radio Choir). Her name is synonymous with songs with a strong drive, but she commands center stage revealing a different side of her gifting. She gives the beautiful ballad “We Need A Miracle“, written by trailblazing music mogul, Pastor Charles Jenkins. She returns to her ballad roots, crafting this song with almost surgical precision, and making it her own.

I was taught that you ask people for things because you believe they have the ability to provide them. This song speaks of a confidence in Jesus for His supernatural ability. It isn’t a hard song to learn, but it is an easy song to love. Classically powerful messages like this are few and far between these days and I look forward to more music from this well-respected singer. “We Need A Miracle” is the song we need right now.





Kyle Mc’ Kendly

Who is Kyle Mc’Kendly?  That was the question I asked about three years ago when I was summoned to emcee a program in Joliet by Darrell Djay Perkins. During that service, a young man whom I had not met before, took the platform.

Soon after his performance, I was well-acquainted with who this vibrant young singer was and knew that there was something special to be birthed from this talented minstrel as his talent matured.

The single he has recently released, “Free To Worship” states what a worshiper can do after being liberated by the power of Grace and the covering of Salvation. When you hear his testimony you will understand why your Free To Worship

Mc’Kendly does something many artists don’t do; he allows the song to breathe. Acting almost as a singing narrator while support vocals wistfully carry the song at a pleasant pace for the listening ear.

Although the song is settled, McKendly’s youthful nature doesn’t allow it to languish. The ending stanzas climax with the BGV’s lifting their voices like beautifully sharp trumpets.  The artist’s earnest excitement is infectious as it reaches its end.

Who is Kyle McKendly? I’ll tell you. He’s a young man who has been raised under the precepts of the Gospel. He’s a passionate worshiper. He’s a gifted singer. He’s an Artist You Should Know.





Music Reloaded

Shaped in the traditions of the Black church and educated musicianship,this astounding young talent does not just sing the music of emotion, she becomes the music of emotion. Bringing a classy, but sensual sound, Aminata Burton becomes the artist known as Musicreloaded

If you want to understand what this artist is all about, listen to the song “See Me” it’s a lovely layer of delicate vocals and beautiful orchestration garnished with a bed of provocative suggestion, in which the artist gives us three minutes and sixteen seconds of good music. No fluff, no effects, no conjecture. Just good music. That is what “The Revelation” is all about. Solid, well-contrived, eclectic music.

The four-song presentation is a straight “play-through” and a wonderful inclusion to any music connoisseur’s library.  “Taboo” starts us out on a pleasant journey which is wonderfully capped off with “Sunday Afternoons“, a song which, in my humble opinion, seemly sums up what the waning hours of a summer Sunday afternoon are when you’re with “the one“.




Lovers of important music should grab this one right now. I suspect that very soon, Musicreloaded will be mentioned among the ranks of Lauren Hill, FloetryJill Sott, India Arie, and Meshell Ndegeocello. Just wait and see.


Once again, I have  done my best to give a special place to my hometown cohorts in the industry. I am extremely proud of these gifted people and am confident that the messages they deliver through their incredible musical ability will last for generations.

If you know of any artists that you think should be featured on these pages, please drop us a line at



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