As followers of this site already know, I LOVE showcasing new artists, independent artists and music that I am sure others will love, but may not know about. With only a few weeks to go until the lazy days of summer are over, I’ll highlight 5 artists per week, every week and continue that throughout the fair-weather season Let’s go!!
When I heard this song for the first time, it was something special. The approach, the energy, the arrangement, the level of production ( — by CLKeys, –) all of which make this a top-shelf recording. However, what grabbed me most was the transparent message that speaks volumes about submission to the will of God for our lives.
Marcus Lydell is laid back yet energetic at the same time. His passion for what he’s saying seems authentic and becomes infectious. “Let Me Know” is distinguished by its innovative blend of honest lyricism and crisp modern delivery. Support vocals bring this song to life and brilliant musical arrangement keeps it moving.
Possessing all of life’s “major keys” — youth, salvation, family, music, respect, — you’d be forgiven for overlooking the fact that he also has a hit hands because of his enormous sense of balance and humility. In a time when we are bombarded with messages about self-gratification, this is a refreshing reminder of the relationship between believer and Savior: acquiescence. Marcus Lydell reflects the sentiment of those from the up-and-coming generation who are hungry to follow God’s call. I look forward to more music from this artist. I thinks “Let Me Know” is just the tip of the iceberg.
“Let Me Know” by Marcus Lydell
I love Ayiesha Woods‘ new project! There. I’ve said it and I’m not shamed. This record is delightful, bold and refreshing. This project blew me away with its blissful tone. Her music gracefully presents her strong feelings for God and what He’s done for us. Whether personal testimony or affirmation of His omnipotence, Woods packages every message in a beautiful cloak of jubilance. She hits every mark dead-on and every song is a sweet succession into the next.
Songs like “Humbling” and “Don’t Miss Me (The Underdog Mantra)” are profound, but show her laid-back side. Still others, like “Hope Again” and “This Side Of Life” are sharp, focused and never divagate from their task of inspiriting the believer.
However, her newest single, “Still Happy“, gives me all the chills that I felt when I heard my first Shania Twain song (just so we’re clear, I’m a huge fan of both ladies). She still offers up her convictions, front and center and adds a pinch of Pop/Country/CCM to this winning recipe. Many within the more rigid Gospel side of music may not have heard of her, but her songwriting and delivery skills transcend all borders. Ayiesha Woods is, no matter what side of religious music you stand on, an Artist You Should Know.
“Still Happy” by Ayiesha Woods
Jules Bartholomew & Judacamp
Some songs are supposed to be reflections on what God has done. Some are to incite us to action while others are to remind us of foundational truths. In the Christian music market, sometimes we get lost in the piety of it all and forget that, even in music that reflects our passion for God, there should be some hint of fun!
“Alright Alright” has everything to make it suitable for instant radio play. The beat, the sound, the theater of it, all make for an enjoyable ride. Typically, when we have a song like this, it has glitzy production boasts big names and big production, but average filler weighs it down. So is not the case with this song.
Case in point, the first line of the song states its intent, yet cleverly puts expectation on its head by addressing its diversion of the status quo:
“I can sing another song about going through,
and I don’t know what to do, and how I cried all through the night,
but I don’t dare…
‘Cause i know that my God is able. I’ll just wait on Him to turn the tables
and He’ll make everything alright!“
That is enough to get you going — knowing that you are about to enjoy a song that uplifts without first offering an invitation to a pity party. Team that with a lovable cadence, sweet phrasing done by talented singers, cover art that symbolically depicts how we are to look at life and you have a song that will make you shuffle across the floor while cleaning, rock your head while lawn mowing or unwittingly go just a couple of miles over the limit (our apologies to law enforcement). While the song is fun, the message of God’s omnipotence is clear. That is what Jules Bartholomew & Judah Camp ( a.k.a.Jules Judah) ensure as they give you a meaningful song you can groove to.
“Alright, Alright” by Jules Bartholomew & Judacamp
Two years in, her recording is just as fresh and dynamic as if it were released yesterday. Her project has great songs like “Get Up“, “Hold Me“, and “Miracle” (all three definitely favorites) . These are must-hear tunes that depict her faith through gifting.
Her songs are not just collected to become tracks on a hit record, they are part of a bigger picture. Bethany Divine‘s singing helped her grow to know God. Her singing also brought her back to Him. After a terrible incident in life brought her to the doorstep of depression (the likes of which I will not mention here, so as to give no place to the enemy), she gave up singing and her education totally. She later returned to school and rekindled her love for God which, in turn, brought her back to singing. With a renewed and even stronger relationship, she continued to live out each song from her release “Daily Confessions“
Armed with the pen and production of Asaph Ward by her side, she lays a soft, delicate voice over “El Shadai” and takes a firm vocal grip on the aforementioned “Miracle” showing the splashes of florid bravura this artist has throughout this project. Divine gives us subtle whispers of greats like Lalah Hathaway and Dorinda Clark-Cole while forging her own path.
Fruit from her parents/pastors and a product of the grand ‘ol Church of God in Christ, Bethany Divine is giving us a collection of songs we can gain strength from and exalt Him with. If you missed the initial release, it’s not too late. Give her a listen now, her relevant testimonial set to music, make her a definite Artist You Should Know.
“Miracle” by Bethany Devine
Jor’dan Armstrong has spent almost a decade giving something special to the world. He has served a producer for Hamilton Park, Netta Brielle, and Adrian Marcel, Tyrese Gibson, Johnny Gill, Kierra Sheard and Keith Sweat. Not only has he honed his craft as producer, he has also been sharpening his singing skill since the age of five. He has taken a lot from the artists he has worked with and I’d like to believe that he has given the music world something as well. He is decidedly ensuring that the message of the Gospel can be heard by those outside the fold.
His song, “So Much Luv” had me captivated almost immediately. Not just with the sound, but with the shrewd use of metaphor, simile and doctrine in each lyric. Almost nine years in and his track record as a solo artist has resulted in intriguing music and a contrastive following. He has all the commercial appeal of the most prominent Hip-Hop mega star and his newest product is certainly as polished- if not more. The entire work, “Vibes” is reflective of its title, I will call it: “multi-faceted cool“
This new project is one of my favorites of the year and he is definitely continuing the mission of Matthew 24:14. To reach those who may not normally listen to a Gospel message, he places it in a package that they will more readily hear. He shares his skill and talent, but more than that , he’s also giving an important message to the world.
“So Much Luv” by Jor’dan Armstrong
Another episode or AYSK is now in the books and more artists are coming to these pixilated pages and I’d love to have your help. If you know of any artist – from your hometown or anywhere else – that is making a positive impact and producing good music, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line or blurb and let us know about them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.